We’ve just completed some big changes to our widget that you may not have noticed.
The widget works the same as it ever did. The options haven’t changed either. This change involved rearchitecting the widget to make it perform better and be easier to maintain.
We tested a very simple scenario before-and-after switching to the new version of the address book widget and measured some impressive improvements to performance.
It really does feel lighter, faster, and stronger.
We knew that the widget was not making efficient use of the network. We knew that we had a lot of room to optimize the number of files that were being requested and the overall bandwidth used. So we took action. The widget now makes fewer web requests and accesses smaller files when it does so.
Overall, it makes 70% fewer requests, reducing our bandwidth usage by 60%.
When the widget first loads on the page, it initializes itself before the user can interact with it. So we want to make sure that the widget will come online as quickly as possible. The new architecture loads nearly twice as quickly, we’ve reduced our startup time by 44%.
Another goal of the rebuild was to increase maintainability of the widget. It should be easier to find and fix bugs (wait, what bugs?) with a simpler architecture that has fewer lines of code. And this same architecture will also make it easier to support new features.
This is a moving target and we’ve taken a huge step forward here. We take advantage of more standard features built into the browser which reduces the burden of maintaining cross-browser functionality. We’ve reduced our lines of code by about 30%.
This is the biggest change to the widget to date, one that you might not notice if we didn’t speak up about it. 🙂
The new version of the widget is enabled for all new accounts and we’ve started to roll out this new version of the widget to customers using the new address book widget.
Still using our old snippet? Get in touch to discuss how to get lighter, faster, stronger!
* Editor’s Note: Since publishing this news article, we’ve renamed our Address Book Widget to “Contact Picker.”