Google’s Core Web Vitals is undergoing a significant transformation. This collection of user experience metrics, initially introduced in 2021, is poised for a major update, possibly the most substantial one since its inception.
In particular, Google will replace First Input Delay (FID) with Interaction to Next Paint (INP) come March 2024.
But what exactly is Interaction to Next Paint, and how does it stack up against FID? And more importantly, how can you enhance it? In this article, we will delve into all the details.
If you’re eager to enhance the user experience on your website, let’s dive right in.
What Is Interaction to Next Paint (INP)?
You’ve probably found yourself Googling “INP meaning,” and you’re not alone. Let’s begin by providing a precise definition of this new metric and understanding how it functions.
Interaction to Next Paint (INP) is a responsiveness metric introduced by Google. It gauges how swiftly a webpage reacts to user input. More specifically, it quantifies the time interval between a user’s input, such as clicking a button, and when the page’s content refreshes.
If you prefer Google’s own definition:
“INP assesses responsiveness using data from the Event Timing API. When an interaction causes a page to become unresponsive, that results in a poor user experience. INP observes the latency of all interactions a user has made with the page and generates a single value that represents the majority of interactions. A low INP indicates that the page consistently responded quickly to most if not all, user interactions.”
Understanding INP is crucial for optimizing your website’s user experience.
Here’s a video from Google showing what good and bad responsiveness looks like:
Google recognizes that various online interactions may vary in loading times, particularly those that involve complex processes. However, this needn’t result in a negative user experience. Instead of measuring the response time for the entire interaction, Google’s approach focuses on gauging the time it takes for your website to display some form of visual feedback, such as a dropdown menu or a loading indicator. The goal is not to complete the entire interaction instantly but to show that progress is being made.
A solid Input Timing (INP) score is crucial for all websites, but it holds particular significance for interactive platforms like social media sites and e-commerce stores. A poor INP can lead to an unfavorable user experience, potentially causing a higher bounce rate and, consequently, a loss of revenue.
Optimizing your website for a favorable INP score is vital for maintaining a positive user experience and ensuring the success of your interactive web platform.
To grasp the functioning and accurate measurement of Input Timing (INP), it’s essential to first comprehend the concept of an “interaction.”
Google defines an interaction as a series of events that take place within the context of a “single logical user gesture.” In simpler terms, it’s not merely a solitary action. For instance, when a user taps a button on a touchscreen device, this action comprises several events, such as pointerup (when the mouse or touch is released) and pointerdown (when the mouse or touch initiates the interaction) events, all consolidated into one. Google’s metric for an interaction’s latency considers the event with the longest duration.
Understanding these multi-event interactions is crucial in correctly assessing and optimizing INP for your website’s user experience.