As a designer, we are often expected to create products that maximize engagement and growth. The incentive structure for most digital products encourages users to spend more time on them and creates an illusion that there are only benefits to the product rather than solve for the impact of the unseen harms. This often ends up negatively impacting our social fabric, as well as our planet.
I believe it is my job to consider these harms, and ensure products are created in a way that enhances the humanity in us, and accounts for the ecological impact of our digital world. My approach defines ‘sustainable web design’ as design that takes into account inclusive, humane and eco design perspectives. Here is some background on the problems that motivate me:
If the Internet was a country, it would be the 7th largest polluter in the world. This figure is expected to grow considerably by 2030.View source
Just 40.8% of rural Canadian households have access to download and upload speeds of at least 50/10 mbps (the standard target set by the Canadian Government).View source
of designers are white and 86% are between the ages of 20-40. If designers fail to employ participatory and inclusive design practices, we are left with products that work for the imagined “average” instead of ‘all people’ for their unique circumstances.View source
after starting to use a smartphone, users experience a significant decrease in their mental arithmetic scores (indicating a reduction in their attentional capacity) and a significant increase in social conformity.View source
My guiding frameworks
Expertise shouldn’t be quantified in degrees, and seeing designers and end-users as separate entities is not useful. When designing any product, it must be in collaboration with the people who will use it, and ensure their voices are sought out have equal weight when reaching decisions.
Humane Technology Principles
Understanding that technology is increasingly shaping our social fabric, and zooming out to see the impact it has had on our society over the last 20 years is critical to realigning technoloy with humanity. By integrating our human values into products over engagement metrics we can create a different social world.
EquityxDesign framework recognizes that racism and inequity are products of design, and that they can be redesigned. Through this framework, everyone is a designer who can recognize their implicit bias, encourage others to brainstorm transformative possibilities, and test them in participatory environments.
Low Impact/Sustainable Web Manifesto
“If the internet was a country, it would be the 7th largest polluter” (view source) . By following the Low Impact and Sustainable Web Manifesto as guides for designing a more sustainable web, I commit myself to embrace sustainability in my work.
My personal website
This portfolio was my way to showcase an example of a sustainable website, create a small resource hub and showcase my work. I aimed to make the site more than just a place to display my projects but as a jumping off point for others interested in learning about sustainable web design.
Redesigning the Honeyfig website to increase feelings of trust with their users, promote the brand to connect to their audience, and better organize site content.
Business Coucil of Canada (While working at an agency)
Led the UX strategy to redesign the Business Council Website, to position them as thought leaders, storytellers and spokespeople for business policy for all Canadians.
Equity x Design Principles
Design for Equity x Design Principles and Core Beliefs to increase retention and adoption of these principles.