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Improving The Ux By Optimizing Web Performance

http://media.wideinfo.org/2013/05/logotransparentbg1.pngPresent generation is an impatient one courtesy the fast and powerful technology! If a laptop screen does not light up in a second, it wants to change the machine. Imagine what happens if your website does not load in a jiffy!

As per Google, traffic to a website is hit in a big way if it does not open in 3 secs. Page load speed is in direct co-relation with the visitor engagement, retention and conversion. Therefore, even if you have a website with cool graphics, well organized javaScript menu, great content and highly strategized SEO in place but your website takes ages to load, you’ve already lost half of the battle.  To reverse the situation if you have already published your website or plan to do so sooner, make optimizing the load time of the website an integral part of web development and  Internet Marketing plan.

Best Practices for a faster page load

Weigh aesthetics vs. performance

There was a phase in web development when Adobe Flash struck each one of us because of its high quality graphics and media presentation but how many current high performing websites use Flash? The single reason of Flash losing out is its incompatibility and higher load time.  Similarly Javascript is a favorite currently, but is a big no for mobile devices. Hence, you need to weigh the design elements against the performance.

This needs to be done for each of the possible devices your website will be viewed on. Undoubtedly, Images form a critical part when it comes to engaging a user but is it really important to have 8 images to go with an article. Can’t a single infographic if used intelligently engage a user the same way?

Design/code intelligently

The idea is not to defy the use of images or scripts but justify their use against performance. Hence an intelligent UX developer will understand the rationale of each element of a UI design and suggest ways and means to optimize all the elements in use. This includes not only optimizing the page size but also reducing HTTP requests.

Below are a few examples:

–          Creating sprites is one example wherein multiple images are saved in a single file hence reducing the multiple requests to only one.

–          Use SVG vector technology that is create and edit images an xml file. These inline scalable vector graphics are nothing but a collection of words.

–          Use javaScript sparingly since calling it on every page means lengthening the whole operation.

–          Similarly, inline frames result in recurring HTTP requests, avoid them!

A/B testing

Google Analytics is a brilliant tool to know the performance of your website. You can actually compare the load times of various pages of the website. If you enhance a page in terms of graphics or functionality, you can pit the existing page and the new design against each other through A/B testing.

PageSpeed is also an effective tool to evaluate the performance of web pages and is a great manual of suggestions and best practices for developers. Other tools that you can use are YSlow and WebPageTest.org.

A perfect concoction of web performance optimization along with UI design is the key for higher footfall to your website as well as higher rate of conversion. On internet, speed not only thrills but swirls money for you.