First impressions are important for people and UI alike. Your startup experience sets the tone for any sense of quality or perceived performance in the product.
Perceived performance is the measure I would refer to as opposed to actual performance when judging speed and responsiveness while testing workflows. I've conducted tests where a measure of "too many clicks" did not correlate to the actual number of clicks, and "the interface was responsive" did not correlate to differences in the time a UI element's load time actually took. In other words, perception is reality.
Speed and effort are not the only things a user is evaluating when they interact with UI, and they don't compartmentalize their observations. A positive regard for the quality of visual styling can carry over to effecting the perception of performance and ease-of-use. For that reason, I advocated for an introduction to the product via a responsive and sleek account creation and start up experience that gave a sense of quality, responsiveness, and tied into the interactions and visualizations one would encounter on the main Dashboard.
Below you'll see pages from specs I produced that describe the start-up and account creation workflows for the product.
500 Railway Ave. #303
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