Developing For A Slow Internet

via John Gruber. Gabor Lenard was stuck at 32kbps. He learned some things:

  • Test at Snail’s Pace: Use Chrome’s developer tools and test your website on the GPRS (50kbps) network speed setting.
  • Custom Fonts: Use sparingly.
  • Design Offline Capabilities: “Cache content. Queue up outgoing data and actions without blocking the user. Handle conflicts.”

Chrome’s developer tools are unparalleled: The ability to test your web-dependent app on different devices is both a time and money saver. I’m currently testing this website at GPRS speeds, and it seems to be loading quickly. One comment about custom fonts: In my opinion, based on the criteria of simplicity and speed, three is max. Two is better. One is best.

According to Akamai Technologies (source: Wikipedia) South Korea enjoyed the fastest download data rate of 25.3mbps in 2014, followed by Hong Kong (16.3), and Japan (15.0). The U.S. was #12 with a rate of 11.5mbps. The last (#55) on the list was 1.1mbps. As you can see broadband speeds from #1 to #55 decline rapidly. There are 196 countries in the world today, which probably means most of the other 141 countries experience extremely slow (and likely unreliable) Internet connectivity.

As a student of user experience design, Lenard’s lessons are invaluable in developing web-dependent apps that work no matter the speed.