Lightning fast UX: faking performance when there’s no code left to optimize

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Making sites fast is in one thing, but sometimes you can optimise all the code you want, the experience will still be perceived as too slow. In this talk on perceived performance, I explain how to enhance user perception of speed in websites and mobile apps once you’ve already optimized every line of code.

Here is the description of the talk:

“You have optimized every line of code of your site or mobile app and used all the techniques at your disposal to have the fastest loading time possible. But you don’t have Instagram or Pinterest’s budget, right? Let’s talk about perceived performance and influencing the users’ perception of speed!
Stéphanie Walter will take a look at a few projects she worked on to show us how to use various design and UX techniques to improve web performance also at the level of user perception.”

I start the talk with a little introduction on how our brain works and on how humans perceive speed. The I give some visual UI tips to make waiting time more tolerable between 0 and 10 seconds: loaders, smart animations, micro-interactions, progress bars etc. I also explain the concepts of optimistic UIs, skeleton screens, distracting users from the wait time.

During the whole talk, I use examples of real projects I’ve worked on. I also give advice on how to build and communicate performance techniques between the design and development teams. Because you don’t need the budget of Instagram or Pinterest to build great interfaces, as long as you have some great team work.

The talk ends up with a part on slowing down, because sometimes, speed is not the answer. On some interfaces like security related interfaces for instance, being perceived as fast might even be something bad in the eyes of the user.

The slides

Slides are available on Speakerdeck and here

See the slides on Speakerdeck

Videos of this talk

The talk was recorded Voxxed Days Thessaloniki and you can watch it here:

A previous version of the talk was also recorded at Smashing Conf Barcelona