Harris Poll Shows People Frustrated By Slow Computers
Paul Watson, PC Technician Friday, September 3rd 2010
Study Shows Speed Is Important To User Experience
One-third of survey respondents say they’ve missed out on something while waiting for their technology to respond. What are they missing? Losses include things like online sales, auctions and tickets for sporting events and airline travel. The survey was conducted online, so the results are not considered scientifically valid, however, most people can attest to the fact that a slow computer is frustrating.
In the case of users who believe they’ve lost out on something online, it’s hard to say that slow computers alone are responsible. Internet connections can make a fast computer seem slow because when you’re using the Internet, your computer is going through a complex conversation with another computer elsewhere on the Internet. The conversation can sometimes be interrupted or delayed, causing the computers at either end to appear as though they’ve frozen or simply stopped responding.
Nonetheless, slow computers can pose a major hazard to your productivity and (at times) your mental well-being! There are certain slowdowns you can’t really manage, reduce or eliminate, but you can control much of what happens on your end of the computer. Basic maintenance is a must if you want reliable computer performance.
Basic maintenance includes protecting your computers from spyware, malware, adware and viruses; preventing Trojan infections that could give others access to your computer resources; making sure your network and firewall configurations are correct; defragmenting your hard disk and providing adequate storage space for your files and applications, and using a registry cleaner to keep your computer in good working order.
Some people I work with have a hard time believing that regular, simple maintenance can have such a profound effect on computer performance. The lesson here is that while simple things can make a computer speed up, simple – even mundane – things can also cause your computer to slow down. I once had a supervisor who counseled, “Take care of the cheap stuff first.” By that, he meant “Don’t overlook the obvious but seemingly small stuff, because it really does add up.”
Photo Credit: Fauxto_Digit, via Flickr