The world has changed a lot in the past few months with the spread of the coronavirus. The web has been one area that has seen a dramatic shift, with so many people working and learning from home and using it to stay up to date with the latest news and information.
I’m especially curious what kinds of trends the web community can identify using the millions of websites in the HTTP Archive and Chrome UX Report transparency datasets. We can use this data to get some clues to answer the question at the top of this thread: What are the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on web usage and experience?
There is so much metadata available in these datasets that I think there’s a lot we can learn from this. Some findings may be purely coincidental but it would be interesting to see the correlations even if we can’t definitively prove their cause. Here are some ideas to pique your curiosity:
- Has the number of websites grown, indicating more widespread use of the web?
- Are more local/state/federal/international websites appearing in the dataset?
- Are there dramatic shifts within countries affected by coronavirus outbreaks or are these trends happening worldwide?
- As more and more people shift to using the web for their everyday work, education, and social life, has that affected web performance in any way?
- Can we tell if the websites themselves are getting slower under the load or if the users’ network connections are congested?
- How have websites adapted to the shift to the web: are pages shedding bytes to accommodate more load? are CDNs becoming more prevalent?
- Have there been any shifts in the proportion of users’ device types (desktop/phone/tablet)?
To encourage exploration, we’re able to provide each of you with 60 TB worth of free BigQuery credit (while supplies last). To claim your credit, please reply to this thread indicating what you’re interested in researching and I’ll DM you with a redeemable code. Whatever turns up, please reply to this thread and share your queries and analysis with the community so we can all learn from it.