Google Chrome may shame slower than average websites with a special badge conveying typical load speed

  • Google is considering flagging slow websites with a badge conveying speed
  • The feature is intended to incentive developers to make faster websites 
  • It may color-code fast and slow websites using green and red progress bars
  • It’s unclear when, if ever, the badges will be rolled out 

Google Chrome users may soon get a heads up when they visit a slow website.

In a blog post from Google, the company says it’s considering adorning sites with ‘speed badges’ that indicate their likelihood to load either fast or slow.

The initiative is designed to incentive developers to improve their sites and to help increase the speed of the internet in general.

‘We think the web can do better and want to help users understand when a site may load slowly, while rewarding sites delivering fast experiences,’ the company wrote in a post. 

Google is considering rolling out badges on its Chrome browser that convey if a site will load slow or fast. A green progress bar would indicate a fast site while a slow one indicates the site is loading slowly

The feature could shame developers of slow-loading websites into picking up their speeds, Google hopes.

Google is considering rolling out badges on its Chrome browser that convey if a site will load slow or fast. A green progress bar would indicate a fast site while a slow one indicates the site is loading slowly 

According to the company, Google is looking into several different ways to display typical load speed, including using different colors in its progress bar – green symbolizes the site is fast and red signifies slowness.

It may also use different ‘badges’ that display before a website loads that lay out speed more clearly.

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In its post, Google is clear about the intention behind its initiative, writing that both fast and slow websites are fair game.

‘Badging is intended to identify when sites are authored in a way that makes them slow generally, looking at historical load latencies,’ the company writes, adding that it also point out when one’s network or device are at fault.

‘Further along, we may expand this to include identifying when a page is likely to be slow for a user based on their device and network conditions.’

Google will likely look for feedback from developers before rolling the feature out to users

Google will likely look for feedback from developers before rolling the feature out to users

To determine its rating, Google will look at historical load times and compare that against standards that it says will apply to a range of developers.

‘We are being very mindful with our approach to setting the bar for what is considered a good user experience and hope to land on something that is practically achievable by all developers,’ the company wrote. 

It’s not clear when or even if Google will roll out its badging proposal, which was unveiled as a part of its Chrome Developers Summit on Monday.

As noted by The Verge, the search giant will likely look to developers for feedback before launching the feature.



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