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Duke Bounced

By Aaron Rudger | March 21, 2014

CATEGORIES: Web Performance
Duke Bounced 1

Among the big news during the tournament today, National Powerhouse Duke University (3rd seed) was bounced by relatively unknown Mercer (14th seed) in one of the biggest upsets to date. We were monitoring Duke’s basketball page and noticed that upset may also describe their website’s smartphone users.  Bounced may be an applicable term as well.

The Duke site’s tablet and desktop users experienced a less than speedy download, but with little patience they could get to the desired content.  On the other hand, Duke smartphone visitors saw increasingly slow page response times throughout the day.   In crunch time, when the game was on the line, the site had availability issues and site response times were in the 80 second range. Why so slow? Well, downloading 182 objects on a smartphone is a difficult task, and 1.16Mb size sites tend to be slow over a mobile network.

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The big lesson here is that there is no tomorrow for Duke Basketball in 2014.  Their peak opportunity to sell jerseys and merchandise on their site has passed.   Their desktop and tablet experiences were slow, and their smartphone experience was painful.  Perhaps now it’s time to hit the recruiting trail and find someone to help for next season.

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