Lara Callender Hogan

I'm the Senior Engineering Manager of Performance at Etsy and the author of Designing for Performance. Follow me on Twitter, read my blog.

I champion performance as a part of the overall user experience, striking a balance between aesthetics and speed, and building performance into company culture. I also believe it's important to celebrate career achievements with donuts.

Designing for PerformanceI’m the author of Designing for Performance. This practical book helps you approach a new project with page speed in mind, and shows you know how to test and benchmark which design choices are most important. I cover:

If you have Adobe Photoshop experience and basic HTML and CSS skills, this book will help you learn how to design for performance. The book is available for purchase here in both ebook and print version.

You can also read some free excerpts:

Designing for Performance was also recently featured as in Netmag’s “Need list”. I'm donating all of the proceeds from the book to various charities focused on getting girls and women into coding, including Girl Develop It, Women Who Code, and DonorsChoose projects like Growing "Girls with Gadgets"! and Girls Can Code, Too!.

Recent Work

Performance: Showing Versus Telling (A List Apart)

Take your message to the next level. Help those around you feel the impact that performance has on your overall user experience. Showing is so much more compelling than telling; showcasing the real user experience is much more powerful than staring at numbers or bar charts. So how can we show performance? Use videos of your site loading, and wall monitors! This article shows you how.

The Pastry Box Project

I am currently contributing a monthly article to The Pastry Box Project. My posts so far:

Interviewed on The Path to Performance

The Path to Performance is a podcast dedicated to fostering a culture around web performance in organizations. Katie and Tim talk to guests who have successfully integrated performance as part of their culture and the benefits they have seen. I talk about how our team at Etsy works to help performance stay top of mind throughout the product development process, and how we celebrate performance wins. Audio and Transcript

Image Formats - The Nerdy Parts

I presented my favorite parts about image formats (what may be called “the nerdy parts”, as if all of performance isn’t incredibly nerdy) at Etsy to the front end development team. Slides

Product + Performance

Etsy’s Performance team gave this internal presentation to all the Product Managers at Etsy about how to incorporate performance into their product development cycles. Slides

Page Speed

Designing for Performance

This talk focused on performance from a designer’s and front end developer’s perspective, including the basics of page speed, optimizing HTML, CSS and images, and implementing responsive design with an eye on performance. I have given iterations of this talk at the Women Who Code NYC Meetup, NY Web Performance Meetup, Fluent Conference and the Fluent Online Conference.

Interviewed for Netmag Exchange

Net Magazine’s “Exchange” section includes practical advice from industry experts. I was invited to answer questions about performance in their April 2015 edition (pdf).

Interviewed on The Dirt

This super-deep interview from the kind folks at Fresh Tilled Soil focused on many aspects of performance, from inlining CSS to its impact on experience design to the kind of bird that’s on the cover of Designing for Performance. Audio

Designing for Performance: Can We Have it All?

Everyone wants sites that are responsive, beautiful, and fast. Do we need to make tradeoffs? And whose job is performance, anyway? In this event from February 26, 2015, A List Apart asked a panel of designers and developers from both in-house and agency teams to share their stories, strategies, and case studies. Watch the video or read the transcript here.

Interviewed on Hanselminutes

I sat down with Scott Hanselman to explain how to design for page load time, including optimizations to images, fonts, markup, and more. How important is having a culture of performance and executive buy-in? Is a two-second page load time reasonable? How important is A/B testing? Audio

Performance Culture with Paul Lewis at Google I/O

With the rising tide of mobile traffic, we need to adapt our company cultures to prioritize the UX of the mobile user. What is the best way to excite your colleagues to meet your enthusiasm for delivering a quick and responsive experience on the mobile web? We explored how to curate a culture of performance internally. We can be deliberate about performance and mobile web, make smart use of performance monitoring tools, and cultivate a social atmosphere of collaboratively improving performance for our mobile users. Video

Mobile Web

Building a Device Lab, a tutorial with Destiny Montague

At Etsy, we’ve built a device lab with 30+ devices and iterated upon the lab as we learned more about how developers and designers use it. We approached building it like a product for internal users, and are eager to help others build out their labs so we can learn from each other. We have presented this tutorial at Velocity Santa Clara and Velocity NY.

Mobile Web at Etsy

I spoke about the growing importance of building for mobile web as users may be on any device, platform or connection. I shared Etsy’s approach, lessons learned and tips for growing a mobile web focus at your organization. I’ve given versions of this talk at at 200OK, IndustryConf, and Breaking Development.

Mobile web is not (just) a technical challenge

In this keynote at Velocity, I spoke about how Etsy moved towards a culture of performance and mobile web by educating, incentivizing and empowering everyone who works at Etsy. Slides and video

Etsy's Device Lab (Code as Craft)

I share how we built Etsy’s mobile device testing lab, complete with communication techniques, challenges like power supply, what we learned about how to make it intuitive for developers and designers to use, and pictures!

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