Core Web Vital - Google rolls out Interaction to Next Paint (INP)

Google has rolled out an update and announced a change to its Core Web Vital (CWV) metrics. Launched on March 12, Interaction to Next Paint (INP) takes over the baton from the familiar First Input Delay (FID), as a useful measure of responsiveness on the web. You can't help but welcome INP and make sure you improve what you can according to the results that come from the change.

In early 2020, Google's Chrome team put the spotlight on Core Web Vitals, giving us a collection of website quality metrics. Now there's an update, which is always exciting. This one aims to offer a better assessment of a website's user experience. That's what everything online is about today, how to make the online journey better, easier and faster. Everyone wants to get from A to B faster than ever before. So what will this change mean and what does it mean?

What is Interaction to Next Paint (INP)?

Both FID and INP address how responsive and interactive a website feels. Websites with good FID or INP scores are often described as "fast" and "light". With the introduction of INP, the focus is on the time it takes from an interaction on the website to the next visual update.

The reason behind INP's introduction is simple, it provides a more accurate picture of the user experience across the board. A website that consistently ensures fast and smooth interaction is considered superior to one that only gives you a bit of the same feeling on the first impression.

How is INP calculated?

INP is calculated by observing all interactions performed on a page. For most websites, the interaction with the worst latency is reported as INP. However, for pages with a large number of interactions, random errors can result in an interaction with unusually high latency on an otherwise responsive site. The more interactions, the more likely this is to happen. To counteract this, and provide a better measure of the actual responsiveness of such pages, we ignore the highest interaction for every 50th interaction. Since the vast majority of page experiences do not have over 50 interactions, the browser almost always reports the worst interaction. The 75th percentile of all page views is then reported as usual, further removing outliers to provide a value that is more representative of the overall user experience.

An interaction is a group of event handlers that are triggered under the same logical user gesture. For example, "tap" interactions on a touchscreen device include multiple events, such as pointerup, pointerdown and click. An interaction can be driven by JavaScript, CSS, built-in browser controls such as form elements, or a combination of these things.

The latency of an interaction consists of the single longest duration of a group of event handlers driving the interaction, from the time the user starts the interaction to the moment the next frame is presented with visual feedback.

What is a good INP score?

To ensure you're delivering user experiences with good responsiveness, a good goal is to measure the 75th percentile of page loads recorded in the field, segmented on mobile and desktop devices:

  • An INP equal to or less than 200 milliseconds means that your page has good responsiveness.
  • An INP between 200 milliseconds and 500 milliseconds means that the page's responsiveness needs improvement.
  • An INP greater than 500 milliseconds means that your site has poor responsiveness.
Core Web Vital - INP Display from results
*Everything between 200 and 500 is orange and should be improved. Anything above 500 is very poor.

We are already working with INP

Here at Websupporten, we've already taken steps to embrace INP, with the aim of ensuring that every website we manage is compliant with Google's new standard. We're using Google Chrome's Dev tool to analyze the INP metrics, identifying and improving any slow spots or points that have been impacted by the update, across the websites we manage. For us, the transition to INP is just a confirmation that we are working in the right direction and adapting to the times. CWV is part of today's websites and how they rank.

Create faster websites - CWV - Websupporten
Check your website on PageSpeed Insights

How do you check your website and what can you do now?

The change from FID to INP marks a new era for web developers and SEO specialists, with a renewed focus on improving website interactivity and responsiveness. We're ready to guide and support businesses through the update, but you can of course start testing ahead yourself to find results for your own website. Copy your URL into Google's PageSpeed Insights (PSI) page HERE (and you'll see the results).

As always, we recommend a relaxed approach to such measurements. While they are important, they are only part of the bigger picture when it comes to improving your site's user experience. Keep your focus on creating great websites and don't let the metrics guide you. They're a pointer, a guide to the direction you're taking, but taking care of the whole user experience at the same time is key. Take a look at your INP score, look for simple improvements, and keep creating great online experiences.