A Faster, Brutal web

Have you ever found yourself, especially on a mobile phone wondering "Why the hell this is loading so slow?" to never find an answer? Well, the answer is bloat. As network bandwidth progresses, developers (and most of all, marketers) find new ways to use said bandwidth in new and creative ways. New business models, such as streaming services became possible, but it also generates leeway to not worry so much about speed and optimization. This led to websites becoming more and more bloated with time. Imagine, if you will, a news organization site. People go there for news, but on the way, there are banners, auto playing videos, dozens of tracking tools.

A reaction to the web bloat and some design excesses (do you REALLY need a video as a background on your site?) came in the form of an ideia: Brutalist Web Design. Just like on architecture, Brutalism focuses on function and being true to it's materials, Brutalist web design focuses on content and simplicity.

Take, for example, the CNN website. It is quite obvious that they care about performance, otherwise they would not advertise it on their main website console, but, how much data do you need to show the website's main stories? On the CNN "normal" page, around 5.38MB, and 15 seconds. But very few people know that those same news are available on a second, lightweight version at lite.cnn.io. This version weights incredible 200KB and loads in two seconds, with exactly the same content (sans images) of the main website.

Not all services can be constructed around a brutalist, content-centered design, but many, many services adopt design that slows down content delivery for trendy designs which add absolutely nothing to the user experience. As an experiment, I'm building this website as an exercise in brutalist minimalism, using a certain dose of design elements, but trying to keep the whole experience centered around content, function above form, and most of all, speed.

If you want to try building faster websites, I heartily recommend the Google PageSpeed tools. If you are building using some CMS, it's way harder to change content delivery, but some optimizations, such as caches on web servers are usually simple enough to do in a few minutes and produce noticeable results in page load time.