Skip to main content

Improving Perceived Performance

Ah yes, perceived performance: it can be such an underrated thing. I thought Regex Hero was still loading a little slow for a ~50KB application.

In fact I looked at this a couple months ago and found that my initialization code was preventing the Regex Hero UI from appearing until it was done. As such, you'd actually be looking at a blank screen a little longer than you should.

When talking about perceived performance, a blank screen like this is just about the worst user experience possible because in the back of the user's mind they might be thinking, "Did this application just hang?" Even if they don't think that, any kind of prolonged stillness can be perceived as slowness and that's the last thing I want. So at the time I tried a few things to correct this but couldn't find a good solution that worked well and didn't cause any other problems.

Today I took another crack at it and finally solved the problem. You'll notice now that when it loads you'll briefly see the default Silverlight loading animation as you always have. And then where you'd normally see a blank screen, you'll instead see this loading box on top of the Regex Hero app for about half a second.
Loading

To be sure I actually made some progress with this I made some crude measurements. I measured the load time until you actually see the Regex Hero UI with the old method vs the time until you see the new loading box in the new method. After multiple tests and averaging the results here's what I came up with:

Before: 1.6 seconds
After:
1.1 seconds

(Note that this test was done with a cached copy to take bandwidth variances out of the equation.)

All that work for half a second of improved "perceived" performance may seem like a waste of time. After all, the time it takes before you're able to actually use Regex Hero hasn't changed. It's still going to be around 2 or 3 seconds on the first load and about 1.6 seconds once it's cached (actual mileage may vary).

But in my mind, seeing a glimpse of the Regex Hero UI half a second sooner is huge. I think when you work with applications that load quickly and respond immediately to your input, people tend to take notice. And from the beginning this app was intended to save time when working with regular expressions so performance will always be a priority for me.

You can see the speed now by checking out the Regex Hero Tester. Don't blink. ;)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Regex Hero for Windows 10 is Underway

Awhile back I began working on an HTML5 / JavaScript version of Regex Hero . However, it was a huge undertaking essentially requiring a complete rewrite of the entire application. I have not had enough time to dedicate to this lately. So I've begun again, this time rewriting Regex Hero to work in WPF. It'll be usable in Windows 10 and downloadable from the Microsoft Store. This is a much easier task that also has the advantage of running the .NET regex library from the application itself. This will allow for the same speedy experience of testing your regular expressions and getting instant feedback that Regex Hero users have always enjoyed. I expect the first release to be ready in Q4 of 2019.

Installer for Desktop version of Regex Hero

As Firefox just dropped support for Silverlight I really needed a solution for Regex Hero. So I created an installer for it. It's still Silverlight, but by using the installer you can install it directly to your computer and never need to open it in a browser. If you visit regexhero.net/tester and don't have a browser that supports Silverlight (IE is the only one left), then you'll see download links for 64-bit and 32-bit versions of the installer. Or you can download them directly here: Regex Hero for Windows 64-bit Regex Hero for Windows 32-bit When you install it you'll see a link over on the right hand side that says "Activate Regex Hero". This process connects your desktop version of Regex Hero with your online account. So if you're a licensed user this is how you'll gain access to all of those licensed features. Note: Currently there will be a security warning when you try to run either one of these installers. I'm in the process of

Regex Hero Professional is Now Free

Regex Hero is now completely free!  I've been working on this tool off and on for the past 8 years. I spent a lot of time making it very powerful and easy for developers to create efficient regular expressions. Throughout most of this time it's been a paid product. However, with the added pressure of other free tools out there getting better all the time, I've finally decided to make Regex Hero free as well. Enjoy! Try Regex Hero at http://regexhero.net/tester/