|Website Workshop: Usability|
Speed: Download times must be short!
This depends mostly on the efficiency of the code.
Most pages have been optimized for V6 as much as possible. The new navigation bar simplifies the code quite a bit, as does the removal of large spaces between code in the developed page, removal of unnecessary tables, and the like. Making a page download faster sometimes takes many steps. You just keep chipping away at slowness here and inefficiency there, and at the end it makes a big difference.
The big remaining problem lies in the grids. These have not been optimized, and they are horribly inefficient at present. If the engineers can make the grid structure more efficient, then download times will be a fraction of their current length. I have already proved in the HTML Coding section that a page that currently takes 40 seconds to load can be pared down to a 5 second download time just by cleaning up the code structure. This is not theoretical, it is a proven fact.
But this page is not about the code specifics. This page is about making the entire web team realize how important it is to reduce download times for users." Even on a T1 line some pages take 40 seconds to load. Commonly used pages, like the Address Book, the Event Design Page, and others. Users must return to these over and over again. Forty seconds is absolutely unacceptable.
The seeUthere goal should be for every page to load on Netscape in ten seconds or faster. Think about your users on Netscape, on a modem. If they are trying to design an event page, they have to continuously return to a page that takes almost a minute to download each time. If I can change the page so that it loads in Netscape in five seconds, then ten seconds is not too tall an order.
Your users will thank you. You competition will have one less weapon in their arsenal against you. Everyone will be happier. So let's make fixing the grids a priority.
Next Topic: Site Structure