Too often increased performance is about reduction. Developers are always saying there are too many resources on a page, the design team went way over the top, and there’s NO WAY this can be a fast website if we have to load so much content. This can lead to a culture of tension between designers and developers, with an enforced minimalism and a mentality of the fastest page being a page with nothing on it.
Mark Zeman explores three case studies that push the boundary of what’s possible when delivering the richest web user experience possible in a way that is still highly performant. Each example examines how the team collaborated from the outset and iterated through numerous failed prototypes to develop unique techniques for streaming high-bandwidth web experiences in engaging ways.
How would you load a homepage with hundreds of gorgeous high-resolution travel photos? Animate dozens of cartoon bugs across the screen? Or interact with multiple overlapping video streams of rock fans being blasted by water cannons at 1,000 frames per second—all without a sluggish user experience?
These case studies not only provide specific techniques for streaming rich web content but also demonstrate that their success would not have been possible without a cultural change in the team that kept everybody focused on the performance of the user experience from the outset.
Note: This is an improved version of the same talk presented at Velocity Amsterdam 2015.
Mark Zeman is the founder of SpeedCurve, a frontend performance monitoring service that gives you continuous feedback on how your frontend code is affecting the performance of your website. Mark comes from a design background but has always been just as passionate about the code. He is based by the ocean in beautiful New Zealand and has spent 20 years crafting websites and mobile apps.
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