Once you've designed it and built it, what happens next? People start to use it. One of the most important aspects of their experience is going to be performance. Especially with the explosive popularity of mobile devices, often with unreliable internet connections. If website are slow to load, and slow to respond, they quickly become frustrating. Luckily, simple design can help.
Maciej Cegłowski shares his secret recipe to good performance, and it's not surprising that it's a simple one:
I want to share with you my simple two-step secret to improving the performance of any website. 1) Make sure that the most important elements of the page download and render first. 2) Stop there. You don't need all that other crap. Have courage in your minimalism.
Continuing the funny trend, "This is a motherfucking website" challenges us to consider just what we need to be including in our websites, and makes clear the problems with doing too much when it comes to performance, among other things.
You think your 13 megabyte parallax-ative home page is going to get you some fucking Awwward banner you can glue to the top corner of your site. You think your 40-pound jQuery file and 83 polyfills give IE7 a boner because it finally has box-shadow. Wrong, motherfucker. Let me describe your perfect-ass website: Shit's lightweight and loads fast. Fits on all your shitty screens. Looks the same in all your shitty browsers. The motherfucker's accessible to every asshole that visits your site. Shit's legible and gets your fucking point across (if you had one instead of just 5mb pics of hipsters drinking coffee)
One of the most publicised pushes for performance on the web came from Google, in the form of the AMP project. It's a shame that Google used the project as a way to keep people attached to Google, even if it's not a surprise. The idea was sound, even if the execution was off: Encourage creators to make their websites more lightweight.
Part of the problem with the project was Google's attempt to brand good performance. The truth, as Tim Kadlec points out, is that anyone can get the same great performance if they follow a timeless method that's the backbone of the AMP approach: Include less stuff.
[Google] AMP's biggest advantage isn't the library—you can beat that on your own. It isn't the AMP cache—you can get many of those optimizations through a good build script, and all of them through a decent CDN provider ... AMP's biggest advantage is the restrictions it draws on how much stuff you can cram into a single page.
Good performance really comes down to speed: How long something takes. There are many ways to save the user time, and John Maeda argues that even if you do nothing else, saving the user time will make your design feel more simple.
Accessible → ← Commercially valuable Back to the table of contents
When forced to wait, life seems unnecessarily complex. Savings in time feel like simplicity. And we are thankfully loyal when it happens, which is rare ... When time is saved—or appears to have been—the complex feels simpler.