But imagine you've got an advertising department that wants three different ad networks, a couple different managers that want to see stats from a couple different analytics platforms, and and the designer wants to load a font from fontsquirrel and another one from typekit and another one from google web fonts, and as a developer who wants to keep the site fast you have to fight them every single time they want to add something else that slows your site down. Having the same fight every time, with everybody else saying "oh, it's just one request. and this one is really critical" it's hard to keep fighting that fight.
It's a lot easier to say "i can't do that, it doesn't work in AMP". If you can find a better way to convince large organizations that page load speed is a valuable metric, and more important that whatever other resource they want to load today, I'd love to hear it. But from what i've seen, AMP is the only thing that's had any success in tackling this problem.
I've been fighting against adding additional tracking forever, but constantly get railroaded by marketing because "they're the ones that know how to make us profitable."
Fundamentally I hate what it means for the internet, but I finally have a little power to say "no we can't do that."
There is also a real herd effect. Many people will do whatever Matt Cutts tells them because they think it will be good for their SEO. Yeah right. Some of the people who are good at SEO either went to work for huge brands or quasi-competitors of Google (like about.com) that might have some ability to bring Google to anti-trust court; most of the others switched to paid advertising once they figured out that Google won't let you win at SEO.
Certainly people who write for Spamium (aka Tedium) are the ones who try herd-following methods of getting traffic and they tend to be impressed when they get 100 hits on their blog.
In SpeedCurve, for just around $8/mo per page/site you can set up daily synthetic checks for the business and its competitors, covering multiple profiles: mobile/3g, tablet/4g, desktop/fibre.
You can use both the metrics (Start Render, SpeedIndex, Hero Paint)  and the filmstrip videos to literally show them how they compare side-by-side  – this is super-powerful as it's so visual.
Disclaimer: I don't work for SpeedCurve, just a fan of the tool.
There are some great stats on bounce rate / abandonment on WPOStats: https://wpostats.com/
This is my favourite:
> 53% of visits to mobile sites are abandoned after 3 seconds according to research from Google's DoubleClick.
One thing to note, to those stakeholders who are aware of web traffic stats, is that if a site uses client-side analytics (e.g. Google Analytics) and it hasn't loaded the analytics script by the time the user abandons the site, they won't be tracked, so the bounces won't be affected – it'll be like they were never there.
So ultimately, bounce rates in analytics tools can typically be significantly worse than reported when web performance is poor.
were the filmstrips enough to convince them, or did your bosses want to see numbers/stats like how many were dropping off your site for each x-seconds of delay?
I've been fortunate to spend my career working at sane companies, but I've talked to so many people who were in situations where management wouldn't listen to their own staff, but then turned around and listened to (and implemented) the exact same recommendations when they were made by a consultant.
I know there are often valid reasons for this, and external validation can be important. But it sure must be frustrating as hell to see your company pay $25+k to receive a list of recommendations you already made.
Trusting subordinates who are incentivized to fudge the numbers is very difficult. Most people won't outright lie to their boss to get ahead, but they will make a bad business proposition look good to the point they genuinely believe it themselves. Leadership is hard.
That is mostly a problem if the people above the management are the same. For a sane company with good leadership, failures are a learning experience that makes you better.
In my experience it's next to impossible. We have a bunch of inefficient bloated legacy shit that barely works and we spend most of our time bug fixing. Yet we keep adding to it while hiring more and more people to fix the increasing amount of bugs.
How about customer-centric culture? One where UX is #1, and not out of sight?
> Your job is to show why both parties’ incentives are actually aligned, not opposed.
It's your job to do just that because of your vantage point i.e. you're able to see everything more broadly than anyone else. Understanding that all the stakeholders in your organization are doing something important that allows everyone to have a place to come to work to tomorrow is critical for you as the engineer.
It sounds very good on paper but it doesn't really work in practice because devs are generally not recognized as important decision makers in product design, despite said "broad vantage point".
From there, it's a rather thankless uphill battle of the "no good deed will go unpunished" variety. It's a very misaligned situation.
The need for metrics is another way of saying "I don't trust you", which may be understandable to a degree but stakeholders should also understand that not everything can be measured, and that measuring things in a manner that is both accurate and useful is very hard. I'm skeptical that metrics have more value than the word of a seasoned engineer on a project. We don't have very good results with measuring other vague things, why would software development be any different?
That's a rather odd statement to hear from a dev (or developer advocate) because I've always heard fellow engineers talk about how data is more important than opinion. Why is this an exception?
I think the UX is the most important thing, without it (i.e., a good one) there is no profit.
In 2018 bosses involved in web - directly or indirectly - should be well aware of this. At this point in time the web dev's job should not be to "fix" those above them. There's plenty else to do and keep up with qithout having to add risking their career to the list.
And few if any freelancers are going to speak up. Which is all the more reason the decision makers should understand the implications of their decisions.
That doesn't sound like it relieves you of maintaining a bogged down version of the site, it just means in addition to maintaining the bogged down version you have to now also maintain the amp version, and keep them consistent.
That's a rather a-historical way to describe that. The various cookie notifications used what was already common code to implement it since most people didn't want to spend much time on what they saw as a formality.
You're making nothing at all from 20-30% of your visitors, because they're blocking ads. If you're actually following the GDPR, then your average CPM for EU users has tanked because you can't track them and can't serve targeted ads without an explicit opt-in.
Your average revenue per page view is declining, so what do you do? More aggressive ad units and more of them. Popovers and interstitials aren't new, they're just becoming more widespread because many publishers are starting to get desperate. Your bounce rate will increase, users will eventually learn not to click your links, you'll push even more people to use ad blocking, but none of that matters right now because you've got revenue targets to hit.
If companies can't manage to offer their service without exploiting your data and have to blacklist Europe, that's a win to me.
Thankfully, I don't live in the EU because I would be super pissed about all the websites blocking me because the EU no longer wants to give me the option to trade some data for a free service and I expect it to get a LOT worse once they start actually enacting fines and every company realizes that that they have really been force opting in people to data collection so it is no longer profitable to serve the EU.
In my opinion, it would be far far better to force companies to offer a "fair price" paid service in exchange for not collecting data (I'm 100% for taking them to court if they misrepresent the value your data provides so they don't overprice it forcing people to choose the free option). That way, I can choose to keep getting my free service in exchange for data and you guys can pay to protect your privacy. Does this option sound reasonable to you?
Pretty much everything you stated here is completely wrong. GDPR states that personal information can only be collected on an opt-in basis. Your entire statement therefore is completely off.
Because it has to be freely opt-in you cannot just do an opt-out.
> In my opinion, it would be far far better to force companies to offer a "fair price" paid service in exchange for not collecting data
The GDPR doesn't force to use anything for free.
I said "use said service for data" which means all or nothing, no ability to use a service and selectively decline the exchange of data that makes the company you are exchanging with money.
> The GDPR doesn't force to use anything for free.
I didn't say anything about that. I just don't like that free online content like the la times is now blocking all of the EU because their business model is incompatible with GDPR and so I would prefer if the law still allowed EU users the choice to accept said business model, or use one that contributes revenue in proportion to the old one so their business model works while also satisfying your wants. Does that make sense/sound reasonable?
I think you should at least know the basics of the topic you're discussing before leaving nonsensical comments.
Everything you're saying is completely wrong.
> not even having the option to use said service for data
Companies are blocking all of the EU because of GDPR which is denying them the "option to use said service for data". Here is one list so far: https://gdprcasualties.com/
> Thankfully, I don't live in the EU because I would be super pissed about all the websites blocking me because the EU no longer wants to give me the option to trade some data for a free service and I expect it to get a LOT worse once they start actually enacting fines and every company realizes that that they have really been force opting in people to data collection so it is no longer profitable to serve the EU.
I don't know of a single company that now gives users to opt into each data collection so if they actually start throwing down huge fines (which I fully believe they will based on their history), I expect it to get a lot worse.
Assuming (correctly) that web sites are untrustworthy data collection bandits, why should they behave well only because a user proved their submission (and their gullibility) by paying them?
Didn't know what that was until you said it and still not sure how it applies.
> Assuming (correctly) that web sites are untrustworthy data collection bandits, why should they behave well only because a user proved their submission (and their gullibility) by paying them?
I think you are misunderstanding me. I love everything about GDPR except 1 thing and that thing is not allowing companies to tie providing their service in exchange for data so that they can make money because it denies people the CHOICE (key word here) of using said option.
I proposed an option (just pay for the lost revenue the company no longer makes) so that everyone still gets the option to use current revenue models, pro privacy people can pay their fare share for the service, and companies don't blacklist all of the EU for what a portion of the people want. What does not sound fair about that?
I'm curious, how do you propose to fund the web? Should every site now have paywalls?
You cannot do that not because of the EU but because of basic logic.
Yes...do all the same things but without requiring Google proxy it. There are several things orgs will do to optimize SEO, conforming to AMP rules can be another. Gaming SEO is a concern for all SEO requirements so surely that's a poor excuse for proxying.
EDIT: But it did give me an idea on how to tell websites you aren't happy with something: https://github.com/cretz/software-ideas/issues/91
I hate needlessly heavy sites. I just avoid them. I'm also it a fan of AMP. I especially hate the URL is wrong and trying to share the correct URL is tedious
There's a certain "theory of the firm" that says corporations exist because they reduce the overhead cost of operating certain enterprises.
Things like this -- along with the also oft-seen need to hire consultants to tell some people in your company to do what other people in your company already know needs to be done -- make me wonder if the limits of that theory are well understood.
And then the engineer could point at validator results.
Have google results punish fat pages. Then we can say "I can do that, but you have to sign this the declaration accepting responsibility for our page hits tanking".