Build resilient systems at scale
October 12–14, 2015 • New York, NY

Speed vs. fluency - What drives user engagement?

Kent Alstad (Radware Canada)
2:10pm–2:50pm Wednesday, 10/14/2015
Location: Gramercy
Average rating: ****.
(4.21, 14 ratings)
Slides:   external link

Prerequisite Knowledge

Basic understanding of HTML, web page rendering, and experimental methodology


Last year at Velocity New York, Radware presented research that had been completed with Neurostrata on the effect of progressive image rendering on web page users. In that experiment, we learned that when users need to think more, they tend to follow the path of least resistance. We wondered whether this principle applied across all optimizations. Are all performance improvements created equal, or do some act as distractions even though they are faster? Do some optimizations cause the user to expend more energy, and thus result in lower engagement?

We created an experiment designed to uncover user behaviour, and the results are truly captivating. Using the concept of “thin slicing,” we were able to analyse user behaviour in very fast, thin slices (50 – 500ms). Thin slicing exposes that most users make decisions very quickly and with long-lasting impact. What does this mean for our “opportunistic” approaches to web performance optimization where every second counts and we are clawing to save milliseconds? See what we have learned and how it applies to your website!

Photo of Kent Alstad

Kent Alstad

Radware Canada

Kent Alstad is the VP Acceleration technologies at Radware in Vancouver, Canada. Before working at Radware Kent was instrumental in authoring all of Strangeloop’s issued and pending patents. Before helping create Strangeloop, he served as CTO at IronPoint Technology. Kent also founded Eclipse Software, a Microsoft Certified Solution Provider, which he sold to Discovery Software in 2001. In more than 20 years of professional development experience, Kent has served as architect and lead developer for successful production solutions with The Active Network, ADP, Lucent, Microsoft, and NCS. “Port View,” an application Kent architected for the Port of Vancouver, was honoured as “Best Administrative System” at the 1996 Windows World Open Competition.

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