Unravelling the Relationship Between Response Time and User Experience in Mobile Applications

Mengli Yu, Ronggang Zhou*, Zhao Cai, Chee Wee Tan, Huiwen Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

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Purpose: This study examines the impact of response time on user experience for mobile applications and considers the moderating influence of gender and network environment on this relationship. Design/methodology/approach: An experiment was conducted with 50 young adults to evaluate their user experience of a mobile application that simulates variations in network environment and response time. User experience was evaluated based on the three constituent dimensions of tolerance, acceptance, and satisfaction. Findings: Analytical results demonstrate that response time not only adversely affects user experience of mobile applications, but that this effect is not homogeneous across the three dimensions of tolerance, acceptance and satisfaction. The findings also illustrate that gender moderates the effect of response time on user experience, however, the negative influence is more salient for males than females, which is opposite to our hypothesis. The joint moderating influence of gender and network environment turned out to be partly significant. Practical implications: By illuminating users' tolerance, acceptance, and satisfaction with varied response times, findings from this study can inform the design of mobile applications such that desired levels of user experience can be assured with minimum resources. Originality/value: Although response time has been hailed as a key determinant of user experience for desktop applications, there is a paucity of studies that have investigated the impact of response time on user experience for mobile applications. Furthermore, prior research on response time neglects the multi-dimensional nature of user experience. This study bridges the above mentioned knowledge gaps by delineating user experience into its constituent dimensions and clarifying the effects of response time on each of these dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternet Research
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1353-1382
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Published online: 18. May 2020


  • Expectation disconfirmation theory
  • Gender
  • Mobile application
  • Network
  • Response time
  • User experience
  • Zone-of-tolerance

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