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Google Is Creating A New Core Web Vitals Metric

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In a recent HTTPArchive Almanac article about CMS use worldwide, the author mentioned that all platforms score great on the First Input Delay (FID), a Core Web Vitals metric and that Google is working on a new metric, which one might presume may replace First Input Delay (FID).

Every year the HTTPArchive publishes multiple articles about the state of the web. Chapter 16 is about content management systems (CMS). The article was written by a Backend Group Manager and Head of Web Performance Wix engineer and reviewed and analyzed by various Googlers and others.

The article raised an interesting point about how the First Input Delay metric has lost meaning and mentioned how Google was developing a new metric.

First Input Delay

Core Web Vitals are a group of user experience metrics designed to provide a snapshot of how well web pages perform for users and First Input Delay (FID) is one of those metrics.

FID measures how fast a browser can respond to user interaction with a website, like how long it takes for a response to happen when a user clicks a button on a website.

The thing about FID is that all major content management systems, like WordPress, Wix, Drupal and others all have lightning fast FID scores.

Everyone Wins An FID Trophy

The article first mentions that most CMS’s score exceptionally well for FID. And the platforms that score less well still have relatively high scores that lag behind by only 5 percentage points.

The author wrote:

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“FID is very good for most CMSs on desktop, with all platforms scoring a perfect 100%. Most CMSs also deliver a good mobile FID of over 90%, except Bitrix and Joomla with only 83% and 85% of origins having a good FID.”

What’s happened to FID is that it’s basically a metric where everyone gets a trophy. If almost all sites score exceptionally well, if everyone gets a trophy, then that means there really isn’t much of a reason for the metric to exist because the goal of getting this part of the user experience fixed has been reached.

The article then mentions how Google (the Chrome team) is currently creating a new metric for measuring responsiveness and response latency.

The article continued:

“The fact that almost all platforms manage to deliver a good FID, has recently raised questions about the strictness of this metric.

The Chrome team recently published an article, which detailed the thoughts towards having a better responsiveness metric in the future.”

Input Response Delay Versus Full Event Duration

The article linked to a recent Google article published on Web.dev titled, Feedback wanted: An experimental responsiveness metric.

What’s important about this article is that it reveals that Google is working on a new input delay metric. Knowing about this metric can give a head start to preparing for what is coming in the future.

The main point to understand about this new metric is that it isn’t measuring just single interactions. It is measuring groups of individual interactions that are part of a user action.

While the article cited in HTTPArchive cited a November 2021 article that asks for publisher feedback, this new metric has been under development for awhile now.

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A June 2021 Web.dev article outlined these goals for the new measurement:

“Consider the responsiveness of all user inputs (not just the first one)

Capture each event’s full duration (not just the delay).

Group events together that occur as part of the same logical user interaction and define that interaction’s latency as the max duration of all its events.

Create an aggregate score for all interactions that occur on a page, throughout its full lifecycle.”

The Web.dev article states that the goal is to design a better metric that encompasses a more meaningful measurement of the user experience.

“We want to design a metric that better captures the end-to-end latency of individual events and offers a more holistic picture of the overall responsiveness of a page throughout its lifetime.

…With this new metric we plan to expand that to capture the full event duration, from initial user input until the next frame is painted after all the event handlers have run.

We also plan to measure interactions rather than individual events. Interactions are groups of events that are dispatched as part of the same, logical user gesture (for example: pointerdown, click, pointerup).”

It’s also explained like this:

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“The event duration is meant to be the time from the event hardware timestamp to the time when the next paint is performed after the event is handled.

But if the event doesn’t cause any update, the duration will be the time from event hardware timestamp to the time when we are sure it will not cause any update.”

Two Approaches To Interaction Latency Metric

Web.dev explains that the Chrome engineers are exploring two approaches for measuring the interaction latency:

  1. Maximum Event Duration
  2. Total Event Duration

Maximum Event Duration

An interaction consists of multiple events of varying durations. This measurement bases itself on the largest duration out of a group.

Total Event Duration

This is a sum of all the event durations.

FID Is Likely Going Away?

It’s possible that FID could remain as part of Core Web Vitals but what’s the point if ever site scores 100% on it?

For that reason, it’s not unreasonable to assume that FID is going away sometime in the relatively near future.

The Chrome team is soliciting feedback on different approaches to measuring interaction latency. Now is the time to speak up.

Citations

HTTPArchive Web Almanac: CMS

Feedback wanted: An experimental responsiveness metric

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Towards a better responsiveness metric

Searchenginejournal.com

GOOGLE

Google Home App Gets an Overhaul, Rolling Out Soon

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Google Home app

Google refreshes its Home app with a slew of new features after launching a new Nest gear. This makes it faster and easier to pair smart devices with Matter, adds customization and personalization options, an enhanced Nest camera experience, and better intercommunication between devices.

This revamped Home app utilizes Google’s Matter smart home standard – launching later this year – especially the Fast Pair functionality. On an Android phone, it will instantly recognize a Matter device and allow you to easily set it up, bypassing the current procedure that is often slow and difficult. Google is also updating its Nest speakers, displays, and routers – to control Matter devices better.

Google Home App New Features

  • Spaces: This feature allows you to control multiple devices in different rooms. Google has listed a few things by room: kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc., although it’s pretty limited right now. Spaces let you organize devices how you see fit. For instance, you can set up a baby monitor in one room and set a different room’s camera to focus on an area the baby often plays. With Spaces, you can categorize these two devices into one Space category called ‘Baby.’

Google Home app Spaces

  • Favorites: This one is pretty self-explanatory. It allows you to make certain gears as a favorite that you frequently use. Doing so will bring those devices into the limelight within the Google Home app for easier access. 

Google Home app

  • Media: Google adds a new media widget at the bottom of your Home feed. This will automatically determine what media is playing in your home and provide you with the appropriate controls as and when needed. There will be song controls if you listen to music on your speakers. There will be television remote controls if you’re watching TV. 

Google probably won’t roll out this Home app makeover anytime soon. But you can try it for yourself in the coming week by enrolling in the public preview, available in select areas.

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