Published in Mobiles

Study reveals that network delays stress us out

by on22 February 2017

Would have thought that was obvious

A new study undertaken by Ericsson and Vodafone Germany has worked out that even very minor connectivity drops  cause stress and dissatisfaction, which we thought was obvious.

The boffins hired by the pair used electroencephalography (EEG) scanning methods to determine the emotional state of users’ responses to network delays.

The study monitored the brain activity of 150 participant volunteers in Düsseldorf, Germany, who were invited to complete 13 specific tasks on a smartphone within ten minutes whilst network connectivity problems were simulated.

The tasks including uploading selfies, engaging with streaming video and general browsing of the web. During the experiment the volunteers’ eye-tracking and pulse rates were also monitored.

Guido Weißbrich, the Director of Network Performance at Vodafone Germany, commented “A mere one-second delay when downloading or uploading content has a significant negative impact on the user experience”.

The study is the first to attempt to register psycho-emotional reaction to network performance, and its work has informed the launch of Ericsson’s Neuromatic Analysis product.

The company claims to be able to estimate and quantify neurological and subconscious user reactions to network and app performance, presumably at a more compact level of organisation than the Düsseldorf tests.

Discovering what the response is to page response time has been of interest to marketers and analytics personnel for some years. Recent studies have indicated that users will abandon a loading web page for as little as 400ms delay which is the same length of time it takes to blink.

Bradley Mead, a network leader at Ericsson, commented on the joint study: “It is essential for operators to understand how people actually feel about the service they provide and how it really impacts their day to day lives. We now have valuable data that can be used to optimise and engineer networks to maximise the experience when using popular applications.”

Last modified on 22 February 2017
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