Why web monitoring from the ‘outside-in’ view works

Just thinking about overall end-user web experience after chatting to a client this week.

The client is developing a new front-end for a leading e commerce retailer in the UK. I was struck by the lack of visibility the client had to real user experience of their current website.

The views expressed were gathered from a very subjective point of view. As in, ‘looks great at my desktop in the office, and was pretty quick at home too.’

Not to labour the point, but running a schedule of synthetic monitoring tests from a series of UK backbone networks gave us a ‘better picture’. The big Flash splash on the home page seemed to haemorrhage and led to some shockers in overall average response time.

As expats were also a significant market segment, a series of test data collected from outside the UK led to timeouts all over the shop. No pun intended, if you wanted to shop, I think getting past the home page for many would of been a challenge.

Ok, so we don’t all just click away when we are impatient, like me. But I think it was a useful little exercise and proved in this case getting an ‘outside-in’ view can help from the outset on a project.

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