On February 15, 2012 I had the privilege of presenting a talk on website performance monitoring to 800+ of the world’s top online retail IT experts at the renowned Internet Retailer – Website Design and Usability Conference (IRWD) in Orlando, Florida alongside Matt Hoenck, the IT Director at Thymes.com. Competition is fierce in online retail and the stakes are high as more and more shoppers switch from bricks-and-mortar to online buying. Online retailers must remain informed of new technologies that improve website uptime and performance, (such as the new UserView Monitoring – Video Capture) and strike the right balance with user experience expectations involving website design and usability.
The Balancing Act of Retail User Experience
The IRWD talk focused on how Matt Hoenck used website performance monitoring to strike that balance. As a bath and body shop the Thymes.com website does a beautiful job of evoking the “experience” of using its products by delivering a highly stylized website complete with soothing colors and beautiful images. However, as the IT Director Matt Hoenck also was keenly aware that the speed of the website is both important and impacted by these design decisions. By using an external based user experience and website performance monitoring service, like Dotcom-Monitor, Matt Hoenck could demonstrate to Thymes.com designers how third-party hosted webpage aspects of Thymes.com were impacting the website’s speed. (Run a free test of the impact of third-party elements on a website here)
Aligning User Experience Monitoring with Design
During the IRWD presentation Matt Hoenck noted that had used Dotcom-Monitor for several years and how as his website had evolve so had his website performance monitoring For example during the 2012 presentation he describing how he used a newer browser-based web application monitoring solution UserView Monitoring to detect website slowdowns due to third-party code snippet issues and how, in fact, the use of the Dotcom-Monitor service helped him work more closely with the providers of these third-party code snippets.
As a result of the website performance monitoring, Matt Hoenck has been able to help continually maintain a balance of website “speed and beauty.” This has ensured a positive website user experience for Thymes.com end-users that supports its online brand reputation as well as website revenue goals.
See the Internet Retailer Magazine article recapping the basics of the presentations (and a nice pic of Matt).
To try-out the performance monitoring tools that Matt describes go here: https://uv.dotcom-monitor.com/web-application-performance-monitoring/