Ensuring a performant web for the next billion people

Ensuring a performant web for the next billion people - Bruce Lawson

Where will your next customers come from?

  • 4 billion people in this circle, expected to be 5 billion by 2050
  • chances are you next customers will be from there, there are more people living there than not
  • massive rates of population growth
  • new people are coming online in smart phones
  • regardless of the market, the top sites are the same
    • search
    • uncensored information
    • social networking
  • emerging markets have the same requirement, but lower end devices
  • having an accessible site can reveal markets you would never have thought of targeting

Making the web work on lower-spec devices

  • installable web apps
    • new manifest file with light metadata and icon
    • can get a full screen web experience (if your site is https)
    • appear on the homescreen, not as a browser bookmark
  • responsive images
    • picture element with srcset is available
    • largely cross-browser
    • images are an increasing share of the average page weight
    • mobile data costs 10% the average wage in emerging markets (compared to 1-2% in the western market)
  • opera mini
    • by rendering a page on the server, opera mini saves huge amount of data (and battery) for devices that would struggle to (or simply can't) render for themselves
    • servers aren't in the emerging markets they're primarily used in. Avoids adding further congestion being added to their networks. All the heavy lifting is done over fast reliable networks
    • designs won't be preserved
      • no gradients
      • less curves
      • animation only shows first frame
      • no webfonts
        • don't use icon fonts
      • Death to Icon Fonts - @ninjanails
  • don't require first name and last name, some people only have the one
  • be aware of cultural conventions (a name written in red can wish death)
  • progressive enhancement
    • the nacrolistic beard (for the cool kids)
    • content is in the HTML
    • build up on top of it
    • still give a usable experience to older / less powerful browsers

Rise of the smart phones

  • India and China are the biggest consumers at present
  • Africa and Middle East are seeing a change from feature phones to smart phones
  • Increasing amount of affordable smart phones available
  • Bruce's law of smartness
    • "It doesn't matter how smart your device is, if you network is dumb"
    • that said, smart devices offer the potential to take compression that little bit further (30-50% better than 90% current)
  • 91.7% in 2G
  • 48.3% in 3G
  • Smart devices still using opera mini because of bad networks

Opera Mini

  • main focus has been on compression for the past 10 years
  • for the next 10 years, focusing on compatibility
  • no "high mode" which preserves full JavaScript functionality for people who want a more complete web experience
  • developing countries are home to 94% of the global offline population