RAIL Performance Model

RAIL model

RAIL stands for response, animation, idle and load.

Response time limits

study: 3 important response times limits

  • 100 milliseconds. Respond to a user action within this time window and they will feel like the result is immediate. Any longer and that connection between action and reaction breaks.
  • 1 second. Within this window, things feel part of a natural and continuous progression of tasks. Beyond it, the user will lose focus on the task they were performing. For most users on the web, loading a page or changing views represents a task.
  • 16 milliseconds. Given a screen that is updating 60 times per second, this window represents the time to get a single frame to the screen (Professor Math says 1000 ÷ 60 = ~16). People are exceptionally good at tracking motion, and they dislike it when their expectation of motion isn’t met, either through variable frame rates or periodic halting.

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