Quality of Service

I’ve been thinking about the perception of quality with regard to web-based systems. Obvious enough is that a majority of users perceive quality by the responsiveness of an application. A presentation by Marissa Mayer, of Google, made two key points:

1. The faster the response time, the less the learning curve
2. A .05 second tweak can significantly increase popularity

The question isn’t weather or not to invest in QOS but a question of how. One idea, that is very simple in nature, is to log the round trip time for each request. Here are some steps to doing this effectively;

  1. Declare a QOS level (e.g., > 1 sec per page round trip)
  2. Log all round-trip times with;
    • Page Name
    • Input variables (e.g., query string and form data)
    • Session Information
  3. Monitor the table for QOS violations
  4. Automate the generation of a support ticket to resolve the violation

The point of the exercise is to develop a quality culture within your organization. This in turn will increase the use, decrease the learning curve, and increase the satisfaction of your system.

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