Optimization is the most vital element in any web design project. King presents a strong, convincing but simple reason for this. In terms of an equation, quick loading + navigability = more internet traffic. People are more likely to visit and browse sites that load up fast and have easy user interfaces. Statistics show that an average user or visitor only spends 3-8 seconds waiting for a page to load. If a page takes longer than eight seconds to load, visitors often click back to the search results page and look for another site. This is sad for non-stock, non-profit, and hobby sites, but spells disaster for commercial sites. Surveys show that visitors usually think that slow pages mean inept service and inferior products. Clearly, speed and navigability are the center and driving force of the site design.
The first web design mantra of speed poses a problem for sites that feature graphics, images, audio, and video clips which take time to download properly. However, King, and most experienced designers agree that with the right design and effort, making pages like these load faster is possible. Tests indicate that visitors wait for a site to download even for 30 seconds provided that the site gives them something to be busy about. Suggestions include introductory texts, small graphics and some graphs. These occupy the visitors’ attentions while giving your page valuable time allowance to finish loading.
Though speed and navigability are the primary requirements in optimizing web design, they are not the be-all and end-all of everything. King emphasizes the need for consistency; optimize not just the home page but all other site pages. Put it like this: an initial efficient service in a restaurant is enough to make clients go back. However, their delight fades when provided with below-par service on the second evening. Users are like restaurant clients, they expect efficient service every time. Lastly, it is important to be updated. Learning the new tricks and programs to web optimization is important to get your sites out there. I strongly suggest King’s book to beginners and advanced web designers to further hone and improve their craft.