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Watch “Designing for Speed” with Mustafa Kurtuldu

In this talk about designing for speed, designer Mustafa Kurtuldu shares research on how to to increase perceived performance, and gives UX examples and technical tricks to improve the speed of your site.

Want to learn how to hack user perception to make websites and apps feel faster? In this talk about designing for speed at Awwwards Conference Amsterdam, Google Senior UX designer Mustafa Kurtuldu shares research on how to to increase perceived performance, and gives UX examples and technical tricks to improve the speed of your site.

“There’s an issue in Silicon Valley and I think the technology industry as a whole: we think adding features increases value, while adding features actually decreases the experience and the focus.”

Mustafa Kurtuldu

Designing for Speed

My Takeaways

While you might be interested in the talk because of technical aspects of performance, I cannot stress how important a couple of points that Mustafa made may have gone unnoticed:

  • Adding features to a product can actually decrease the experience and the focus: Jared Spool has talked at length about the concept of “Experience Rot” and how methodologies like Kano can help us uncover these issues. We have to carefully curate the experience of a product, make some hard choices, and get really good at saying “No” to new features.
  • Perception is (if not all, almost) everything: maybe I’m biased because of my background in Advertising, but I’ve worked with many teams who struggle to realize that people are not objective beings who make rational decisions all the time; sometimes (more often than you would think) problems are not real but perceptions. Once that is out of the way, it can free you up to do a much better job into problem framing.

About Mustafa Kurtuldu

Mustafa Kurtuldu is a UX lead on install-ability on Chrome and Design Advocate at Google. His skills include user research, interviews, surveys, usability reviews, producing documentation including personas, site maps, user journeys and flows, as well as various fidelities of annotated wireframes.

He is able to develop and rapidly create interactive prototypes using various technologies (Axure, MarvelApp, Bootstrap), whiteboard/brainstorming, paper prototyping, low/high fidelity mock-ups.

He has over sixteen years experience working across many sectors including publishing, charities, local, Central Government, education and finance with a variety of organisations including News International, Middlesex University, Metro Newspaper, BBC/Arts Council of England & Macmillan Publishing.

He was also commissioned to written articles for the Times Online, .netmagazine and has given talks at Future of Web design and London Web Meetup.

Recommended Reading

Ariely, D., (2008), “Are we in control of our own decisions?” in EG 2008, captured 11 Feb 2021 from

Anderson, S.P., (2013), “Stop Doing What You’re Told! (Reframing the Design Problem)” in IA Summit 2013, captured 11 Feb 2021 from

Kurtuldu, M., Mora, L., (2020), “Speed Matters: Designing for Mobile Performance” in Brain Food for Creatives, captured 12 Feb 2021,

Sutherland, R. (2009), “Life Lessons from an Ad Man” in TEDGlobal 2009, captured 11 Feb 2021 from

Wedell-Wedellsborg, T. (2020). What’s Your Problem?: To Solve Your Toughest Problems, Change the Problems You Solve. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.


Talk: How Google Designs for Speed, with Senior UX Designer Mustafa Kurtuldu, at Awwwards Conference Amsterdam

By Itamar Medeiros

Originally from Brazil, Itamar Medeiros currently lives in Germany, where he works as Director of Design Strategy at SAP.

Working in the Information Technology industry since 1998, Itamar has helped truly global companies in several countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, The United Arab Emirates, United States, Hong Kong) create great user experience through advocating Design and Innovation principles.

During his 7 years in China, he promoted the User Experience Design discipline as User Experience Manager at Autodesk and Local Coordinator of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) in Shanghai.

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