The engineers behind online dating site Zoosk‘s web and mobile web platforms don’t like waiting—and neither do their users. The company’s 38 million members are looking for true love, and that means every second counts.

After the company first moved its old website to a single-page application (SPA) in 2012, the Zoosk team focused relentlessly on optimizing the new app—and later its mobile web SPA—for peak performance.

Zoosk’s web and mobile platforms are SPAs written in a half-million lines of JavaScript on top of Google Closure and AngularJS, and they serve more than 100 million monthly page views. As Zoosk Lead Software Engineer and upcoming FutureStack16 speaker Aideen NasiriShargh explains, every second really does count when it comes to page load times.

RELATED: Dating Site Zoosk Relies on New Relic to Reduce MTTF (‘Mean Time to Flirt’)

At FutureStack16, NasiriShargh will share how Zoosk immediately reduced the page load time of its mobile web SPA by 15%—and boosted initial page loads 15% in the process—with New Relic’s recently launched SPA monitoring feature in New Relic Browser. We asked NasiriShargh to tell us a bit more about what FutureStack attendees can expect from his talk, which is part of the Developing Breakthrough Customer Experiences track at this year’s event. Here’s what he had to say.

futuretalk speaker aideen nasirisharghNew Relic: Why did you want to speak at FutureStack16?

Aideen NasiriShargh: I like helping people accomplish their goals. Since 2012, when we moved our old website to a SPA, we at Zoosk had a clear goal to improve our page load times. We tried so many different tools to help us track our applications’ performance, but none of them quite met our needs. Just recently, we found New Relic SPA monitoring, and it helped us achieve our goals seamlessly. So now that we have traveled that path, I cannot wait to share our journey with other developers and help them achieve their dreams.

New Relic: Tell us more about what you plan to cover in your talk.

NasiriShargh: I am going to be mainly focusing on Initial Page Load optimizations for SPAs. It’s very important because, as seen by a lot of companies, there is a direct correlation between page delay and customer engagement, which eventually impacts revenue and the bottom line. A one-second slowdown in page load time could decrease conversions by 7% and page views by 11%, for example. That’s why I have picked the title “Love Can’t Wait!” for my talk at FutureStack.

New Relic: Great title! What do you see as the most important issues in modern software and data right now?

NasiriShargh: Finding the right data with the least amount of effort. That’s the key to a lot of improvements.  For example, it is relatively easy to gather the page load time of your website. You can even go deeper and track several steps of the loading of a page—download the data from server, rendering the page, etc. But what’s the right data that can be captured and analyzed to help you identify what needs be improved to make your website faster?

New Relic: Testing is a significant priority for the Zoosk team. Can you talk about the relationship between testing and monitoring?

futurestack customer zoosk logoNasiriShargh: At Zoosk, we have several testing methods, including automation testing, regression testing, manual testing for new features, unit tests, and so forth. While we keep an eye on performance during our regular tests, we take monitoring more seriously right after releasing the new versions of our apps every time we deploy. And since we have a fast pace of up to five deploys per day, both testing and monitoring are extremely important to us.

In order to define a relationship between them, I’d say testing is usually pre-deploy and monitoring is usually post-deploy. So no matter how invested one is in the testing, monitoring is still inevitable. Otherwise, you are going to miss something and find out later—after it has cost a lot! That’s why we invest in both, and even treat “monitoring” as an internal test over our “testing” efforts.

New Relic: That’s a nice formulation. Going forward, are there things you want to monitor that you’re not monitoring yet?

NasiriShargh: Yes. More granular data about our users’ frequent activities, and our applications’ performance, in order to be able to serve our users even better.

New Relic: Finally, what are you most looking forward to at FutureStack16? (Aside from your own talk, of course…)

NasiriShargh: I’m excited to see what other attendees are doing with New Relic products, especially New Relic Browser, and bringing that learning back to Zoosk.

futurestack 16 logoDon’t miss Aideen NasiriShargh and the rest of our all-star lineup of speakers at FutureStack16, taking place at Pier 27 in San Francisco on November 16-17! Be sure to register here.


Note: Event dates, participants, and topics are subject to change without notice.

Kevin Casey writes about technology and business for a wide variety of publications and companies. He won an Azbee Award, given by the American Society of Business Publication Editors, for his InformationWeek story, “Are You Too Old for IT?” He’s also a former community choice honoree in the Small Business Influencer Awards. View posts by .

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