The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

Best of 2016: New Google research, measuring SPA and AMP performance, plus 22 mobile stats you should know

Best web performance posts of 2016

One of my favorite things about this time of year (other than making lists for next year) is reviewing the previous twelve months. A year is a long time, and it’s easy to forget how much can happen – from new research to new technology. It’s deeply gratifying to pause and reflect on where we are and how we got here. And it’s deeply satisfying to do it in list form. 😉

What I love about this roundup of our most popular blog posts of 2016 is that it encompasses a range of topics we’re passionate about here at SOASTA – user experience, data science, performance culture, BizOps – and connects the dots between them. I hope you enjoy this recap as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

Google: 53% of mobile users abandon sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load

Last summer, Google (via its subsidiary, DoubleClick) released new mobile performance research that offers a handy refresh for some key stats around mobile performance — most interestingly, stats around user/business metrics like bounce rate, session length, ad viewability, and revenue. Lots of good stuff in here. If you missed it the first time around, be sure to check it out now. Keep reading…

graph: 53% of mobile users abandon sites after 3 seconds

How to interpret and report your performance test results (so people actually read them)

The stakes for performance testing are almost always pretty high. In a short period of time, you need to gather information to help advise stakeholders on making decisions that will affect the businesses. As Eric Proegler says in this post, “Your expertise as a performance tester is what turns numbers into actionable information. After running a performance test, there will be barrels full of numbers. So what’s next? The answer is definitely not to generate and send a canned report from your testing tool. Results interpretation and reporting is where a performance tester earns their stripes.” Keep reading…

How SOASTA and Google used machine learning to predict bounce rate and conversions

If you’re ever offered a chance to throw a million or so beacon’s worth of user data into Google’s machine-learning system, I highly recommend you say yes. That’s what we did when Google approached us a year ago about partnering on a pioneering research project. The results were eye-opening. This post walks through the methodology we used, as well as some of the highlights of our findings. Keep reading…

22 mobile stats everyone should know

Last spring, Google started rolling out changes that “increase the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly”. This post is a collection of stats about mobile usage, traffic, spending, performance, user expectations, and other trends. Keep reading…

2020 ecommerce traffic, by device type

Lessons learned from one year of monitoring single-page applications

In the year and a half since we announced support for monitoring the performance of single-page applications (SPAs), we’ve been continually improving how we help our customers measure their apps. We’ve learned a lot from our customers, and many of our monitoring improvements are being driven by the variety of websites that our customers are building, using everything from do-it-yourself templating engines to full-blown frameworks such as Angular, Backbone.js, Ember.js, or React. In this post, Nic Jansma shares two big lessons we’ve learned and how we’ve used them to build even better SPA monitoring and measurement. Keep reading…

The nine traits of highly successful performance teams

Skills without commitment does not create a culture. A strong performance culture crosses organizational boundaries. Ideally, everyone owns performance. That said, the responsibility for performance typically lies with a particular team (or teams, in a larger organization), often within Ops, and sometimes made up of contract resources. Dave Murphy explains what works and what doesn’t, how a strong team drives performance as part of the company ethos, and what kinds of teams are destined to fail. Keep reading…

Introducing a new web performance metric for media sites: Activity Impact Score

Last spring, we unveiled a new metric that media sites (and other sites that care about user engagement) can use to answer the question “How much impact does the performance of each page on my site have on session length?” This post walks through an explanation of why we developed it, how it works, and what kinds of use cases it can support. Keep reading…


Four performance lessons we should learn from Pokémon Go

Were the folks at Niantic confident that Pokémon Go would be a success? Probably. Did they think it was going to smash records and become the biggest mobile game of the decade? Probably not. Here are four ways Niantic could have better prepared — from a functional and load-testing perspective — if they had known they were about to launch one of the most successful mobile apps of the last ten years. Keep reading…

How to do real user performance measurement for Google AMP sites

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project seeks to create better, faster experiences for mobile users. According to Google, AMP pages load 85% faster than standard mobile pages. Not only do these faster pages make visitors happier, but Google also prioritizes AMP-enabled content in its search results. Last spring, we were proud to offer the first real user measurement (RUM) solution to capture data from AMP sites. In this post, Nigel Heron gives an overview of how AMP works, its challenges when it comes to measuring performance, and how we overcame those challenges. Keep reading…

The five phases of performance maturity

Another great performance culture post from Dave Murphy. Building on his earlier post about the traits of highly successful performance teams, Dave uses this post to establish a framework for assessing the state of your organization’s commitment to performance. The goal: to help you determine the gap between your current state and reaching your performance goals. Keep reading…

The 5 phases of performance maturity

This is our top ten list. I’d love to check out yours. Please feel free to share in the comments.

Tammy Everts

About the Author

Tammy Everts

Tammy has spent the past two decades obsessed with the many factors that go into creating the best possible user experience. As senior researcher and evangelist at SOASTA, she explores the intersection between web performance, UX, and business metrics. Tammy is a frequent speaker at events including IRCE, Summit, Velocity, and Smashing Conference. She is the author of 'Time Is Money: The Business Value of Web Performance' (O'Reilly, 2016).

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