Full stack web developer, interested in all the things, but especially the web, code, design, Linux, OS X, PHP, WordPress, JavaScript & robots.

Tagged: google

Google Fonts Redesign image/svg+xml

Screenshot of Google Fonts website

The redesigned Google Fonts site.

I think the redesigned Google Fonts site looks fab and I love that you can now change the background/foreground colours, very nifty! That said, there do appear to be some rendering issues on browsers other than Chrome, which is unfortunate as I’m a Firefox user. I hope the developers fix these issues soon as I much prefer the new design.

Also, see Reimagining Google Fonts for more information about the redesign.

UPDATE: The rendering issues appear to be fixed now.

100/100 Google PageSpeed

I’ve been playing around with this website, and the server it’s hosted on, in an effort to score top marks on Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Tonight, I managed to achieve the top score of 100/100, which I’m pretty happy about.

Interestingly, or not, I’ve read a number of negative comments from web developers about this Google initiative. A lot of naysayers point to the fact that Google’s sites perform quite poorly using its own tool. Personally, I think this is a nonsense argument. Sure, in a perfect world, all of Google’s properties would score 100/100, but I don’t think the tool is really designed to sit in judgement over how well a site performs in terms of speed.

It’s supposed to be a learning aid, designed to help developers understand what can be achieved using different optimisation techniques. The decision as to whether or not to use any of the techniques in production is down to the developer — some are a given, but others are debatable depending on server set-up, protocols, load etc.

Anyhow, if you’re interested in learning some of the techniques needed to obtain a top score, I’d highly recommend giving it a try. Just don’t be under any illusions that obtaining a score of 100/100 is the be-all and end-all.

Structured Data Testing Tool image/svg+xml

“Structured data markup” is a standard way to annotate your content so machines can understand it. When your web pages include structured data markup, Google (and other search engines) can use that data to index your content better, present it more prominently in search results, and surface it in new experiences like voice answers, maps, and Google Now.

This tool features lots of useful examples that you can use in your own markup. Creating structured data markup has never been easier.

How Google’s Changes Will Affect Your Designs image/svg+xml

The problem with making users have to scroll past these huge carousel graphics at the top of the design, after perhaps waiting for it all to load, is that it unfairly hijacks the bounce rate analytics for your site. Those analytics are not just there to help you, they are also connected to the formula Google uses to rank pages.

So if users seem to be lingering for a long time on your site, it makes your site seem to be more useful and popular than it probably really is. On the other hand, sites that really do provide useful content may have their rank negatively affected by having a higher official bounce rate than your site. In consequence, Google is rewarding sites that actually do place useful content above the fold.

I’m noticing a bit of a backlash against the current trend of using huge carousels, which is a good thing. Hopefully, if designer’s realise that there might be some Google penalties attached to carousels, they may stop using them. That said, I’m not sure how Google would approach the problem of detecting where the fold is and how much content precedes it/follows it.