The Perception of Waiting

A single checkout line distributed to multiple clerks experiences fewer delays, yet we perceive that when organized in parallel lines, checkout is faster. In less than 4 minutes, with the aid of low-budget yet engaging animation, Bill Hammack – from the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois – briefly explains why that perception is invalid.

In web design, I strive to align user perception with reality, not pander to invalid mental models, and instead build trust by providing continual feedback.