We were recently notified by a client that when he visited his department site from China, the site would take a very long time to load. Everything seemed fine on first inspection, so we tested the site using WebPageTest with the Beijing, China (Firefox) location. After waiting in a fairly long queue, one glance at the waterfall made the issue clear.
Google is pushing some “core updates” which they describe as “significant, broad changes to our search algorithms and systems”. Their advice to users should their site drop in rankings?
Focus on content
…pages that drop after a core update don’t have anything wrong to fix. This said, we understand those who do less well after a core update change may still feel they need to do something. We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.
Be sure to check out the full post for additional advice.
@xeenon covers the basics of supporting system-wide Dark Mode in Safari on iOS and macOS.
@dethbakin introduces the latest Safari iOS changes for web developers and evangelizes using RWD for all platforms.
Web specific content starts at 18:30.
“I want to convince you that you don’t need to know your content is on an iPad, you just need to use feature detection”
This is big news—it means developers now have more control over Google Fonts web font loading behavior. We can enforce instant rendering of fallback text (when using font-display: swap) rather than relying on the browser default behavior of invisible text for up to 3 seconds while the web font request is in-flight.
Zach Leatherman breaks down the basics of Google Fonts recent support for font-display. There are still some drawbacks, but it’s a definite improvment.
With the introduction of Dark Mode in macOS Mojave last year, web developers have been asking for support in Safari to style web content that matches the system appearance. With the Safari 12.1 update in macOS 10.14.4, dark mode support in WebKit has arrived.
Only available in Safari 12.1 so far, but worth getting up to speed on the basics.
The Nielsen Norman Group performed a study of teenagers and how they use the web. Some interesting notes:
- Teenagers dislike tiny font sizes as much as adults do
- Make sure your site loads quickly. Slow, sluggish sites are frustrating to anybody, but they’re especially offensive to young audiences who expect instant gratification.
- All of the teenagers in our most recent study had mobile devices, but not all had laptops or computers. Therefore, teens are often viewing your content from the palm of their hand.
- Teens often work on touch-enabled devices, making interactions that require precision — such as dropdown menus, drag-and-drop, and small buttons — difficult. Design elements such as rollover effects and small click zones are also problematic, if they’re usable at all.
- Teens’ overconfidence combined with their developing cognitive abilities means they often give up quickly and blame the website’s design. They don’t blame themselves, they blame you.
Tim Kadlec digs into what we do and don’t know about the Chrome Lite Pages
Despite the vague announcement, between conversations with Chrome folks over the years, digging around and some general knowledge of how proxy services work, we can put together a decent chunk of the puzzle.
Tim Kadlec on Performance Budgets:
A performance budget is a clearly defined limit on one or more performance metrics that the team agrees not to exceed, and that is used to guide design and development.
We set up a performance budget for our recent www.nd.edu redesign. Now we need to setup automated monitoring.
Paul Hebert of Cloud4:
It’s important to ensure our websites are accessible to everyone, regardless of whether or not they use a screen reader, but with this myriad of options, how do we know when to use what?
Great pointers for addressing a variety of use-cases.