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8 Factors that Affect Page Load Time & Website Optimization Strategies

4 minutes, 0 seconds read

A website’s page load time plays an important role in customer acquisition. Google states that if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, over half of the visitors will leave it. Eventually, it leads to conversion and profits. Although there are online tools available to check your website loading time and performance (Lighthouse, for instance), it’s important to understand what affects your website’s page load time. You can then optimize your web page accordingly.

8 Factors that affect the page load time

#1 Web hosting

Today, no one would like to wait for a website to spin and load at its speed. Websites that load quickly perform more in user engagement, conversion rates, and user experience. Hence, it is very important to have a high-availability web hosting plans.

#2 Size of files

The page speed always depends on the size of the assets loaded on the browser. It is, therefore, good to have an optimum number of assets with the least possible file size. This will require lesser bandwidth.

#3 Number of HTTP requests

Greater the number of HTTP requests from a browser to server/server to server, the higher will be the bandwidth consumption. Therefore, keep the number of HTTP requests to the minimum possible.

#4 Absence of CDN

Using CDN will boost the performance of the web site. The absence of it will affect the load time. CDN is a content delivery/distribution network. It is a network of proxy servers and their data centres distributed across the globe to increase the performance and availability of services to the end-users.

#5 Mediocre coding

Bad coding will always affect the page performance and SEO ranking of the website. It is good to follow best practices starting from the initial stage of development.

#6 The number of redirections

The number of redirections impacts the DNS lookup time.

#7 Lack of Keep-Alive

If you’re using HTTP/1.0 protocol and have not configured Keep-Alive, then there’s a higher possibility that the browser to server connection will break. It will not load the page properly. 

#8 Hotlinking

Sourcing page content from other sites might affect the load time and performance of your website.

You might also like to read about 11 proven techniques to optimize website performance.

Strategies and checklist for website optimization

You can implement either bottom-up or top-down strategy for website optimization (discussed later). However, website optimization is an iterative process and you can repeat the following loop after completing a cycle.

How to optimize the website - Infographic
  1. Ideas: Prepare a checklist of all the possible strategies for the target website to optimize.
  2. Prioritize: Prioritize the prepared checklist strategies and act on them.
  3. Test: Test the applied strategies for enhanced performance.
  4. Analyze: Analyze the impact and performance of the website and check if any further strategies are required.
  5. Optimize: For further enhancement, perform the cycle again until you achieve the best.

#1 Bottom-up strategy

This strategy starts from planning to production (Proactive). It defines a set of rules and actions before/while starting the actual development.

Bottom up strategy for website optimization

The above infographic represents the lifecycle of Bottom-Up strategy in web page optimization.

#2 Top-down strategy 

It is a reactive method, which analyses the existing process to find the issue/lag, then reworks on behavioural grounds to accomplish the target. It is a reverse engineering process to identify the performance-issue gap and methods to fix them.

You can identify the resources which are affecting in maximum page load by considering the following-

  • Resource size
  • Asset positioning
  • Render blockers
  • Uncompressed contents
  • Bad requests

Once you’ve identified the sources, lay down the process of optimizing the content and keep iterating to achieve the desired results. 

Basic checklist for both bottom-up and top-down strategies 

  1. Layout performance principles
    1. Page load time
    2. Responsiveness
    3. Minimizing the number of requests
    4. Use Cache headers
    5. Minify CSS and JS contents
    6. Use CSS sprites
    7. Encourage Lazy loading on contents wherever possible
    8. Avoid iframes and redirects
  2. Executive performance principles
    1. During application design
    2. During application development

Consider the following aspects during the design and development phase.

#1 Application design optimizations

  1. Simple & lightweight: Include only key functionalities on load to keep it lightweight.
  2. Client side components: Adopt client side validation to catch errors.
  3. On demand data loading: Use on-demand data instead of pre-loaded data. (E.g. use paginations, pop-up contents on click instead of on load)
  4. Asynchronous calls: Adopt implementation of AJAX calls from the presentation tier and the business tier.

#2 Application development optimizations

  1. Include JS files at the bottom of the page (to avoid render blocking of page).
  2. Combine multiple CSS files and optimize unwanted rules as per page requirements.
  3. Avoid using external scripts at the beginning of the page.
  4. Combine smaller images/icons to sprite & have optimi.
  5. Use CSS rules/files in the head section of the document.
  6. Reduce the number of requests to server.
  7. Implement server/browser caching on possible sections.
  8. Implement Mobile-specific sections to avoid overloading on small screen devices.

Below are few improvisation observations which are affected by optimizing the Webpage and it’s assets.

UI performance optimization and the performance gains - Infographic

We’re technology tinkerers, experimentalists, and experts in customer experience consulting. Get in touch with us at hello@mantralabsglobal.com to know more about our ventures in website design and experience consulting. 


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Five Trends Shaping the Digital Health Customer Experience

By :
4 minutes, 38 seconds read

The fast growth of the digital health industry in India due to COVID-19 has led to the reshaping of customer health experiences. Innovations like mobile healthcare apps, telehealth services, e-pharma services are witnessing higher adoption rates and transforming the digital health customer experience. 

Lack of awareness regarding the use of mhealth apps, uncertainty about apps’ working efficiency, security issues, etc. were the root cause of its wavering development, prior to the pandemic. During lockdowns, nearly 67% of Indians felt comfortable receiving medical advice over calls and video sessions, according to a Royal Philips survey. 

The healthcare industry has shifted towards a patient-centric model to deliver convenient and meaningful experiences from the patient’s home. Below are the top five trends that are shaping digital health customer experiences:

Customers are relying on mHealth apps

Mobile health apps in India have witnessed an increase in downloads due to changes in lifestyle, increased interest in fitness & wellness programs and to track & monitor a variety of health data — sleep patterns, calorie intake, physical activity, etc. Followed by the telehealth segment, the mHealth segment is expected to dominate the Indian market by reaching approximately USD 1.87 Bn by 2024. 

Mobile health apps in India such as Practo, PharmEasy, 1mg, Medlife, cure.fit etc. allow customers to order healthy food, buy medicines with discounts, receive health tips and attend virtual doctor consultations by staying at home. Even though mHealth apps are general wellness related, the number of condition management apps are likely to increase with customer engagement. Moreover, the growth of the mHealth segment will ensure cost effective healthcare services that will prompt the consumers to use health apps. With the rise of mobile health apps, more benefits are likely to be incorporated such as in the case of health emergencies where an app can send the location of the needy to the hospital, thus saving ambulance drivers’ time in following directions.

Increase in Demand for Personalized Care

Customers have begun to feel empowered and valued through wearable devices and other digital health tools as it is enabling them to take control of their health. With electronic health records in hand, healthcare organizations are leveraging patients’ health records that are helping in optimizing the digital health customer experience. Predicting problems and providing solutions before they bother the patients has become the new model. This has paved the way for hyper personalization. By analyzing an individual’s DNA, it allows HCPs to monitor patients’ medication, provide health tips and helps them to diagnose diseases early. For instance, DNAfit offers genome-personalized health advice, workout plans, etc. that help customers in framing a daily routine. Apple Healthkit also functions in a similar fashion to personalize healthcare services as patient data is collected, compared and mined to result in a customized health experience.

Younger generation has more trust in tech companies

Around 32% of gen X and 43% of millennial are open to receive virtual healthcare, according to an Accenture survey. As the younger generation provides active feedback to the healthcare organizations, examining their behaviour can provide significant insights that might help mending the existing gaps between HCOs and customers. According to a recent Deloitte survey, empathy and reliability are the two factors that customers expect from healthcare providers. This shows that when customers are given the option to own their personal data related to health, healthcare organizations are more likely to attract customers. Considering how consumers are sensitive about their data, data interoperability is likely to help organizations in meeting consumer needs. In addition to this, increase in digital touchpoints are likely to multiply to meet diverse consumer needs.        

Increased Demand for Value-added services

According to an Accenture survey, around 57% of customers are open to remote virtual care. This shows the increasing appreciation of real-time assistance and contactless healthcare. Healthcare providers are likely to produce more value-added services by enhancing patient engagement, data collection, digital health channels. Traditional ways of treatment will change when HCOs leverage patient data from technologies and smart devices. Expert advice of HCPs in developing value-added services will further assist in producing accurate solutions for patients. Consumer demand for value-added services shows the increasing expectations from the digital health industry that will transform the customer experiences, as the leading health organizations are likely to produce more digitally enabled health solutions. Post COVID-19 when people begin to socialize, the contactless health services will be useful in cases of health emergencies, or for old people who find it hard to travel. 

Consumers are open to omnichannel virtual care

Be it buying of medicines, or keeping a regular check on health, the digital health tools such as mHealth apps, fitness trackers, etc have been adopted by consumers to satiate their healthcare needs. Openness to various digital health channels shows the strengthening of consumer trust. Recently Apple launched Apple Watch series 6 that allows users to take on-demand readings of blood oxygen level anytime. Its potential to give readings anytime and anywhere reflects customers’ increase in usage of digital health tools. Apart from tracking steps, fitness trackers also have advanced health features like, heart-rate monitors, SpO2 monitors, sleep tracking, etc. Web apps and chatbots are being used by healthcare organizations to assist people with health-related problems. Digital healthtech company Your.MD uses chatbot and web app to help customers get personalized health information. The future of the digital health industry is likely to witness an enhancement and increase in the number of access points. Increased acceptance of omnichannel will lead to optimization of customer engagement as HCOs will have more resources from where they can leverage patient data. 

To know about how healthcare industry is bringing hospitals to a customer’s doorstep, watch our webinar on Digital Health Beyond COVID-19.

Know about our work in Digital Health and how we have helped clients such as Suraksha Diagnostics, Abbvie, Religare Health Insurance, and SBI Health Insurance build mobile and web applications improving their operational efficiency and customer experience.

Further Readings:

  1. Building Consumer Trust in the Digital Healthcare Era
  2. HealthTech 101: How are Healthcare Technologies Reinventing Patient Care
  3. Virtual health: Delivering care through technology
  4. How Mobile Micro-Health Insurance can unlock ‘Digital for Bharat’?

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