The Path to Performance Podcast with Marcy Sutton

If you're not listening to The Path To Performance podcast, you should. It's a join project between developer Tim Kadlek and designer Katie Kovalcin. They have just about a dozen recorded, so you can easily go back and catch the back catalog.
The latest episode featured Marcy Sutton, Senior Front-End Engineer at Deque, who took on a project of researching the two dark arts of the web and how they intersect: accesibility and performance.
A personal addition to this: she recalled joining a conversation that Tim Kadlek had been a part of - one that was in fact started between myself and Dave Newton one day - very randomly, which then went to twitter and eventually moved to an email thread - which is where Molly Sutton joined in. That led to research, and eventually a great talk.
But her analysis led to some interesting findings. Some classic bottle necks were just as noxious to the user experience, if not more, to assisitive technology users:

  • reflows and repaints
  • scripts that take excessive time to load
  • stuffing more custom code down the wire than is needed

She also outlined what may seemingly look like a page ready for interaction to a sighted person, but is in fact a page being held back from true interaction due to assitive technology being stuck, and creating a poor user experience. As much as there are some performance best practices, there are some areas that can prove challenging.
Very much worth a listen. You can tune into the Marcy Sutton episdode here.
Enjoy.