Training: June 20–21, 2016
Tutorials: June 21, 2016
Keynotes & Sessions: June 22–23, 2016
Santa Clara, CA

The wild west of media performance: A Vox story

Ian Carrico (Vox Media), jason ormand (Vox Media)
2:10pm–2:50pm Wednesday, 06/22/2016
First time at Velocity Santa Clara, Performance for the people
Location: Ballroom CD Level: Intermediate
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 4 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

Attendees should have an understanding of performance standards and a knowledge of ad-based systems.


A little over a year ago, Vox Media created a dedicated performance team, which immediately set out to make all Vox Media sites as fast as possible—and has since made significant progress. The first day the performance team convened, team members knew they had a few mountains to climb. From that day, the team has worked to measure how to best collect and interpret the performance information it had for all of the Vox Media sites. One year later, the team has made big strides but has still found areas that it needs to improve upon.

Ian Carrico and Jason Ormand discuss what the team has done, how it did it, and what it’s still working on. Ian and Jason start with the big items that the team knew it could improve upon—images and fonts. Both are very large parts of Vox sites (in both importance and size): the team needed to get images sent down the pipe as small as possible, implementing WebP where able, and fonts needed to be sent as asynchronously as possible without hurting UX.

Ian and Jason then go into the difficulties Vox has faced being an ad-based business—in implementation of new performance features and in metrics collection and interpretation. They explain how members of Vox’s performance team embed themselves into various teams to teach and implement best practices, how the team is figuring out how to determine the signal from the noise in its performance testing (both page-based and individual ad testing), and the tools it’s using to do it. Ian and Jason end with a discussion of what the team is working on right now, how it intends on progressing throughout all of Vox’s verticals, and how the leadership of Vox Media is helping the team do just that.

Photo of Ian Carrico

Ian Carrico

Vox Media

Ian Carrico works to make the Web a little faster and helps others do the same.

Photo of jason ormand

jason ormand

Vox Media

Jason Ormand is a performance engineer at Vox Media and the creator of Justice.js.