The Importance of Consistency and Speed for Your Website

The benefits of remaining consistent and coherent in a document include:

Communicating trust and dependability
Contributing to a unified brand and user experience
Contributing to simplicity plus inevitability of navigation (information scent)
For instance, if you decide to utilize drop shadow to give a special effect to the bullet points, it is important to utilize drop shadows in all bullet points. The colors of links should also remain consistent all through the website. Likewise, background colors plus typefaces should also remain unchanged all through the website.

Color coded pages should especially maintain consistency. Typefaces, as well as the alignment of the main text plus heading, special and background effects in graphics need to remain unchanged. Only their colors may change.

The downloading of a website needs to be quick

It has been realized that users lose interest rather quickly when it takes too long to download a website. Often, people misunderstand the concept of downloading time. Actually, there are two kinds of downloading time: human speed and machine speed.

Machine speed implies the real download time. It means that if we were to time the receptiveness of a server in bringing out all types of web documents like HTML pages, images and scripts, it is how the machine or any software would decide the real download time.

Here are the items inclusion of which could have an effect on machine speed:

Browser caching
Redirects
DNS lookups
Mixing images incorporating CSS sprites
Bad requests
CSS @import
Document write
Favoring asynchronous resources
Deferring parsing of JavaScript
Users are generally likely to focus more on machine speed than human speed. Users’ sensitivity to speed is more relevant for conversion, compared to machine speed.

Human speed implies the time perceived by humans for downloading. The information scent greatly influences the perceived download time. When the content on the webpage authenticates the users information scent, the waiting time is perceived to be low. On the other hand, when page content fails to authenticate users information scent, the waiting time is perceived to be long.

Here are the factors influencing the perceived download time:

Gender
Supposed time for waiting
Time online
User’s expectations
Economic factors
Outlook to delay (for example patient versus impatient people)
Type of job
Apprehension plus information about waiting period
The real as well as the perceived time for downloading is affected by animation. Of course, animation attracts visitors, though graphics plus coding are likely to slow downloads.

It is good to check the download time of pages beforehand. In case the download time of a page is quite short, and the inclusion of animation doesn’t unduly add to download time, only then you should consider adding animation.