A Three Screen Approach to Website Performance Optimisation with Hotels.com

Web Performance
Location: Buckingham Room Level: Non-technical

We’ll look at challenges to be addressed when optimizing Web content for the laptop, smartphone and tablet user experience. With each format comes an inherent set of challenges for usability and performance. We will show real life data to highlight each challenge and give operations teams, content owners, and developers best practices for creating & maintaining sites optimized for all 3 screens.

Whether you have a mobile strategy or are considering it down the road, chances are that your customers are already accessing your website with a smartphone or tablet. To ensure the highest level of user satisfaction, no matter how they come to your website, content providers should consider optimizing the user experience across three screens: the laptop, smartphone and tablet.

The mobile experience is no longer defined as the simple extension of the desktop experience to a small screen. The latest smartphones are much more powerful than previous generations and technologies like HTML5 allow content providers to do much more. Much to the disappointment of the end user, many companies approach their mobile experience as scaled-down version of the desktop. What’s more, tablets can’t be treated as merely large screen smartphones or touchscreen laptops. Tablets are truly unique in how they are used and they face their own performance challenges.

We will show real-life examples of how popular websites can perform quite differently across each of the three screens and provide tips for improving performance across each. We’ll also show usability and design best practices to ensure users can interact with each of the three screens to get what they want, and how they want it.

In addition, Keynote works with hundreds of enterprise customers in our day to day work and can bring the real life challenges and experiences that we face to the talk.

Some of the unique tips we can offer:

Desktop
We have a wealth of real world analysis to offer here – drawn from our day to day work with clients. So we will discuss the most common issues in Desktop performance (and how they differ from some accepted “truth” in the industry – for example third party tag performance is probably one of the largest issues for all sites but not something you hear folks talking about too much). We can also talk about how sites are able to achieve the 2-3s load time we recommend as targets for desktop load times. Audience members will walk away with tangible tips and best practices.

Mobile
Similar approach here. Really in mobile is about balancing usability & feature content v. performance. As you know Mobile’s high latency changes the game in terms of page design and performance. We can talk about best practices in this space (again drawn from real world examples). Some thoughts on this topic include:
• Do CDN’s optimize Mobile?
• Page design for the Mobile world – something I know you are working on quite a lot.
• Ensuring the performance of HTML5 applications
• Mobile load testing

Tablet
This area is really interesting as it is a hybrid. Do you design for a WiFi experience or 3G network?
• Balancing content with capabilities: something we’ve noticed in our research is that many sites are delivering more content to an iPad than they would to a desktop (often desktop content plus App advertising). The impact can crush performance over a 3G network.
• Balancing usability & feature content v. performance
• Ensuring the performance of HTML5 applications

Anthony Drewery

Hotels.com

Anthony joined Hotels.com in September, 2010 as Technical Operations Director and is based in London, UK. In his current role, Anthony is primarily responsible for the operations and support of the Hotels.com global production environment. Prior to joining Hotels.com, Anthony was the General Manager of IT for Virgin Holidays. Anthony has more than 14 years of global IT experience and has held various technical and management roles at companies such as BOC Edwards and CP Ships. Anthony holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Brighton.

Photo of Robert Castley

Robert Castley

Keynote Systems

Robert Castley is the Lead Solutions Consultant for EMEA at Keynote. Prior to working at Keynote, Robert worked as a Professional Services Consultant at a document management company, Macro 4, where he worked on developing custom web interfaces.
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Robert is passionate about web performance and optimisation and has over 10 years of web development experience. One of his proudest achievements is developing one of the world’s most popular Open Source Content Management Systems to the masses – Mambo, which now lives on as Joomla!

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