Core Web Vitals: Making the Subjective Objective Like Only Google Can

Posted by Matt Pfluger
Aug
26
2020

I once had a colleague tell me to “afford him the creativity of a well defined brief.” That simple request has stuck with me for years. He was asking for “guide rails” within which he could let his creativity fly.

Back in May, Google launched their own “well defined creative brief” in the form of a quantitatively-validated source of insights to guide the sound design and thoughtful execution  known as Core Web Vitals. Their own set of guide rails for creative, inspired web design that ensures a quality user experience (UX).

But Core Web Vitals serve a strong purpose that transcends just design. The metrics help marketers answer common client questions like, “What are the best practices for that?” and address ambiguous feedback such as, “Something just doesn’t feel right.” Whether it’s making a logo larger, losing white space, or adding another nav item, the subjective web design decisions involved in the process can be endless. 

That’s why Core Web Vitals is a welcomed addition to our digital toolbox. We can incorporate the standards into our concepting and use them to validate design choices and improve website performance. 

Every agency aims to create beautiful graphics and simple navigation to provide website visitors with an impactful online experience. How marketers go about that effort is where things diverge. These metrics provide an important algorithm to evaluate page experience that will help ensure a level of uniformity that ensures better UX for all site users –- from design through development. 

The basics of these new measurements center around three metrics:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) — a measure of perceived loading performance and speed.

  • First Input Delay (FID) — a measure of the user’s first impression of your site’s interactivity and responsiveness.

  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) — a measure of layout stability, to ensure the user experience smooth and natural interactions. It’s a means to quantify the amount of unexpected layout shifts of visible page content. 

Each of these measurements aim to quantify key aspects of the user experience, including speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. We believe that they will also drive simpler, more efficient, and more secure web designs for our clients. 

Core Web Vitals is a new check and balance for marketers and companies alike — and it’s about darn time.

And in true Google form, these metrics will impact Google search ranking, so getting on board is basically a must. And just to keep us all on our toes, Google announced they will update these Vitals on an annual basis. 

Stay tuned and stay informed — your web user experience depends on it.

For more information on how to optimize your site using Core Web Vitals, or to discuss a new beautiful, streamlined website experience, shoot us a message to start a conversation.