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Issue № 371

Improving UX Through Front-End Performance

by Lara Hogan · 31 Comments

Adding half a second to a search results page can decrease traffic and ad revenues by 20 percent, says a Google study. For every additional 100 milliseconds of load time, sales decrease by 1 percent, Amazon finds. Users expect pages to load in two seconds—and after three seconds, up to 40 percent will simply leave. The message is clear: we must make performance optimization a fundamental part of how we design, build, and test every site we create—for every device. Design for performance; measure the results.

The Era of Symbol Fonts

by Brian Suda · 43 Comments

Welcome to the third epoch in web performance optimization: symbol fonts. Everything from bullets and arrows to feed and social media icons can now be bundled into a single, tiny font file that can be cached and rendered at various sizes without needing multiple images or colors. This has the same caching and file size benefits as a CSS sprite, plus additional benefits we’re only now realizing with high-resolution displays. Discover the advantages and explore the challenges you’ll encounter when using a symbol font.

More from A List Apart

Columnists

Lyza Danger Gardner on Building the Web Everywhere

Mentorship for the Novice Expert

We’re short on mountaintops where we can find mentors, but the good news is mentors are actually just people like you and me who keep at it. They work at listening, ask people how they prefer to learn, make time to meet. Lyza Gardner talks about her early-morning motocycle practice, and how she loves gradually building her mentoring muscle by overcoming the embarrassment of being a beginner and just doing it.

From the Blog

We (Still) Have Work to Do

One year ago today, we wrote “we have work to do,” and we said we were making the web industry’s diversity problem our problem. We’re far from fixing everything at ALA, but from our editing processes to our recruitment to our messaging, we’ve been pushing ourselves to prioritize inclusivity. Editor-in-chief Sara Wachter-Boettcher discusses what we’ve been working on, where we can do better, and why it’s important to share our challenges.