When you think about it, if you're in the performance business, what you're really in is the empathy business.
When we think about it, we feel for all those poor folks who have to wait for pages or apps to load, especially in less-than-ideal circumstances. We feel for them because we are them. Many of us have gotten off late-night flights and struggled to open a rideshare app while using crappy airport wifi. Many of us have waited and waited (and waited some more) to read articles on media sites. Many of us have accidentally hit the wrong button on our phones because of janky page rendering, and then silently – or not so silently – cursed as we hit the "back" button and waited (and waited some more) for the original page to reload.
But here's the problem: Empathy doesn't scale well.
It's easy to feel bad for individual people. It's hard to feel bad – really bad – for massive groups of people. And that makes it easy to fall into siloed thinking about what we do. Humans are natural compartmentalizers. We like putting ourselves in boxes. So next thing you know, you've labelled yourself: "I'm all about image optimization" or "I'm a custom fonts expert" or "CSS is my life".
But everything we do points back to users.
With that in mind (and because I love few things more than I love making lists), this talk includes some of my favourite research about web performance and user expectations/behaviour. My hope is that these will inspire you when you go about your daily work.