We just released version 5.2 of OpenSpeedMonitor. The latest version introduces Performance Aspects as a new layer of abstraction on top of concrete performance metrics (like doc complete, speed index or first consistently interactive for example). While analysing Web Performance we shouldn't focus on single technical metrics anymore. Performance is part of user experience and we should take the perspective of our users when analysing our applications.
As Philip Walton described in his brilliant article about user-centric performance metrics perceived performance is a continuous process - in his words "it's an experience that no one metric can fully capture". We should focus on the moments in the users experience that affects most whether they perceive our site as fast or not. We added three of these important moments as pre-defined Performance Aspects with the new release of OpenSpeedMonitor:
- Is it happening?
The moment the user gets the first visual feedback after interacting with the site.
- Is it useful?
Enough of the content the user is interested in is rendered to the screen, so he may engage with it.
- Is it usable?
The moment users can interact with the page. The main browser thread shouldn't be blocked loading the pages content anymore.
Our experiences in performance measurement and analysis show that even for these moments one single metric never fits for all pages or even for the same page on different devices. We have to use different metrics for each page and device to get the clue on the performance of our applications. Choosing the right metrics for is it happening?, is it useful? and is it usable? is a time-consuming process involving investigation of many different timeframes and waterfalls for different pages and devices. To simplify this important step of performance analysis we implemented a new OSM view supporting with timeframes aligned by selected metrics.
You may try the new metric-finder view in demo version of OpenSpeedMonitor. Once the right metric is found you may save it for selected page and browser/device for later usage on avaluation dashboards.
At the moment Performance Aspects are shown on application dashboard for each page of your application. The values for all measurements of the potentially different metrics choosen for different devices are averaged.
In upcoming releases Performance Aspects will be supported in all evaluation dashboards of OpenSpeedMonitor like all the concrete performance metrics. Stay tuned!