The College Affordability Model is a data visualization tool designed to analyze the cost of attending a college in the United States. The system facilitates informed decision making for policy makers due to the ability to explore existing data. The tool is presented in the form of a web application with three separated tiers: the database, backend, and the frontend tiers.
A multi-tier system relies on the frontend to render the user interfaces for interaction with its users. The performance of a web frontend, defined by its load time and runtime, is important for a responsive system to engage its users. The performance of the current College Affordability Model frontend is lacking. The goal of this project is to analyze, understand, and optimize this frontend system.
This project analyzed performance optimization case studies from the industry, identified appropriate tools based on the analysis results, and derived a solution to resolve the system performance issues. The process took the form of a comparison between the existing tools and potential alternative candidates. The most appropriate tools are identified and replaced those that are less efficient in the system while the existing frontend architecture was maintained to retain the desirable developer-friendly characteristics including modularity, maintainability, and modifiability.
A new frontend system was delivered with significantly reduced load times and runtime where user interaction responsiveness is improved.