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The basic advice regarding response times has been about the same for almost thirty years Miller 1968 Card et al 1991 01 second is about the limit for having the user feel that the system is reacting instantaneously meaning that no special feedback is necessary except to display the result 10 second is about the limit for the users flow of thought to stay uninterrupted even though the user will notice the delay Normally no special feedback is necessary during delays of more than 01 but less than 10 second but the user does lose the feeling of operating directly on the data 10 seconds is about the limit for keeping the users attention focused on the dialogue For longer delays users will want to perform other tasks while waiting for the computer to finish so they should be given feedback indicating when the computer expects to be done Feedback during the delay is especially important if the response time is likely to be highly variable since users will then not know what to expect Normally response times should be as fast as possible but it is also possible for the computer to react so fast that the user cannot keep up with the feedback For example a scrolling list may move so fast that the user cannot stop it in time for the desired element to remain within the available window The fact that computers can be too fast indicates the need for user-interface changes like animations to be timed according to a real-time clock rather than being timed as an indirect effect of the computers execution speed Even if a faster model computer is substituted the user interface should stay usable In cases where the computer cannot provide fairly immediate response continuous feedback should be provided to the user in form of a percent-done indicator Myers 1985 As a rule of thumb percent-done progress indicators should be used
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