Welcome to the latest instalment of our ‘Detoxing’ blog series. This time we’re focusing on how to detox your website design practices for enterprise organisations, both internally and externally.
If you’re serious about detoxing your digital approaches, the first step is to plan. Change doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it happen by chance. As we’re discovering on our own detoxing journey, the process of becoming more energy efficient in our digital practices is an ongoing labour of love and learning.
Here are some of the ways in which we’re transforming our enterprise digital design practices to become more sustainable.
Set the expectation
Every employee at Digital Detox cares about their carbon footprint. There’s a spirit of environmental consciousness within the organisation that starts at the top and filters down to each team member. As a result, every action we take - individually and collectively - factors sustainability into the potential outcome.
Our digital designers spend their time learning, adapting and improving their practices to become more efficient. Their commitment to detox enterprise website design impacts every decision they make, and they work closely with clients to set expectations about what sustainable digital design looks like.
In this way, everyone is aligned, internally and externally, so change can happen.
Design with purpose
Mindfulness has become increasingly popular due to its many health benefits. At its heart, it suggests that we become more present in the moment and adopt a conscious approach to all we do.
A similar principle applies if you wish to detox enterprise website design. Every decision you make as a digital designer should be made consciously and with purpose.
We should be self-aware in the way we design. In the same way that mindfulness helps us cope with unhelpful or unproductive thoughts, a mindful approach to website design can help us minimise unhelpful or unproductive design practices.
Being more mindful as a digital designer means;
- Focusing on the user, not the features
- Designing for efficiency not stickiness
- Ensuring every design element has a purpose
- Suggesting green hosting options
- Including sustainability as a design KPI
- Working with ethical partners and providers.
Walk the walk
In addition to ‘what’ you do as a designer, in order to detox enterprise website design you’ll also need to review ‘how’ you work;
- Set up your workstation in an energy efficient way
- Use energy saving light bulbs
- Switch off power sources when not in use
- Try to work offline when possible
- Choose a sustainable broadband supplier
- Have a dedicated waste paper bin so you can recycle
Make ethical purchasing decisions, from the food you eat and the clothes you wear, to the technology you consume
- Try to minimise printing, and use recycled paper for your offline sketches. Digitise your offline practices where you can (but remember these have a carbon footprint too!)
Connect designers with developers
Think about your own organisation; how closely do your designers and developers work together? If the answer is “not very”, then you have a great opportunity to change.
One of the most powerful ways to detox digitally is to connect the aesthetics of the user journey with technical feasibility.
If designers spend ages mapping out beautiful user journeys that later prove to be technically infeasible (and therefore not possible) this is a waste of time, energy and resources.
Designers and developers should work together to create user journeys that are beautiful, user-focused and considerate of the current technical landscape.
Developers can suggest multiple efficiencies at the design stage, from identifying bad user paths to suggesting opportunities to reuse components. They can also suggest efficiencies in data storage, hosting and digitisation of offline practices that may impact the design process.
Who are you accountable to as a website designer?
No doubt, if you work with large organisations, you’ll have a myriad of demanding stakeholders. It can be useful to begin influencing select individuals, instead of trying to implement mass change across the entire enterprise organisation. As their knowledge and carbon conscience grows, they will become evangelists and influence their own set of stakeholders.
It’s also worth reevaluating the priority of your stakeholder list against end-users’ needs. If your clients have unrealistic (or, worse, unethical) expectations that compromise the user experience, you’ll need to challenge their thinking with research.
Mindset change is notoriously difficult and large, established organisations are often structured in a way that makes detoxing a challenge. Be sensitive to your clients’ challenges and try to guide, support and be patient with them. Share knowledge and resources with clients about sustainable digital design and digital carbon footprints. Encourage them to do their own research too, so they can feel a sense of ownership over their sustainability journey.
It’s also helpful to use data and insights to make design decisions, so you can have confidence you’re implementing proven, measurable tactics.
Where to start
At Digital Detox, we work with enterprise organisations to guide them through the detoxing process for their website design. We can help you identify areas that need attention, then put together clear and tangible plans to address them.
From quick wins to entire digital transformations, we can help you detox and improve the efficiency of every aspect of your digital practices.