This time I`d like to talk to you about how UX affects our environment and what should be done to reduce this negative effect. We all know that our global economy is still carbon dependent. We cannot change that right away but we can be wiser to protect our planet from the negative hold.
Recent research shows that IT is one of the spheres with the fastest-growing energy consumption. Why does that happen? Step by step websites that we browse become heavier and heavier. More and more data and images are used. Besides, it is a common practice to add videos. To say nothing about using social networks, exchanging photos, etc. It all contributes to the increase in carbon consumption. Of course, we cannot stop using the internet and all our devices. But we can make them environment-friendly. How can we change our UX to make it less harmful to our planet?
Recently mobile traffic has increased drastically. Desktop traffic is not so popular as it used to be in the past. But it is a good sign. When web designers and developers create an app or a mobile website version, first of all, they concentrate on the most important functions and data. All the rest is cut down. That is quite reasonable. Websites and apps should be light-weight, flexible, and quick loading. When we increase the loading speed we reduce energy consumption which is vital for our planet.
Why is accessibility so important for the green UX? How are they connected? The thing is that if your content is accessible and your UI is usable, visitors will spend less time browsing websites and looking for the material or functions they need. If they load fewer pages, they spend less energy. That is it. So, you should always check if your website is friendly to users with all kinds of impairments. You should be sure as well that your website or menu is intuitive enough and it is obvious what information you can find in this or that section. We have already discussed accessibility and you can find more information about it in this post.
It is highly important nowadays. Not only for the sake of users but for the environment as well. If you reduce the loading time of your pages, less electricity will be spent. What should be done to optimize your website?
- Adaptive images and videos. If you use various tools and services to reduce your visuals` weight, that will improve the loading speed of your pages.
- Compress your content. That will increase the performance of your website as well. Again tools and services may help you.
- Use your own CDN (content delivery network). That will surely require less energy because CDN stores a copy of data users once requested.
- Remove the unused features and functions. If something is not used — get rid of it. It surely affects the loading speed in a negative way even if you do not see it.
- Minify your code. You can remove the unnecessary spaces, line breaks, etc. You will speed up loading and executing a lot. You can use special tools for that.
- Cache. It saves a lot of browser requests to the server improving the load speed of the website.
Of course, many more things can be done to optimize your website but the above mentioned are the basic ones.
These small steps can help you take care of the environment. If we are wise enough today, we will have a better life tomorrow.
Have a nice day!
Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp.com — best online documentation tool for SaaS vendors