The scourge of Web stress is nothing new, but IT management company CA has public’d what it claims is the first neurological study of consumer reactions to a ‘poor online experience’. Working with consultancy Foviance, the study analysed brain wave activity from volunteers tasked with purchasing products and services online over a ‘standard’ 2Mbps broadband link. CA admits that there are many factors inveighing on a website’s ‘responsiveness’, and acknowledges that Web stress is a longtime ‘known problem’ in respect to online user experience. What the new research is supposed to prove is that bad browsing due to crappily-designed websites is now officially bad for your health.
Brain wave analysis from the experiment revealed that participants had to concentrate up to 50 per cent more when using badly performing websites, while facial muscle and behavioural analysis of the subjects also revealed ‘greater agitation and stress in these periods’. Ian Tee.