The notion that lossy image quality is subjective is not an unreasonable hypothesis. There are many factors that play into how humans perceive quality: screen size, image scaling, and yes, even performance.
Many research projects have tackled this subject, but I’ve recently launched a survey that attempts to understand how people perceive image quality in a slightly different way: in the context of performance.
This image quality assessment serves up 25 different specimens, each of which is presented in a random lossy quality setting between 5 and 100, in both JPEG and WebP formats. As participants complete the survey, navigation, resource and paint timings are collected (when available) from the browser, as well as other client details such as a device’s resolution, pixel density, and many other pertinent details.
The real work of gathering data begins. This is where you can help out. If you have five to ten minutes to spare, please head over to https://imagesurvey.site and participate. When the survey is finished, I’ll post the raw data and write and article (or two) on the findings. If further experimentation is required, that will be pursued as well. I don’t know what we’ll find out, but we’ll find out together with your input. So please participate!
Note: If you have feedback for how to improve the survey, feel free to comment! Just be aware that your feedback can’t be implemented in this run of the survey, but it could be useful in constructing any follow-up surveys.