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Using the Chrome UX Report to look at performance in the field
rviscomi
The Chrome UX Report (informally known as CrUX) is a public dataset of real user experience data on millions of websites. Unlike lab data, CrUX data actually comes from opted-in users in the field.
2018-11-05

The Chrome UX Report (informally known as CrUX) is a public dataset of real user experience data on millions of websites. Unlike lab data, CrUX data actually comes from opted-in users in the field. It measures metrics such as first contentful paint (FCP), DOM content loaded (DCL), and first input delay (FID).

The dataset also contains qualitative dimensions about the user experience, for example, the device and connection types, which enables drilling down into user experiences grouped by similar technologies. See the CrUX documentation for the full list of metrics.

Using this data, developers are able to understand the wide distribution of real world user experiences between websites, segments of the web, or the web as a whole. This is a big deal! The Chrome UX Report dataset is the first of its kind to enable web developers to compare their real user performance against the competition and industry.

How to use it

There are three primary ways to extract insights from the Chrome UX Report, ranging in complexity. For quick and easy analysis of website performance, the CrUX Dashboard and PageSpeed Insights are the recommended tools. BigQuery trades some of the simplicity of the analysis for the power of customization and more granular insights.

CrUX Dashboard

The CrUX Dashboard is a customizable data visualization tool of websites' historical performance built on Data Studio. The data is sourced from the BigQuery dataset and all of the SQL queries are handled for you under the hood. The dashboard shows the distribution of user experiences, as captured by key performance metrics, and how it changes over time. It also shows how the distributions of qualitative metrics like device type and effective connection type change over time. Try the Data Studio Dashboard guide.

PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights (PSI) shows the most recent performance distributions broken down by desktop and mobile users. Performance data is available for individual web pages (in addition to entire origins) and is aggregated for the most recent 30 days of data (as opposed to the previous calendar month on BigQuery). Using this tool is as easy as entering a URL or origin in the search box on the web interface, and the field performance data is displayed alongside prescriptive suggestions to optimize the page. There is also an API available to programmatically get the performance data. Try the PageSpeed Insights guide.

CrUX on BigQuery

The CrUX database on BigQuery, part of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with a web and command line interface, hosts the raw data that aggregates key UX performance metrics for top origins on the web. New tables are periodically added to the database covering the previous calendar month. Developers can handcraft queries to mine the dataset for specific insights. BigQuery requires knowledge of SQL and a GCP project with billing enabled to run the queries. This is an especially useful tool for power users who require low-level access to the data to create custom reports, benchmarks, and reports about the state of the web. Try the BigQuery guide.

How to get help

If you need any kind of support, there are a few channels to reach someone who can help. The CrUX Google Group is a public forum for users of the dataset to ask questions and share analyses. There is also a CrUX tag for Stack Overflow if you need programming help with SQL or API access. And finally, @ChromeUXReport is the Twitter account you can follow to ask questions and listen for product announcements.

See it in action

In order to get more acquainted with the available data, walk through step-by-step guides for using BigQuery, Data Studio Dashboard, and PageSpeed Insights:

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