tl;dr We need your help to improve the collective Web Vitals. We are putting as much weight as we can behind these vital metrics across our tooling, guidance, and much more.
I am really excited to see the introduction of the Web Vitals program today. The web community has seen the maturation of web performance metrics over the years, and this program brings clarity around the “unified guidance for quality signals that, we believe, are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web.”
We want to be able to give you the best possible metrics that you can use to measure your user experience and how it maps to your business. The set of core web vitals is a great step in showing measures that tie well to the initial steps of a web journey: do your users perceive a fast load? can they interact with it? is it stable, or jumping around?
We are used to certain metrics as markers for our health, such as resting heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, and BMI. Together, they can help tell a story around your health. You can experiment and see how they change. Over time we understand more about these metrics, some go out of fashion as we get new data, but we strive to find those that seem to have the best correlation to health.
All humans are not the same, and we add a layer of context on top of the metrics. A marathon runner will differ from a sprinter, just as a rich desktop web application that sits in the first tab differs from a piece of content that you tap to read and move on, but the metrics are useful to understand across the board, your weighting may vary.
Hitting the bar together
A good experience is the sum of the parts, and the entire ecosystem has a role to play in making sure the web performs great for all users. From hardware though OS, network. web platform, libraries and frameworks, and finally the application code… we all have a role to play.
At the end of the day, it’s the web developer and team who deploy their app, and understands the particular context, that have final control of the outcome.
We want to make sure that everyone along the stack has the best possible information, tools, and guidance, and while we are far from being done, I am glad to see the following launch with the program today:
- The Chrome UX Report (CrUX) surfaces histograms for all of the vitals of real world usage from Chrome, and a REST API is in the works
- A new Core Web Vitals extension will let you browse the web with a real-time view on vital results for your browsing, and will show the aggregate results from the CrUX Report in the future. This is a unified and much improved extension compared to my own!
- Integration is coming to all of our tools: Lighthouse, Chrome DevTools, PageSpeed Insights, Search Console’s Speed Report
I hope that the ecosystem makes sure to measure and understand their effect on these vitals, and share how best we can hit them.
I remember a developer at a Chrome DevSummit asking for us to fix the performance problem:
“The web feels too slow and janky at times, and why do browsers take so much memory?”– Web E. Developer
While we have some levers to help for sure, and will be pushing on as many as we can, we need all of the brains in the community to solve this problem.
I admit that it is tempting to think “let’s fix it in the platform!” but that isn’t the area with most leverage for this one, and if you read Range you will see that it is when generalists with varied expertise and life experience come together that you see the most creative solutions and real impact.
So, we have huge datasets in the wild, richer tooling, and goals to hit for each metric. Let’s work together to make a dent and hit them!