Why you should not lose sight of your brand in sustainable web design

Dan Hinton


Over the last 12 months we’ve been focusing and learning about the best ways to negate the environmental impact of a website, through sustainable web design practices.

A lot of the advice and perceived wisdom that is currently out there, revolves around the technical aspects, hosting environment and website usability. All of these things are important and should eventually become inherent in all good web design. But I can’t help but wonder where a company and organisations brand fits into this.

It’s all good and well seeking to minimise page load speeds by simplifying a web page, using less data heavy assets but I feel at times, the brand and messaging can be diluted. This can leave a website not performing as well as it should for its intended purpose. We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact, a website is an investment. An investment into your business and organisation with the primary purpose of leading to further business or facilitating positive impact.

Prioritise your brand and messaging

This is why we prioritise establishing your brand narrative in our web projects. It helps us establish the key drivers and focuses. With this we can then look to distil this in a core narrative that everything can then hang off. It helps build structure, purpose and make your website more effective. A great example of how we do this is with our brand and web design project for Arc.

We are then able to introduce sustainable web design and development practices that help make sure we’re minimising the carbon footprint of each page load. Where I would differ from many of the leading voices in the industry, is we need an element of pragmatism when trying to hit certain CO2 targets. We should of course be striving to produce websites with minimal impact on resources but let’s not make it to the detriment of the website.

We’ll hold our hands up. Sometimes we don’t achieve the ambitious CO2 targets we’re aiming for but we’ll know exactly why and it will be an informed decision between us and the client, based on us weighing up not only the CO2 impact, but also the intended purpose of the website.

If we’re able to help create more engaging and impactful sites that help direct, inform and educate users then we treat that as a win.