One of the key benefits of having a more digitally sustainable website is the decrease in loading times for all users. Because of this, users can find the information they need incredibly quickly, which makes for a more enjoyable customer journey and can help increase conversion rates.
This statement itself is quite a combination of broad strokes, as it doesn’t go into all the finer details that are part of the increase in conversions. There are numerous articles, reports and case studies that show these to be true.
We've published, on numerous occasions, that having a more sustainable website means that it is more efficient and lightweight, meaning that it loads faster. As an example of this, look no further than our own website, which now loads in less than a second in comparison to the three seconds the old site needed.
Others, such as Amazon, CloudFlare, Pingdom, Google and HubSpot, have all published articles on how performance impacts conversation rates. The general consensus of these articles is that quicker sites tend to have higher conversion rates.
One of the key elements of creating a more sustainable website or web application is what I call “value driven design.” This works by ensuring that elements such as videos and images add real value to a user - when it doesn’t, it is replaced with copy that has to work even harder. This helps users in a lot more ways than you think, especially when it comes to the idea of inclusive design.
For users with visual impairments, removing images instantly means that your website can be a lot better for screen readers, which can read much more of the website content, as most images don’t tend to have good alt tags and most videos don’t have audio descriptions. On the flip side, most self-hosted videos, don’t have subtitles for those hard of hearing or those watching in quiet spaces.
Access for all
Another big issue within inclusive design is the idea of data poverty – the difference between the fastest internet connections and the slowest. This can affect user behaviour in a massive way. By being more sustainable, your website loads faster for everyone regardless of connection speed.
There are other aspects of inclusive design that should be brought up when creating new digital services, but these are the key ones which have an impact on page weight and performance, with sustainability being a key side effect of that.
There's no reason why our digital experiences can't be both inclusive and efficient. They shouldn't be exclusive of each other, in fact in combination they make for a much better customer journey.