Image optimization

Over the holidays I was at my local Starbucks sucking off their WIFI along with ~10 others. It’s funny how performance becomes your top priority under those circumstances; compared to my office WIFI it was like night and day. Retail emails especially choked, with their big images taking forever to load and some just hanging.

Starbucks reminded me that users aren’t always checking email under ideal “office testing” conditions, and to look into new ways to reduce the file size of desktop images. To that end I went back to basics, running this 508K Gap hero image through a bunch of image optimization tools.



Original 508K image  view                                                  Optimized via RIOT 84K  view

image optimization tools


Click “View” to see the full-sized image that each tool produced.

jpg optimization tools
Original size of Gap image - View 508K
Photoshop “Save for web” 70% - View 154K (lossy) - View 102K - View 303K - View 463K 80% (Mac only) - View 102K RIOT 70% - View 84K



RIOT was my favorite, it cut the 508K image down to just 84K at 70% compression. I liked the interface and control it gives you. Though unlike Kraken and jpegmini you have to install it on your system. For Mac users imageoptim also did a great job, again it’s something you install.

RIOT interface

image optimization tools


Back to basics

Image optimization is an easy win for improving mobile load times, and can be done without visibly reducing the image quality. I usually save images out of Photoshop via “save for web” at 70%, but with these tools I’ll be able to save an extra 30% or more. Here’s a few more comparisons using RIOT:

Neiman Marcus original 60K  view                                       RIOT at 85% 37K  view

image optimization tools

Horchow original 162K  view                                              RIOT at 70% 80K  view

image optimization tools

Hugo Boss original 260K  view                                            Hugo Boss at 70% 59K  view

image optimization tools

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