Performance-Based Web Design
Performance-based web design places page speed and usability as one of the highest priorities when approaching a new website design and implementation strategy. Yes, beautiful, modern, web design is important, but in today's world, nearly half or more of your website traffic will experience your website from a mobile device.
Large, massive images on your homepage are beautiful, but they can create performance problems and detrimental page load issues for users. This is where a balance between design elements and implementation techniques can collide. What good is a large, massive image if nearly half of your potential users can't even load it? It's no good.
Google has said that page speed is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. In addition, a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their crawl 'budget', and this could negatively affect your indexation.
Quality in Implementation
Implementation is when a design gets implemented for the web application software (eg. WordPress, Shopify, Magento, etc.). Depending on how you interact with your web designer, they may design your website in a static program such as Photoshop, then implement the website on a platform such as WordPress. This is where things get lost in translation. If your developer is speeding through implementation, or not quite aware of best practices, there's always potential for creating less-than-ideal site performance.
The fact of the matter is - sometimes, its really hard to talk clients out of design trends they're married to - even if it negatively effects page speed.
Building a website is much like building a house. Definitely less stressful than home building, but similar in some ways. Quality of the foundation matters, little things like hurricane straps and higher grade insulation can make a huge difference over time, but don't necessarily lend to the overall aesthetic value of the home. The same goes for website implementation - how it gets implemented will have an effect on how efficient it is and if it can stand the test of time.
Designing for Mobile Devices First
At Artefactor, we skip the static design process. Photoshop is for image editing and enhancements, not designing websites. Don't get me wrong, we love Photoshop for editing and enhancing images, but we also recognize its not the right tool for the job. Instead, we design in-browser, and in-application. The code is our canvas, and the web application is our foundation for your project. This creates a much more malleable design process, and one that enables us to design for mobile while also designing for desktop users at the same time. We design with performance in mind, and for mobile users first and foremost. We also don't deliver mockups, we deliver staged designs in the application of your project.
We believe that static mockups do not give an accurate picture of a site design, and can create massive scope creep due to the complexity of web design today.
Is Your Website Built and Designed for Performance?
The fastest and easiest way to find this out is to test your site through the Google mobile page performance tester found here. This test will indicate if you need to make some implementation changes to improve page speed. One indicator that your site will be tested for is if your website uses Google Accelerated Mobile Pages or Google 'AMP' for short. Google AMP pages were first implemented for news articles and content. Have you ever noticed that pages on Google News load impressively fast on your phone? Its most likely the result of Google AMP page availability from popular news outlets.
Google AMP + Progressive Web Application Implementation
AMP pages deliver pages almost in an instant for users browsing content on the mobile web, which is hugely important on limited or slow networks. Progressive Web Apps deliver reliable performance for re-visits to sites and allows unprecedented engagement via push notifications and add to home screen.
AMP gets content in front of users fast – Progressive web applications enable rich experiences and engagement.
We can help get you started with implementing Google AMP pages and progressive web application - especially if you plan on blogging and generating traffic to your website through content marketing. The faster your site is, the more people will get to experience it. It's well worth it to make sure your site is implemented to be seen from mobile devices. If it isn't, we can help! Get in touch with us, and we'll help you get your site tuned.