If you know me, or if you’ve ever attended one of my talks or read any of the articles and blog posts I’ve written, then you know I’m fascinated by the impact of web performance on human behaviour. In hindsight, it was probably inevitable that I should finally sit down and pull all these stories under one roof.
Why should you care about web performance?
Maybe you don’t care about performance (yet). But chances are, if you work on a website, you care about one or more of these metrics:
- bounce rate
- cart size
- time on site
- page views
- user satisfaction
- user retention
- organic search traffic
- brand perception
- bandwidth/CDN savings
Yes? Then you should also care about web performance. Because performance has an impact on every single one of these metrics.
I have yet to find a metric that defied mapping. In fact, for me – and I know I’m not alone in this – the relationship between performance and online success has become so obvious that it comes as a bit of a surprise to encounter resistance to the idea. But there is definitely resistance out there – or, if not outright resistance, then at the very least a serious lack of education. Hence this book.
My hopes for this book
One of the topics that comes up a lot in the web performance space is the challenge of convincing other people in your organization to care enough about performance that they’re willing to invest some resources into fixing it. It’s tough fighting for resources to fix a problem that, until recently, has been largely a silent killer. One of my goals in writing this book is to give all the performance converts out there the ammunition they need to put together a strong business case.
If you’ve been in this space for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with some of the research and case studies — from Walmart to Aberdeen — that are mainstays of pretty much every speaker deck you encounter. These stories are great, and you’ll find them covered here for the benefit of performance newcomers. But I’ve also cast my net wide to include stories that will, hopefully, be new to you.
Performance is a human issue
Along the way, I’d also love it if readers put this book down and walk away having internalized the fact that performance is very much a human issue.
We are incredibly lucky that we have the tools to measure and analyze how these people use our sites and apps, but we shouldn’t fall into the trap of reducing those people to mere numbers on a dashboard. There are real people — millions upon millions of them — behind every study and statistic referenced in the pages ahead.
Ultimately, if we care about our businesses, then all those real actual human beings should be the first and last thing we think about every day.