Consumers are at the heart of the EU Digital Agenda, and for very good reason. It is the consumerization of ICT that plays an icreasing role in incentivizing innovation in the ICT sector. We will see measure and initiatives that aim at improving transparency of online rights and increasing trust over the next years. Technology can play an important part in supporting these goals.
Internet Explorer 9 beta: consumer empowerment through technology
Today, Microsoft publishes the beta version of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9). This is a great opportunity to share some internal thinking on how to help consumers to stay in control of their browsing experience and how technology empowers consumers to make informed decisions.
Controlling what an installed browser does, entails many aspects that are important to consumers. This includes downloads, privacy, security, and controlling which add-ons to use – and which not. Add-ons refer to toolbars, Explorer bars and Browser Helper Objects today. Sites can for example promote add-ons, and the user is in control to decide whether to add them or not. Consent to have the add-on is an important part of the user control around his browser experience.
To make an informed consent decision however, the user needs to have also a clear view on the costs (or negative impact) of the add-on as well as the apparent benefits.
Most people understand the benefit they get from using an add-on they choose to install. Consumers want a reliable, fast experience of web sites. Several studies regarding website response time report that human perception notices any delay over 0.2 seconds. Actions that are faster than 0.2 seconds appear instantaneous. Scenarios with response times slower than that threshold can feel “slow” to users. What consumers often aren’t aware of is that their perception of site speed includes not only the browser but also the installed add-ons. When add-ons are enabled in the browser, they can cause a performance impact for every tab opened and every webpage the user visits.
For the types of add-ons that do have such a potential impact on performance, responsiveness and reliability (for example toolbars and BHOs), the user needs additional information. In IE8, users can see the load time for add-ons in the Manage add-ons dialog. This is a good start, but there is more IE can do to help people fully understand the impact an add-on has on browsing performance, i.e. website response time.
IE9 makes it easy for consumers to make an informed decision. IE9 measures the load time of add-ons during tab creation as well as the performance impact of add-ons on navigations (page loads) by measuring the time they take to respond to navigation events. This allows consumers to make an informed choice: they may decide that an add-on is so valuable that they’re willing to wait a ¼ second or even a ½ second during their browsing. People may also decide that they don’t utilize the features of a particular add-on frequently so they disable it until they want it.
Our goal with IE is to provide users with actionable and accurate information so that they can make informed decisions and remain in control of their browsing experience.
For more information go here. Also see the following website.