With rapid advances in hardware speed and data communication bandwidth, one might not expect to have to deal with issues such as response time and system performance. But these issues remain a very real concern today. Lengthy system response times may cause lower satisfaction and poor productivity among users. Lowered user satisfaction may lead to discontinued use of an application, especially in discretionary applications such as those found on the Internet. The intent of this experimental research is to (1) substantiate that slow system response time leads to dissatisfaction; (2) assess the point at which users may become dissatisfied with system response time; (3) determine a threshold at which dissatisfaction may lead to discontinued use of the application, and (4) determine if experience influences response time tolerance. The results showed that indeed satisfaction does decrease as response time increases. However, instant response was not perceived as making the system easier to use or learn. It also showed that for discretionary applications, there appears to be a level of intolerance in the 12-second response range.
Hoxmeier, John A. and DiCesare, Chris, "System Response Time and User Satisfaction: An Experimental Study of Browser-based Applications" (2000). AMCIS 2000 Proceedings. 347.