It’s time to WOW users: how to improve user engagement

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Hi all, I’m Theis and I’m the new guy at the HdK office in Hoxton. To be more specific my daily duties include web development and solving all sorts of seemingly unsolvable issues. In September this year I joined the team after one year as a Dane trying out the big city life in London.

Growing up, my great interest have always been technology and how it is constantly evolving into newer and better things. Technology is never at a standstill. Not a day passes without some new development. It might not be a new iPhone removing the headphone jack or being water resistant but that just means that there’s space for another company or another individual to create something exciting.

In this day and age, we often take our devices for granted. We will complain if our Twitter feed or Facebook newsfeed doesn’t load fast enough. The world we are currently living in requires content to be available on demand and at the push of a button.

The pressure to decrease web page load times has been one digital content creators have been trying to solve for a long time. Many different companies have tried to solve this issue by using a wide range of different technologies to improve load times, though many of these solutions end up only cutting a few hundred milliseconds off the load times.

The issue has led to the creation of a framework called AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages. The open source AMP framework has been developed in part by Google, Twitter, and a range of other larger and independent companies to combat users missing out on content due to poor loading speeds of content. In an analysis based on data from Google Analytics and other similar suites it  found that:

  • 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load
  • The average load time for mobile sites is 19 seconds over 3G connections

These points show just how demanding the current generation of consumers are. They are hungry for great and meaningful content, but it needs to be served fast for them to stay interested.

As you can see from the above video one of the brilliant uses of AMP is when mixed with Google’s caching engine. The news story loads almost instantaneously, and this will be the experience on almost every device with every kind of connection. Try searching on Google for The Guardian. At the top of the page a range of stories should appear with the AMP lightning at the bottom. Clicking on any of these will make the story appear on your screen instantly. This will not only engage your users more by allowing them to get to your content quicker, it will also give your site a better rank on the google search page. Google loves when you implement things like this to give users a better experience with you and their product.

If this sound like something you and your users can benefit from I would definitely encourage you to send me an email at theis(at) to have a chat about integrating this into your website.

I look forward to hearing from you.