|By Henrik Rexed||
|May 27, 2014 08:15 AM EDT||
Today, more than ever, end user experience is at the forefront of every CTO and CMO's mind as more statistics show websites and applications are easily abandoned if users are not satisfied with their experience. But what makes a good experience?
First we need to ask ourselves what is end-user experience? Years ago, end-user experience referred to how "sticky" an application was: how easy was it to use, how engaging was it, and how relevant was it to what users were doing. This approach is still relevant today but new technology has changed what we understand as "end-user experience."
Today one single website could be:
- Pointing to 20 or 30 third-party websites
- Using the latest AJAX framework
- Dynamically streaming media content
This means the complexity of the web application can greatly affect the global end-user experience by slowing down response time drastically. Steve Souders, Chief Performance Officer at Fastly, says that 80% of performance problems are linked to browser rendering.
Normally, if you have tested the application then Souders's statement is true. However, I don't fully agree. It is only true if you have tested in the proper environment. Tunings, load testing activity needs to be achieved on the application to remove all "back-end" performance issues. Years ago, single page websites were quite simple and the connection was slow; they weren't as interactive, but that's what the users expected. Today websites have more complex technology that affects the performance and in turn, the end-user experience.
How do you create a great end-user experience? And how do you go about measuring it?
Change the Way People Experience Waiting
In order to create an excellent end-user experience you have to start thinking of the way people experience waiting. For example, in general people hate waiting in lines at the supermarket because they're long and you typically stand there for a while. Now look at Disneyland. The theme park has changed how you have experienced waiting in line by moving you through circles or a maze. You are still waiting but experiencing the phenomenon differently, thus you are a little more content standing in line. Disneyland literally has changed the way the end user experiences waiting in line.
Apply Disneyland's logic to websites. Companies spend a lot of money on increasing the performance of their website, but there is still a waiting period people experience for a page to load, which can affect a user's experience. If a person visits a website and there is no information on their screen, it's highly likely they will visit a competitor's website for information. On the other hand, if a person sees information on their screen like an icon or a "processing your request" message pop up as they wait, the user is less agitated waiting because they see information on their screen thus changing the way they experience waiting.
Measuring End User Experience Accurately
It's important to first understand that end-user experience will ultimately affect the business's brand. If you want to guarantee an excellent end-user experience, you need to make sure the end-user experience risk is being handled properly by knowing your download and rendering times. For example, a risk could be if website performance is poor, I will lose a certain amount of revenue. If you do not think of these risks upfront, then your end-user experience can suffer.
There are two different ways to measure end-user experience. The first is to generate a test through your load testing tool and add browser rendering tools that will emulate the end-user experience so you can then record the results. But this is still an estimation; end-user experience depends on a lot of factors like user hardware, location, bandwidth, etc. There is a big chance the load may affect browser rendering, but it really depends on how the website was designed.
The second approach is to utilize real-user monitoring tools (RUM tools), which essentially looks at how the actual user accesses the application, regardless if it's through a mobile device or desktop. You will then be able to see on your dashboards where the bottlenecks form and why the page takes a while to render.
Keep Your Users in Mind
In order to create excellent end user experience you need to blend great performance metrics with an understanding of your users. It only takes one bad experience to make a customer leave, so don't let it happen to your business. If you have questions about testing your end user experience contact our performance experts at Neotys.
This month I want to revisit supporting infrastructure and datacenter environments. I have touched (some would say rant) upon this topic since my post in April 2014 called "Take a Holistic View of Support". My thoughts and views on this topic have not changed at all: it's critical for any organization to have a holistic, comprehensive strategy and view of how they support their IT infrastructure and datacenter environments. In fact, I believe it's even more critical today then it was a year ago ...
Mar. 30, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 454
Modern Systems announced completion of a successful project with its new Rapid Program Modernization (eavRPMa"c) software. The eavRPMa"c technology architecturally transforms legacy applications, enabling faster feature development and reducing time-to-market for critical software updates. Working with Modern Systems, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) leveraged eavRPMa"c to transform its Student Information System from Software AG's Natural syntax to a modern application lev...
Mar. 30, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,031
As a group of concepts, DevOps has converged on several prominent themes including continuous software delivery, automation, and configuration management (CM). These integral pieces often form the pillars of an organization’s DevOps efforts, even as other bigger pieces like overarching best practices and guidelines are still being tried and tested. Being that DevOps is a relatively new paradigm - movement - methodology - [insert your own label here], standards around it have yet to be codified a...
Mar. 30, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 553
When it comes to microservices there are myths and uncertainty about the journey ahead. Deploying a “Hello World” app on Docker is a long way from making microservices work in real enterprises with large applications, complex environments and existing organizational structures. February 19, 2015 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET → 45 Minutes Join our four experts: Special host Gene Kim, Gary Gruver, Randy Shoup and XebiaLabs’ Andrew Phillips as they explore the realities of microservices in today’s IT worl...
Mar. 30, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,846
Hosted PaaS providers have given independent developers and startups huge advantages in efficiency and reduced time-to-market over their more process-bound counterparts in enterprises. Software frameworks are now available that allow enterprise IT departments to provide these same advantages for developers in their own organization. In his workshop session at DevOps Summit, Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager, will show how on-prem or cloud-hosted Private PaaS can enable organ...
Mar. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,312
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on T...
Mar. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,483
It's 2:15pm on a Friday, and I'm sitting in the keynote hall at PyCon 2013 fidgeting through a succession of lightning talks that have very little relevance to my life. Topics like "Python code coverage techniques" (ho-hum) and "Controlling Christmas lights with Python” (yawn - I wonder if there's anything new on Hacker News)...when Solomon Hykes takes the stage, unveils Docker, and the world shifts. If you haven't seen it yet, you should watch the video of Solomon's Pycon The Future of Linux C...
Mar. 30, 2015 11:27 AM EDT Reads: 205
OmniTI has expanded its services to help customers automate their processes to deliver high quality applications to market faster. Consistent with its focus on IT agility and quality, OmniTI operates under DevOps principles, exploring the flow of value through the IT delivery process, identifying opportunities to eliminate waste, realign misaligned incentives, and open bottlenecks. OmniTI takes a unique, value-centric approach by plotting each opportunity in an effort-payoff quadrant, then work...
Mar. 30, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 936
For those of us that have been practicing SOA for over a decade, it's surprising that there's so much interest in microservices. In fairness microservices don't look like the vendor play that was early SOA in the early noughties. But experienced SOA practitioners everywhere will be wondering if microservices is actually a good thing. You see microservices is basically an SOA pattern that inherits all the well-known SOA principles and adds characteristics that address the use of SOA for distribut...
Mar. 30, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,074
Microservice architectures are the new hotness, even though they aren't really all that different (in principle) from the paradigm described by SOA (which is dead, or not dead, depending on whom you ask). One of the things this decompositional approach to application architecture does is encourage developers and operations (some might even say DevOps) to re-evaluate scaling strategies. In particular, the notion is forwarded that an application should be built to scale and then infrastructure sho...
Mar. 30, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,503
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Ras...
Mar. 30, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,136
Microservices are the result of decomposing applications. That may sound a lot like SOA, but SOA was based on an object-oriented (noun) premise; that is, services were built around an object - like a customer - with all the necessary operations (functions) that go along with it. SOA was also founded on a variety of standards (most of them coming out of OASIS) like SOAP, WSDL, XML and UDDI. Microservices have no standards (at least none deriving from a standards body or organization) and can be b...
Mar. 30, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,205
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx. When we build services we want them to be lightweight, stateless and scalable while doing one thing really well. In today's cloud world, we're revisiting what to takes to make a good service in the first place. Listen in to learn why following "the book" doesn't necessarily mean that you're solving key business problems.
Mar. 30, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,321
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
Mar. 30, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,163
Microservices, for the uninitiated, are essentially the decomposition of applications into multiple services. This decomposition is often based on functional lines, with related functions being grouped together into a service. While this may sound a like SOA, it really isn't, especially given that SOA was an object-centered methodology that focused on creating services around "nouns" like customer and product. Microservices, while certainly capable of being noun-based, are just as likely to be v...
Mar. 30, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,915
SYS-CON Events announced today the DevOps Foundation Certification Course, being held June ?, 2015, in conjunction with DevOps Summit and 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. This sixteen (16) hour course provides an introduction to DevOps – the cultural and professional movement that stresses communication, collaboration, integration and automation in order to improve the flow of work between software developers and IT operations professionals. Improved workflows will res...
Mar. 30, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,698
Even though it’s now Microservices Journal, long-time fans of SOA World Magazine can take comfort in the fact that the URL – soa.sys-con.com – remains unchanged. And that’s no mistake, as microservices are really nothing more than a new and improved take on the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices we struggled to hammer out over the last decade. Skeptics, however, might say that this change is nothing more than an exercise in buzzword-hopping. SOA is passé, and now that people are ...
Mar. 30, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,316
You hear the terms “subscription economy” and “subscription commerce” all the time. And with good reason. Subscription-based monetization is transforming business as we know it. But what about usage? Where’s the “consumption economy”? Turns out, it’s all around us. When most people think of usage-based billing, the example that probably comes to mind first is metered public utilities — water, gas and electric. Phone services, especially mobile, might come next. Then maybe taxis. And that’s ab...
Mar. 30, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 542
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch ...
Mar. 30, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,245
An explosive combination of technology trends will be where ‘microservices’ and the IoT Internet of Things intersect, a concept we can describe by comparing it with a previous theme, the ‘X Internet.' The idea of using small self-contained application components has been popular since XML Web services began and a distributed computing future of smart fridges and kettles was imagined long back in the early Internet years.
Mar. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,206