System Latency Guidelines Then and Now – Is Zero Latency Really Considered Necessary?

  • Christiane Attig
  • Nadine Rauh
  • Thomas Franke
  • Josef F. Krems
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10276)


Latency or system response time (i.e., the delay between user input and system response) is a fundamental factor affecting human-computer interaction (HCI). If latency exceeds a critical threshold, user performance and experience get impaired. Therefore, several design guidelines giving recommendations on maximum latencies for an optimal user experience have been developed within the last five centuries. Concentrating on the lower boundary latencies, these guidelines are critically reviewed and contrasted with recent empirical findings. Results of the review reveal that latencies below 100 ms were seldom considered in guidelines so far even though smaller latencies have been shown to be perceivable to the user and impact user performance negatively. Thus, empirical evidence suggests a need for updated guidelines for designing latency in HCI.


System response time Latency User experience Design guidelines Human-computer interaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christiane Attig
    • 1
  • Nadine Rauh
    • 1
  • Thomas Franke
    • 2
  • Josef F. Krems
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Cognitive and Engineering PsychologyChemnitz University of TechnologyChemnitzGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Multimedia and Interactive Systems, Engineering Psychology and Cognitive ErgonomicsUniversität zu LübeckLübeckGermany

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