June 10, 2014
Earlier this spring I was determined to tell the responsive web site management/operation story as a linkage between RWD’s business metrics and operational/site performance metrics and improvement tactics. Instead, I found a fragmented story: The business teams have different processes, tools, and goals from technical teams, whereby ‘management’ happens in isolation from ‘operation.’ Business teams that need to prove the ROI of RWD simply did not have a direct linkage to site performance, operations, and monitoring efforts. Compounding the problem, many front-end development agencies that build responsive sites don’t focus on metrics because they aren’t contracted for managed services after the site goes live. As a result, responsive site owners/committees must find their own fix, and our recent research is designed to address both RWD’s performance operations (i.e., speed) issues and business-value analysis for responsive sites:
- Optimize Your Responsive Website Performance To Overcome Mobile Hurdles
- Analyzing The Value Of Responsive Web Design Can Be Messy
While we found a solid set of best practices to tackle both RWD performance and RWD value messaging, I was most heartened by finding a strategic cure* to this fragmented story: data. The strategy dictates that organizations can measure and monitor their site, casting a wide metrics ‘net’ measured from the end-customer’s viewpoint to meet a broad internal audience’s needs.** This strategy will allow you to continuously understand operational performance AND customer experience/business performance, and you’ll see how they work together. For example, once you understand how fast the site is for various customers on different devices and networks, your conversion data will make much more sense, and your team can make smart performance investments to solve those issues you uncover. Site performance is a big part of the ROI of RWD story, and teams should tackle them as two pieces within the same puzzle.
I would love to know how this is working for you. How are your teams working together to manage and operate your responsive site? If you work at an agency, how do you equip your clients with the tools to operate, monitor, and improve their site after the hand-off?
* From a technology investment standpoint, this ‘cure’ is currently embodied by RUM (and I am only ironically advocating the healing powers of alcohol :)) RUM stands for real-user-monitoring, which is now an entire category of vendor solutions which touts measuring site performance from the user’s point of view rather than a network/server/up-time vantage point.
**Luckily, my colleague Jeffrey Hammond already assembled the appropriate metrics framework for your teams (business and technical) to plug into: