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On February 3, 2015, Garret Rempel, a Senior Consultant with MNP’s Technology Consulting Services, presented his paper ‘Web Performance – Defining Standards for Web Page Performance in Business Applications’ at the International Conference on Performance Engineering in Austin, Texas.
The full paper is available for download here or through the ACM Digital Library.
Industry standards in web page performance are often varied, inconsistent and based on questionable methodology. There is little consensus to be found in published literature and as many ways of studying the subject as there are studies. Many recent results have relied upon their subject’s own self-assessment of their patience for waiting, which is a metric that is provably inaccurate and unreliable.
This paper sets out to review and evaluate existing industry standards for web page performance and then compares those standards with the results of a case study that was conducted of an industry-leading software suite and its users in a real-world situation over the course of nearly two years. The performance of that system is compared with the number of complaints received about it, to understand what its users’ true performance tolerance is devoid of any subjective assessment or evaluations.
Based on the case study, this paper proposes a method of gathering performance requirements from business users and industry subject-matter experts. Testing the proposed process, this paper demonstrates that it is able to assemble a set of web page performance requirements that closely matches users’ actual observed tolerances for waiting by enabling business users who possess no particular training or experience in the field of performance.
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