The only speed that matters is subjective
Doesn’t matter how fast a gadget or a PC’s components are on paper. All that matters is how fast something feels in use. Examples:
- Writing a letter on a PC is only faster if the user types faster than handwriting. Give someone an unfamiliar azerty keyboard and the same PC will feel slow.
- Crashes don’t just lose data, they slow users down even if no data is lost, as users have to re-launch apps or reboot.
- Same kit can behave at different speed. This laptop shuts down in between 30 seconds and two minutes in Vista. But in Mac OS it takes just 8-10 seconds.
- iPhone feels fast as it shows a stock image of each application while the app loads. There’s also no hourglass to remind the user that something is happening slowly.
- Having to slide out the qwerty keyboard on my Windows Mobile TyTn then typing an SMS, takes longer than tapping on the iPhone keypad to send a short SMS.
- Nintendo DS games automatically remember what stage a player is at; PSP games often don’t. Or on resuming, many PSP games force players to go back to a checkpoint. The gameplay repetition that results makes the PSP feel slow.
- Downloading a game in the latest PS3 OS software feels faster than it did. Why? It’s now possible to download in the background and for the console to auto-power off when the download finishes. Result: user doesn’t have to sit and wait before being able to turn off power. Download still takes the same length of time.
All users care about is how fast something feels. Not what the hardware specs say.