Image assets are still a major impediment for page load time. Despite Internet providers promising improved web performance by offering higher bandwidths on both mobile and cable, the physical limitations of connection latency deny significant improvements to website load times beyond 5Mbps client bandwidth.
While new image formats offer improved savings in bytesize, we will be working with common image formats for about another decade. Learning to work around the limitations of existing image formats to improve compression will result in significant performance gains.
We will look at lossy PNG compression and adaptive JPEG compression to reduce bytesize for these common image formats. To ensure visually acceptable results of these advanced techniques, we will discuss how to automatically calculate image SSIM scores and use them to improve compression levels.
This will bring us to the subject of saliency detection and how neighboring image processing disciplines such as computer vision and machine learning can help us improve compression levels by making our tools smarter by understanding image contents.
These advanced compression techniques will enable you to reduce bytesize of all image formats even further and improve the overall user experience and bottom line of your websites and apps.
Tobias Baldauf is a web performance solutions architect and passionate consultant at Akamai Technologies. He created open source web performance measurement tools, ISO certified interfaces as well as a JPEG compressor. He gives talks on web performance and organizes the Cologne Web Performance meetup.
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