Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! While you're still sipping your Guinness and chewing on your shamrocks, everything seems to be new and shiny at Google: As announced today in their new Google Chrome blog, Google has released their new beta of Chrome.
Did Google Chrome Just Get Even Faster?
Have I mentioned speed yet? As if (ooooold stable version of) Chrome wasn't fast enough, the neeeeew beta promised 25% to 35% in speed enhancements according to their V8 and Sunspider benchmarks. Ask your typical user to see why speed matters 😉
Which Browser do you use?
Are you still on Internet Explorer? Don't tell me IE6 - I'd have to creep through your monitor and strangle somebody... Firefox? Chrome? What are your experiences?
Keep this picture in mind
After years of research looking for the typical end user I was finally successful. Hidden behind server log statistics, persona definitions, target audience screenings, user testing sessions and best effort anticipations on how the target customer will look like I was able to capture the Santa Claus of web design, the Deep Throat of e-commerce, the Mr. X of usability.
Regardless on how your marketing department defines the target customer or how your user research crafts the persona(s), you should always keep this picture in mind!
Your Users (customers) are:
Users hate to wait. Long loading times, flash intros, videos or audios that start dangling away automatically will drive them nuts. Blinking advertisements and popup windows will only add to their hatred.
Give them a nice and clean interface that outline important customer care words with high information scent. Speed matters!
I dare to imagine how users talk when something goes wrong not to mention the absence of adequate error messages or hints and help to recover.
Avoid sources of error and offer useful hints on how to recover in the case of problems.
Users don't read, they scan. Users don't want to wade through the bun to get to the meat. They are not willing to spend time and effort to sign up for something before they know what it is. They are not willing to pay for something that is free somewhere else.
Give users what they want in a reasonable way.
In a hurry
Users are specialists in judging a site within seconds of arriving there. Is it relevant to their goal? Is there anything else they might find interesting? Last call...
Translate the first impressions into meaningful interactions.
Your users will never tell you that your page sucks and they will never complain that they couldn't find what they were looking for. They will simply leave and never come back!
You better get your top task right 😉
Remember the Grinch
Don't be fooled by the nice users during your user testing sessions, they would hate to hurt your feelings by cussing away about your useless system. They'd rather blame themselves, try to cope and manage the pain and save their mental outbreak for the pub at night.
What are your experiences with the Grinch of web design?
It's clear that speed matters to the users. Page visitors are impatient and nasty, they expect the page to load fast, Google-fast. Peter Da Vanzo from seobook.com suggests that this constant threat of loosing users even justifies to sacrifice graphics and features in lieu of speed.
Yesterday Amazon released their new service called CloudFront which is aimed to enhance network performance (lower latency) through a network of edge location around the world.
Pricing is on a per-per-use basis without minimum fees and might be a really good hosting solution for companies with an international audience who care about their users.
John Resig and his team from jQuery reported large improvements where latency has shrunk to a quarter of the usual times.
Send me your experiences and thoughts!