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Since their founding in 1972, Carnival Cruise Line has become one of the world’s most popular cruise lines and carries millions of passengers each year. Carnival is part of a family of companies owned by Carnival Corporation, which includes sister lines Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and Cunard Line, among others.
Erick Leon, Senior Performance, and Monitoring Architect sat down with our team to explain how Rigor helps him create a culture of performance at Carnival Cruise Lines.
How does Rigor help you build a culture of performance at Carnival?
My main focus as the Senior Performance and Monitoring Architect is to bring in, install, and drive a performance culture at Carnival Cruise Lines. Performance is an overarching responsibility of teams across an e-commerce enterprise, so I am continuously trying to engage all the stakeholders that support Carnival.com and help them understand how their areas impact performance and the user experience.
Optimization gives us visibility into the front-end layer of the development stack that has been previously unaddressed. It even ranks the defects on our site from most to least critical these rankings help us to prioritize what is most important first and what will give us the biggest performance boost.
We’ve started this process by not only using Optimization from a development perspective; we also use it with our marketing and content teams to better catch any possible application layer issues such as image sizing and compression.
Erick leon Senior Performance and Monitoring Architect at Carnival Cruise Lines
The Optimization reports even break down defects on our site by job role, which is incredibly helpful when we want to assign performance issues to a different department. The last thing we want to do is assign a bug to the wrong team and delay fixes.
Creating a culture of performance also means integrating performance into our development lifecycle. We’ve started this process by not only using Optimization from a development perspective; we also use it with our marketing and content teams to better catch any possible application layer issues such as image sizing and compression. Every landing page that marketing releases are now scanned through Optimization to ensure our pages are optimized before they ever reach production. This is done to ensure we deliver the best customer experience to our end users.
As we continue to build a culture of performance at Carnival, our long-term goal is to make sure we have Rigor scans set up way early in the development cycle. I want to make sure we are testing for performance early so that no defects make it through the pipeline. The last thing we want is to stall a release on something that could have been addressed earlier in the cycle.
How have Rigor’s Benchmark Checks helped your team stay ahead of the competition?
Not having an official benchmark that gauged how our performance compared to our competitors in our industry was somewhat of a gray area. In order to gain market share, we needed to have visibility as to how our website compared. Rigors benchmarks were very instrumental in giving us a clear picture of where we were in relation to performance and the competition and where we needed to go. We really liked how we we’re gauged also. We didn’t just get a response time metric but also other valuable measures that were also rank such as (page-speed, DOM load time, content size, on-load time, etc…).
The result was that Carnival.com is now ranked consistently in the top 3 in our industry and Rigor’s benchmark checks helped us get there. Rigor just does a great job of presenting the data in a great easy to understand way.
Why is mobile performance so important to your team and how does Rigor help keep your sites fast on mobile and desktop?
With today’s on-the-go mentality, our site needs to be fast and reliable on whatever device the user is on. We have seen the shift in our conversion metrics coming from mobile users more and more, so it is paramount that we have visibility into mobile performance.
We recently improved our mobile pages to be much faster and leaner. Rigor helps our team baseline where we were, where we are now, and if the changes we are implementing are making an impact on both mobile and desktop performance.
What makes Rigor different from other vendors you’ve worked with in the past?
Anytime I look for a new product, I try to seek out companies who want to be good partners with us. I really try to understand what our business means to the vendors we work with.
For instance, is it just a sale where the vendor sets us up a tool and then disappears until renewal comes around? Or is this a partnership where the vendor cares about my business just as much as I care about their business?
Anytime I notice there is a need for an enhancement or a feature that may be useful in Rigor, I speak up and share my input with the Client Success team. At the same time, I want to make sure Rigor is doing the same thing for me by keeping an eye on our performance and letting me know when there are issues or optimizations I could benefit from.
Rigor also fills a big gap in the front-end performance space with the Optimization engine. Optimization reports are comprehensive, easy-to-use, and give me actionable insights without any heavy lifting on my end. It really is the most complete front-end performance testing tool I’ve used on the market.
About Erick Leon
Erick Leon is an experienced Application Performance and Monitoring Architect with a demonstrated history of working to bridge the gap between Development, Marketing, Analytics, and Operations teams. Before Erick joined the Carnival Cruise Line team as the Sr. Performance and Monitoring Architect, he worked as Office Depot’s Lead Performance and Application Monitoring Engineer.
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