The Future of Performance Tooling

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Our understanding of performance & user-experience has heavily evolved over the years. Web Developer Tooling needs to similarly evolve to make sure it is user-centric, actionable and contextual where modern experiences are concerned. In this talk, Addy will walk you through Chrome and others have been thinking about this problem and what updates they've been making to performance tools to lower the friction for building great experiences on the web.

Addy Osmani
Addy Osmani
21 min
16 Jun, 2022

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Video Summary and Transcription

Today's Talk discusses the future of performance tooling, focusing on user-centric, actionable, and contextual approaches. The introduction highlights Adi Osmani's expertise in performance tools and his passion for DevTools features. The Talk explores the integration of user flows into DevTools and Lighthouse, enabling performance measurement and optimization. It also showcases the import/export feature for user flows and the collaboration potential with Lighthouse. The Talk further delves into the use of flows with other tools like web page test and Cypress, offering cross-browser testing capabilities. The actionable aspect emphasizes the importance of metrics like Interaction to Next Paint and Total Blocking Time, as well as the improvements in Lighthouse and performance debugging tools. Lastly, the Talk emphasizes the iterative nature of performance improvement and the user-centric, actionable, and contextual future of performance tooling.

1. Introduction

Short description:

Hey folks, my name is Adi Osmani. I'm an engineering manager working on the Chrome team at Google. Today we're going to talk about the future of performance tooling. You may know me from the internet for posting about DevTools features and talking about performance.

Hey folks, my name is Adi Osmani. I'm an engineering manager working on the Chrome team at Google. And today we're going to talk about the future of performance tooling. You may know me from the internet for posting about DevTools features and talking about performance, but I've gone through the pandemic the same way that everybody else has. It's been a long pandemic. There have been a lot of folks recently announcing they have new jobs. I, too, am excited to announce my new position. It's the fetal position. I've been in it for some time. I'm probably going to remain in it right after this. The last two years were a good, dry run.

2. The Future of Performance Tooling

Short description:

Today, we're going to talk about the future of performance tooling. Delight can mean making the experience more pleasant through adding things like animations. DevTools has an animation inspector built in. It's one of my favorite features. There are efforts to bring such APIs to the platform. The future of performance tooling is user-centric, actionable, and contextual. Core Web Vitals are three metrics that cover loading, interactivity, and visual stability. We can do more to bring how we think about performance closer to the user experience.

Now, as I mentioned, I tend to talk a lot about things like JavaScript and JavaScript bundles, but today I wanted to take a step back and focus on user experience. Now, users often experience web pages as a journey, and there's a few key moments to it. There's, is it happening, is it useful, is it usable, and is it delightful? Delight can mean making the experience more pleasant through adding things like animations.

Now, as I mentioned, I love sharing DevTools tips, and one thing some folks, you know, a lot of folks don't know is that DevTools actually has an animation inspector built in. Here it is in action. You can use it to modify the timing of animations, delays, durations, and so much more. Here it is working against a Page Transitions app by Sarah Drasner. I love the animations inspector. It's one of my favorite features. Now, sometimes folks will ask, well, are there efforts to bring such APIs to the platform? Jake Archibald had a great talk about a new Page Transitions API. And here's a cool demo of it built by the community. So we have a shared element transition here where clicking on a URL, it's taking us to this page. We're going back, and you'll see that both the URL bar is changing, as well as giving us these beautiful animations. Now, there's a lot of work left to do to support things like Page Transitions in the animation inspector, but we can already see things like being able to play back these animations and see all of the different kinds of motion we are adding to our pages. Really powerful stuff, and I love it.

So onto our main question, what does the future of performance tooling look like? Now, I think it's three things. I think it's user-centric, actionable, and contextual. Let's start off with user-centric. Now, in the last few years, Chrome has talked about the importance of focusing on user-centric performance metrics, such as the Core Web Vitals. Now, the Core Web Vitals are three metrics. They're Largest Contentful Paints, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift. This covers loading, interactivity, and visual stability. Now, these are great. We recommend checking them out using real-world data in the field, or in the lab. But there's a lot more that we can do to bring how we think about performance closer to the user experience. Now, there are probably a set of core user journeys that you care about on your site these days. This isn't something that lab performance tooling, or the tooling that we use in our laptops, has really fully acknowledged just yet. Instead, we focused on things like initial page load performance. This continues to be really important, by the way. But it's a story we've told in a few places, like in Lighthouse and in DevTools.

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