Web site delays are often unavoidable and have consistently been a major complaint of users online. Feedback can be provided to help alleviate users’ frustrations with delay. Two theories of time estimation—the internal clock theory and the attentional gate theory—are compared to determine how feedback may impact users’ estimations of delay length. Attentional and uncertainty reduction perspectives are then utilized to establish how feedback can influence perceived acceptability of a delay as well as satisfaction with and intention to return to a Web site. An experiment was conducted using a simulated online bookstore and search task. Perceptual data were collected using a questionnaire, and physiological data were collected using eye tracking equipment. Results of the analysis suggest that providing feedback does not affect estimations of delay but does increase perceived acceptability of the delay, satisfaction with the site, and intention to return to the site.
Sheng, Hong and Lockwood, Nicholas S., "The Effect of Feedback on Web Site Delay: A Perceptual and Physiological Study" (2011). SIGHCI 2011 Proceedings. 11.