Collected thoughts about software and site performance ...

Web performance matters. Responsive sites can make the online experience effective, even enjoyable. A slow site can be unusable. This site is about online performance, how to achieve and maintain it, its impact on user experience, and ultimately on site effectiveness.

Home | Entries about About this site (8), in reverse date order:

Why Technorati is Not Usable

Illustration: Four dimensions of usability

I was going to write about performance and availability today, but this was not the post I had in mind. Technorati sidetracked me. So I'm going to write about Usability instead. Because Technorati provides a good counter-example -- how not to build a usable Web application that satisfies and retains customers.

In Web Usability: A Simple Framework, I described a way to think about Web site or Web application usability.

In a second post, The Dimensions of Usability, I presented the graphic shown here, and discussed the four dimensions in a bit more detail.

These four dimensions are not alternative functional goals, to be weighed against one another and prioritized. Web application effectiveness is a four-step challenge:

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Human Factors and Blog Design

The best products are designed with Human Factors in mind. That's why I often write about Web design and usability in my Web Performance Matters blog.

Jeff Atwood recently published Thirteen Blog Clich├ęs, a post summarizing his "opinions about what makes blogs work well, and what makes blogs sometimes not work so well." These are presented as a list of common mistakes to avoid (or anti-patterns). If you have a blog, or are designing one, you've probably read similar articles before. Even so, Jeff's checklist is worth a look. All such lists tend to contain a core set of common guidelines to follow and/or pitfalls to avoid, but some of Jeff's opinions step outside the conventional wisdom.

Because I maintain two blogs -- Web Performance Matters and UpRight Matters -- I decided to rate both blogs against Jeff's criteria. Here are edited versions of his recommendations, and my responses. To read Jeff's full discussions of each guideline, see the original. And for the full story, see the many responses posted by Jeff's readers in the comments section of his blog.

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Posted on Saturday, September 22, 2007 at 12:30AM by Registered CommenterChris Loosley in , | CommentsPost a Comment

Taming the Technorati Monster

Illustration: Wrenches

Most bloggers, especially those who work in high tech, want to like Technorati. Its mission (and even its name) appeals to our vanity. When Technorati launched in November 2002, that mission was simple and easy to understand. By tracking links among blogs, and finding the most popular, it would determine which blogs were the most authoritative.

Over the years, that mission expanded from simply tracking the 100 most popular blogs to include periodic reports on the state of the blogosphere.

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Posted on Tuesday, June 5, 2007 at 05:40PM by Registered CommenterChris Loosley in , | Comments8 Comments

Recommended Reading

Illustration: Keyboard

As a technical writer, my aim is not to publish a stream of original thoughts, but to sift, understand, highlight, explain, connect, and amplify the thoughts of others. So I'm always scouring the Web for good raw material.

Today I have added a new Recommendations page to the site. You'll find it listed in the sidebar, in the "related sites" section, just above the blogroll.

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Customizing the Technorati Tag Cloud

Illustration: Wrenches

Most blog readers have now seen Tag Clouds. Technorati recently introduced a new widget that displays ... "your top tags with the Blog Top Tags in a beautiful cloud formation".

The trouble is, blogs come in all shapes and colors. So the size, shape, and colors of Technorati's standard tag cloud widget may neither look good, nor fit well, where you would like to display it in your blog's layout.

What can you do about that?

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Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 03:00PM by Registered CommenterChris Loosley in , | Comments6 Comments

A Web Performance Blogroll

Illustration: Wrenches

More site maintenance: I've added a blogroll section to the sidebar. It will not list every blog I might read, just those that may include posts related to Web performance.

Today [May 21, 2007] it contains links to the following blogs:

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Posted on Sunday, May 20, 2007 at 11:40AM by Registered CommenterChris Loosley in , | Comments3 Comments

Indexing Improvements

Illustration: Wrenches

I've recently revised some details of the site's structure and layout, mainly to improve navigation and content findability.

Here's a rundown of the main changes:

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Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 at 03:50PM by Registered CommenterChris Loosley in | CommentsPost a Comment

Content Migration and Overhaul

Illustration: Wrenches

As I explain on my Author and Objectives page, this journal began life as Performance Matters on Google's Blogger platform. Now I've got my own domain, I'm going to discontinue publishing on the Blogger site. So to form the foundation of the new platform, I'm copying across all the old posts. In the process, I'm making a few changes ...

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Posted on Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 06:30PM by Registered CommenterChris Loosley in | CommentsPost a Comment