Welcome!

.NET Authors: Elizabeth White, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Sematext Blog, ITinvolve Blog, Aditya Banerjee

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Java, .NET, Linux, Web 2.0, Security

SOA & WOA: Article

Why End-User Experience Is Important

Blending great performance metrics with an understanding of your users

Today, more than ever, end user experience is at the forefront of every CTO and CMO's mind as more statistics show websites and applications are easily abandoned if users are not satisfied with their experience. But what makes a good experience?

First we need to ask ourselves what is end-user experience? Years ago, end-user experience referred to how "sticky" an application was: how easy was it to use, how engaging was it, and how relevant was it to what users were doing. This approach is still relevant today but new technology has changed what we understand as "end-user experience."

Today one single website could be:

  • Pointing to 20 or 30 third-party websites
  • Using the latest AJAX framework
  • Dynamically streaming media content

This means the complexity of the web application can greatly affect the global end-user experience by slowing down response time drastically. Steve Souders, Chief Performance Officer at Fastly, says that 80% of performance problems are linked to browser rendering.

Normally, if you have tested the application then Souders's statement is true. However, I don't fully agree. It is only true if you have tested in the proper environment. Tunings, load testing activity needs to be achieved on the application to remove all "back-end" performance issues. Years ago, single page websites were quite simple and the connection was slow; they weren't as interactive, but that's what the users expected. Today websites have more complex technology that affects the performance and in turn, the end-user experience.

How do you create a great end-user experience? And how do you go about measuring it?

Change the Way People Experience Waiting
In order to create an excellent end-user experience you have to start thinking of the way people experience waiting. For example, in general people hate waiting in lines at the supermarket because they're long and you typically stand there for a while. Now look at Disneyland. The theme park has changed how you have experienced waiting in line by moving you through circles or a maze. You are still waiting but experiencing the phenomenon differently, thus you are a little more content standing in line. Disneyland literally has changed the way the end user experiences waiting in line.

Apply Disneyland's logic to websites. Companies spend a lot of money on increasing the performance of their website, but there is still a waiting period people experience for a page to load, which can affect a user's experience. If a person visits a website and there is no information on their screen, it's highly likely they will visit a competitor's website for information. On the other hand, if a person sees information on their screen like an icon or a "processing your request" message pop up as they wait, the user is less agitated waiting because they see information on their screen thus changing the way they experience waiting.

Measuring End User Experience Accurately
It's important to first understand that end-user experience will ultimately affect the business's brand. If you want to guarantee an excellent end-user experience, you need to make sure the end-user experience risk is being handled properly by knowing your download and rendering times. For example, a risk could be if website performance is poor, I will lose a certain amount of revenue. If you do not think of these risks upfront, then your end-user experience can suffer.

There are two different ways to measure end-user experience. The first is to generate a test through your load testing tool and add browser rendering tools that will emulate the end-user experience so you can then record the results. But this is still an estimation; end-user experience depends on a lot of factors like user hardware, location, bandwidth, etc. There is a big chance the load may affect browser rendering, but it really depends on how the website was designed.

The second approach is to utilize real-user monitoring tools (RUM tools), which essentially looks at how the actual user accesses the application, regardless if it's through a mobile device or desktop. You will then be able to see on your dashboards where the bottlenecks form and why the page takes a while to render.

Keep Your Users in Mind
In order to create excellent end user experience you need to blend great performance metrics with an understanding of your users. It only takes one bad experience to make a customer leave, so don't let it happen to your business. If you have questions about testing your end user experience contact our performance experts at Neotys.

More Stories By Henrik Rexed

Henrik Rexed is a Performance Specialist at Neotys. He has been orchestrating and conducting performance tests for over 10 years, delivering projects in all contexts including extremely large Cloud testing on the most demanding business areas such as trading applications, video on demand (adaptive streaming), sports websites, etc.

Prior to Neotys, Henrik worked as .NET architect for Logica and Performance testing expert on large accounts in a variety of industries including insurance, automotive, retail and energy. Amongst the numerous initiatives he worked on, Henrik has built the performance Center of Excellence (CoE) handling load testing of all the European branches of a major French insurance company.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP and chief architect at BSQUARE Corporation; Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc.; and Andris Gailitis, C...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the technology industry and how do they see opportunities for other women in their area of expertise.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...