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Jun 6 / Dan DeFelippi

Casual Encounters of Web Performance

I’m currently visiting San Francisco and had an interesting encounter related to web performance. I often stay in hostels when traveling and this trip is no different. Besides being much less expensive (especially in San Francisco) you get to meet all kinds of interesting people.

Yesterday I was chatting with the guy in the bed below mine. He’s a baby boomer who grew up in Montana, served in the Navy, and has lived in Switzerland for the past 3 years. As a classical artist who paints and draws we got talking about art and design. He knows enough about computers to use Photoshop but isn’t a geek by any means. He admittedly knows nothing about web design but had some insight about color contrast from an artist’s perspective.

As we were talking about the use of color he started ranting about things that people do wrong on the web. He went off about how his formerly favorite art website kept adding more and more to its design until it was just a mess.

“Sites need to focus on what’s important and get rid of the rest,” he said.

I couldn’t have agreed more. This guy gets it.

Then he mentioned sites need to be fast. This really got my attention.

“Sites need to load as quickly as possible. If sites are slow I’ll just leave and go somewhere else. Get rid of all this extra junk and just let me use your site.”

Wow, this guy totally gets it.

People aren’t stupid. They don’t need to know technology to understand that performance matters. If a website is slow they’ll leave. Make sure your site is fast.