Just a few weeks after Boris Schapira has joined Dareboost as our Customer Success Manager, it is now time to welcome on board Matthieu Bué, our new Front-End developer. Let’s discover the man who will sublimate our tool interfaces and enchant our UX.
Hello Matthieu. Let’s start that interview with a short presentation: who are you? Could you tell us about your previous experiences?
“UI/UX Developer” is the term I like to use to describe myself.
Actually, I haven’t been a web worker from my beginning. I started my postgraduate studies in electronics – where I learned binary logic for example – and then continued with industrial computing. That’s where I’ve learned basic programming using C, C++ and even a bit of COBOL.
The trigger for the Web, I had it in Bordeaux, during a CESI program called “Multimedia Design, Integration and Development”. From then on, I had an immediate visual feedback on what I was producing , my aspiration to achieve something aesthetic was finally satisfied. I could make what I had in mind a reality and share it with other people.
Fortunately, I then had the chance to go through various jobs where I was trusted to work upstream of integration, on interface design issues. Which led me to become a Web Designer.
Now I have stacked 14 years of experiences on the Web (!). My basic training allows me to easily communicate with development teams, to understand and adapt to their own issues and my experiences allow me to understand the graphic and ergonomic intentions of the designers, to transcribe them into web elements and interactions.
I always keep in mind user experience and the interface’s accessibility, while asking myself about the code I produce and the impact of this code on the back-end development.
What is your vision of web performance today?
I have always paid great attention to the quality of my code, both in terms of maintainability, but also in terms of accessibility and performance.
I am deeply convinced that if you are interested in the quality of your code, you are led to keep watching on regular basis and then understand that web performance is a major stake for UX – as for SEO – and that the best practices associated with it evolve over time.
Since the Web has been around, web connections are getting faster but in the meantime, web pages weight don’t stop increasing. Web performance has always been a major issue, but users are less and less patient to access content.
Obviously, it all depends on the context and the intention of the user, but when this expectation is not rewarded by the right content or service, or served in bad conditions, it inevitably results in a huge frustration, a bad image for your brand… and a heavy impact on bounce rate.
In fact, I have both a technical but also UX vision of web performance: even if you can no longer technically speed up your web page’s loading nor rendering, you can still go further by working on user’s perception through progressive loading behaviors, animations, reassurance messages, etc.
My motto : user first and foremost.
How did you discover Dareboost? What are its major strengths to your mind?
Like Boris, I discovered Dareboost through a post written by Raphaël Goetter [fr]. I had tested my own website and got a pretty good result. I was quite happy with this, so my use had been short-lived.
Web performance issue was again imposed on me when Google started to announce the penalization of websites regarding their performance. So I started a new personal benchmark of web performance testing tools… Dareboost was clearly on track!
What I really like about Dareboost is that it always hits me where I don’t expect it! Actually the optimization tips provided by the analysis reports have become my first source for discovering new web performance best practices. I guess it’s the same for our customers: Dareboost allows them to understand each issue/problem, which is a prerequisite if you want to find a sustainable solution!
Could you tell us a little more about your first projects at Dareboost?
As a first step, I will have to soak up what have been done so that I could take charge of the project through patches to quickly improve some points of the interface.
Then we – all the team I mean – will think about fundamental changes that will bring more value to our users. Obviously, this is going to take a while, so you may not see any revolution in the next few weeks!
One of my very-first project on Dareboost deals with the waiting page we display to users who have just launched a web page analysis. This is a potentially frustrating moment since all you have to do is waiting… So I am working at improving that experience. With a couple of potential solutions, from displaying animations to delivering generic performance advice or tips about one particular Dareboost feature.
Of course, things must be refined according the technical context of the analysis – for example, a 3G test will logically be longer than with a fiber bandwidth – but also regarding the cultural context, since all the messages must be understandable in both french and english.
To conclude this interview, any personal project you would like to talk about?
It has nothing to do with web performance but, a few years ago, I launched a website called BADA55.io. This site suggests hexadecimal-encoded web colors that form words in Leet Speak.
Actually, this project started as a joke with a few colleagues after having realized that no website was allowing visitors to propose new labeled colors. So I asked for help one talented developer, Aurélien Garroux, and this joke went to life!
By now, this website counts more than 1700 colors in 6 languages, and an average of 2500 monthly unique visitors worldwide. We are currently working on a new technical structure and a new interface because we really did not expect such success, but it takes time. The lot of any side-project indeed.