What is ‘Green’ UX?

With the carbon footprint of the World Wide Web rising steeply, sustainable UX is about to have its moment.

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Have you ever thought about the health of the World Wide Web? In the 2018 edition of its yearly Health Report, Internet giant Mozilla has attempted to answer this very question. Although there is much to be optimistic about, such as improved security and more inclusive communities, the report also highlights several areas of concern.

The web’s voracious desire for energy

If the World Wide Web were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest emitter of CO2. Data storage and cryptocurrency mining have widely discussed environmental costs, however, our online behaviours are also fuelling the web’s increasing energy consumption.

When you ask Alexa to turn off lights, you kick-start a chain of reactions which stretches far beyond the boundaries of your own home. Although we perhaps don’t think about energy expenditure in the moment, if we consider that information must first travel through a series of data centres to complete this apparently simple action, it becomes easier to see how the web is creating such a large carbon footprint.

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Sustainable web design

Everyday online actions are using large quantities of energy, so careful thinking is required to reconsider how apps and websites can be designed to be more sustainable.

Minimising the footprint of digital products is crucial to the sustainability of the web. Sustainable web design must consider everything from relatively small refinements like video, image, and graphics optimisation to reduce the processing power required to load each page, to full-scale user experience (UX) redesigns.

More energy is used each time someone finds themselves needing to trawl through a poorly designed website to locate the information they require. As well as being better for users, well designed websites that aren’t weighed down with extraneous code and images are also better for the planet.

Creating a ‘Green’ UX

Reducing digital clutter and bloat are crucial to the creation of a greener UX. Working closely with a professional Yorkshire web design team, such as the one that can be found here, will help you to identify ways in which you can boost the usability of your website whilst also doing your bit to take care of the environment too.

Importantly, digital sustainability is not a trend. Simpler, less cluttered websites are the future.

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