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ICYMI: Performance culture, accessibility, and case studies from Instagram and FT.com

In case you missed it… here’s my latest roundup of performance-related news, research, and case studies. This month, we have some fantastic case studies from Instagram and The Financial Times, some new stats about mobile, hard-won wisdom about how to build a performance culture in your organization, and some eye-opening insights about the impact of performance optimization on accessibility and security.

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Happy reading!

1. What we talk about when we talk about web performance

I love it when slides have a clear narrative, so you can follow along and learn even if you didn’t go to the talk. Patty Toland nails it in the deck for her Smashing Conf SF talk. This is a great primer for anyone who wants to understand why performance matters and how to fix it.

2. New data: Americans are abandoning wired home Internet

A new study, released by the U.S. Census Bureau, has huge ramifications for web performance: “Americans as a whole are becoming less likely to have residential broadband, the figures show: They’re abandoning their wired Internet for a mobile-data-only diet — and if the trend continues, it could reflect a huge shift in the way we experience the Web.”

3. Survey: Google AMP offers window of opportunity for SEOs

A survey of SEO professionals found that, while three quarters know what AMP is, and half expect it to have “a significant impact” on page rankings, only 23% have actually implemented it. If you’re an SEO, you should smell an opportunity here.


4. Performance and usage at Instagram

From Instagram’s engineering blog comes this great case study that demonstrates how “identifying and fixing low-hanging fruit reduced network usage, improved client-side reliability, reduced server-side latency, and in turn we saw an improvement in app-wide user experience.”

5. To hell with performance [VIDEO]

Now that the title of this talk has gotten your attention, Karl Groves raises an excellent question: when we talk about performance, why don’t we include accessibility in the conversation? Karl shows real-world examples of how pages today are failing users with accessibility needs, along with best practices for addressing the problem. This is a must-watch.

6. A faster FT.com

The performance team at The Financial Times did a four-week study in which they measured the impact of page delays on reader engagement. They found that not only are people affected immediately by slowdowns, but the impact gets even worse over time.

7. How PerfOps is revolutionizing performance at Marks & Spencer [VIDEO]

Have you been tasked with fixing performance from the ground up, but given zero direction on how to actually do it? This video is for you. Andy Nielsen shares the journey of how M&S created a PerfOps framework and completely transformed its performance culture.

8. The nine traits of highly successful performance teams

Performance management is a team sport. (Are you sensing a theme in this post?) Dave Murphy describes the three most common types of performance teams — Reporters, Policemen, and Collaborators — and then explains why Reporters and Policemen are inevitably less successful, and why Collaborators are the biggest winners.

9. Front-end performance: The Dark Side

We tend to see all front-end performance optimizations as inherently good. But are they? For his Fronteers talk, Mathias Bynens covered a topic that doesn’t get talked about very much: security-sensitive contexts in which performance optimizations can actually be a bug, not a feature.

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

Analyzing, interpreting, visualizing, annotating and communicating performance test results is both a science and an art. Some pro tips from Eric Proegler.

Download free ebook: Time Is Money - The business value of web performance

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