Researchers Conduct Study On How Bad Online Experiences (Including Slow Loading Pages and Multiple Pop-ups) Can Ruin Viewers Health

The UK-based user experience (UX) company, Cyber-Duck, recently conducted an experiment detailing how much annoying online experiences can prove detrimental to one's health.

The results also highlight how much our physical health is now linked to our web browsing experience.

The parameters of this rather simple study are just as easily defined. 10 categories of unpleasant experiences online from a web designing perspective have been defined. Some examples are unintelligible fonts, and the error 404 popping up. Each category had 110 people, ranging between the ages of 20 to 58, assigned to it, reaching a total of 1100 individuals. Then, their blood pressure was monitored and recorded as people went on to test the sites and encounter the specific disturbance allocated to them. Blood pressure before and after encountering issues were then mapped out on a chart.

While this study could obviously benefit from including more parameters, such as establishing whether or not the volunteers had any history of co-morbids, or including more categories, this experiment serves its simple purpose well enough. Rather obviously, a link was established between detrimental health and unpleasant online experiences.

Slow-loading pages was the category to have the most significant effect on blood pressure, leading to an average 21% increase from the norm. This category is closely followed by multiple pop-ups, which resulted in a rise from an average if 108 to 130 mm Hg (an estimated 20% rise). The category that affected people the least was disorienting animations, leading to a rise from 102 to 107 mm Hg. So, right out of the gate, we have a few essentials lined up for us: add a clunky animation, and users will show forbearance. Add a page that refuses to load, and users might just burst a vessel.

All humour aside, this study highlights how important good web designing is. In a day and age where almost everything a person does has an online variant, people will feel natural frustration and resentment towards facets of their experience that refuse to cooperate. People looking to make a purchase online or even pay their monthly gas bill will be left exasperated at best and highly worried at worst when websites refuse to work, or do not comply with user input.

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