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Friday, June 22, 2012

10 Tips to Improve User Experience of your site

Hi. My name is Ben, and I plan to visit your website a lot! I’m a casual user that likes to browse the Internet, and like everyone else I know, I hate to wait. Although your website is really cool, and I love your products and services, the Internet is full of interesting places and I’m easily distracted. Oh, and did I mention that I love using my Android smartphone and iPad to play, connect, shop, bank and book travel when I’m not at work? All I want for the holidays is a speedy web and mobile site.
Here are top 10 wishes of a user for you and your site in 2012:
  1. Please test your code/site on IE and not just Firefox before you launch it. I am one of the 50% that will continue using IE, even after they start auto-upgrades!
  2. Understand the difference between browser execution and network/back-end performance. Most pages have both and you need to know which is which to optimize the page/site. One way is to monitor using a real browser.
  3. Understand how your page renders. Focus on reducing upfront (pre-render) delay. It’s the one me and your other users feel the most!
  4. Please make sure your third party tags (analytics and others) are below your visual content. (Did I mention rendering delays and blocks are aggravating?)
  5. Please combine your external JS and CSS files. I’ve been saying this for years, but very few sites seem to follow this recommendation. Do it, and I’ll see a major improvement in the speed of your site.
  6. Understand the quality your Content Delivery Network is providing. Every website is unique, and not all CDN providers are created equal.
  7. Don’t worry so much about overall page size but instead focus on individual file/resource sizes. Keep them under 100K and you will limit the impact of slower connections. (Did I mention I love my smartphone?)
  8. Don’t just push your desktop website to mobile. You will fail.
  9. Test your mobile web site… please!
  10. Read Keynote’s Page Construction Guidelines. They’re chocked full of goodies to help you optimize the performance your Web pages and keep visitors like me happily clicking through them, instead of away to your competitor’s site.
What’s on your wish list for better web and mobile performance in 2012? Let us know in comments!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Test Your Site on IE 9 and Measure User Experience

Few months back, Keynote announced that the Keynote Global Network was being updated with Internet Explorer 9. As a result, our real browser monitoring service, Transaction Perspective™, is now measuring the performance of Web applications and sites using Microsoft’s latest Web browser. This makes Keynote the first on-demand monitoring service built on IE 9, which is pretty cool. But what’s even cooler is the ability that IE 9 gives us to measure a new class of performance metrics we call user experience metrics.
IE is still the big kid on the block when it comes to browser usage. With the demise of IE 6 in the United States, and the rise of Firefox and Chrome, it’s clear that users are quickly leaving “old” browsers for “modern” ones like IE 9. With high performance and broad support for open Web standards, browsers like IE 9 make it easier for companies to create a rich and snappy experience for consumers. In response, 34% of the top Internet sites now use HTML 5, and the use of JavaScript continues to rise. Transaction Perspective built on IE 9 allows customers to get a more precise view of their site performance, especially those leveraging new Web standards.
Our new Live Beta preview of MyKeynote 11 with Transaction Perspective lets you see performance in very important ways Learn More