Designing for Sustainability: Create More People and Planet-Friendly Digital Products

Posted by in Events, Sustainability, UX Design

Designing for Sustainability book cover aside graphic of the juxtaposition concerning nature and technology

People-friendly digital products and services are often more planet-friendly as well. That’s because the faster you get users to the content they need, the less energy is used. And our websites and mobile apps use a lot of energy. In fact, the internet is well on its way to being the largest source of carbon emissions in the world. According to Greenpeace, if it were a country, the internet would be the sixth largest user of electricity behind China, the U.S., Japan, India, and Russia. And very little of that electricity comes from renewable sources. But this is something we can fix. By applying standard sustainability practices to the process of building digital products and services, we can significantly reduce the impact our websites, mobile apps, and digital media have on the planet. In Designing for Sustainability: A Guide to Building Greener Digital Products and Services ,from O’Reilly Media, Tim Frick shows you how to apply sustainable design practices to the creation and optimization of digital products and services that are both people and planet-friendly.

Like our sustainable web design blog, the book outlines a framework with four categories:

  1. Content strategy, SEO, & content “findability”
  2. Design and user experience
  3. Performance optimization
  4. Green hosting and other more sustainable components

Throughout its eight chapters Designing for Sustainability offers techniques for creating more user-friendly and efficient digital solutions that are powered by renewable energy. Each section outlines a set of practices to try on your own projects and ends with a specific list of action items you can take to bring sustainable design to your own work.

Designing for Sustainability: A Guide to Building Greener Digital Products and Services is released in August 2016 and can be purchased from most major booksellers.

Buy the Book >

Attend the Designing for Sustainability Launch Party

The future-forward WebVisions conference has long been a supporter of sustainable web design concepts and in fact was the very first conference we presented these ideas at back in 2013. They have agreed to host the book launch party for Designing for Sustainability as part of their Chicago event at the Gene Siskel Film Center on September 22, 2016. Tim will be presenting topics covered in his book at the conference as well.

Here’s what WebVisions founder Brad Smith had to say about Designing for Sustainability, “Too often, our intentions don’t match up with our actions. We want to help make the world a better place, but don’t connect the dots on how we can make a difference. Tim Frick’s insightful book is the definitive manual on making decisions that help us make better digital products and develop cradle-to-cradle practices that enable organizations to be truly sustainable.”

RSVP for the Party >


Tim Frick is the author of four books including, most recently, Designing for Sustainability: A Guide to Building Greener Digital Products and Services, from O'Reilly Media. He is @timfrick on Twitter. Mightybytes is a full-service creative firm for conscious companies and a certified B Corporation. Connect with us on Twitter or fill out our contact form.