The Total User Experience

“First page load time builds trust in your website.” — Lara Hogan

Animated webpage loading
Published: 6.11.2015

I had the opportunity to attend the GenerateNYC conference this spring. I'll be doing a series of posts on the amazing design insight I took away. Read my previous posts below:

Play With Your Designs
Atomic Design
Maintaining Sanity
Hard Work Up-Front Pays Off in the End

Designers often get caught up in a site’s architecture, navigation, layout, design and everything that makes a website beautiful—which are all vitally important, but render useless when your site takes 15 seconds to load and your users leave before they can even begin to appreciate your hard work.

Performance + Beauty = Overall User Experience

Research shows that users expect a 2 second load time and, after 3 seconds, 40% will leave and move on to another site. Hearing that statistic was shocking, then I realized: I’m guilty of it. We live in such a fast-paced, instantly gratifying world that one second can make or break it.

“Good performance is good design.” — Brad Frost

Thus, it’s important to optimize for performance every step of the way: using appropriate image file types, streamlining font usage, cleaning up semantics, optimizing for mobile, etc…

At Sanger & Eby, we keep user experience at top of mind when building our sites. Our design and development teams work closely throughout the process—from sitemaps to launch—to ensure that we’re creating the best overall user experience.

Sitting next to one another (I have two designers, four developers and one strategist all within a 12-foot radius of me) keeps this process organic. There isn’t a hard line in handing a project over from design to development; it’s a continuous ebb and flow. I could go on and on about the value that brings to our clients, but I’ll get back to the topic at hand.

The perspective each team brings is vital to finding the best solution—What does the user want to do on the page? How does this translate to mobile? How many images need to load here? Can we get this file size down without losing quality? Which file type works best in this situation? These are all questions that are asked continuously throughout the project.

We’re constantly finding ways to better our user experience; from load times to beauty to structure—we’re always searching for a better answer.

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