The average load time on mobile is about 4 seconds. Type of connection—3G, 4G, LTE, WiFi, or something else—isn’t part of the report, but we know the majority of the devices are smartphones using Android or iOS. Okay, you could have guessed that. But the potential speed difference between 3G and WiFi is enormous, and we should be interested in how that breaks down. While overall web traffic from tablets makes up less than a third, the Adobe Digital Index 2014 U.S. Mobile Benchmark reported that 93% of this traffic is over WiFi, enough—I think—to skew MOVR’s load time average. My gut feeling is that a four second load for mobile devices is optimistic if those devices aren’t on WiFi but—I digress.

Wifi-Usage-Adobe-Index-Public-Libraries-Online

This is an important benchmark when considered with other data showing the importance of web page speed in terms of user behavior. For instance, the 2014 Radware Mobile State of the Union suggests that almost half of mobile users expect pages to load in just two seconds, and of them a whopping 40% will abandon a page taking longer than three. So, if the average mobile user is already in a perpetual state of uggggh come onnnnn then trying to connect to a slow library website or database isn’t doing much for his or her opinion of us.

2015 Q2 Mobile Overview Report

Michael Schofield is a service and user-experience designer specializing in libraries and the higher-ed web. He is a co-founding partner of the Library User Experience Co., a developer at Springshare, librarian, and part of the leadership team for the Practical Service Design community.