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Community & Business Groups

Sustainable Web Design Community Group

A community group dedicated to creating sustainable websites. This group will not publish specifications.

Group's public email, repo and wiki activity over time

Note: Community Groups are proposed and run by the community. Although W3C hosts these conversations, the groups do not necessarily represent the views of the W3C Membership or staff.

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Draft Charter for Interest/Working Group: Please Contribute

To kickoff our collaboration, we created a draft charter for a sustainable web design interest/working group. This is required by W3C to provide recommendations. We thought it might be a good place to start our collaboration.

You can find the draft in this Google Doc. It is unfinished and very rough. Please add comments, content, edits, and suggestions to the document when you can. We’ll close comments at the end of June.

An hour-long kickoff meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 21st at 8am CDT in the U.S. where we’ll review progress on the charter and also discuss:

  • Introductions
  • The group’s primary goal
  • Charter review
  • Define roles, timelines, next steps

To get added to the calendar invite for this meeting, please email with your interest.

Thanks everyone.

Sustainability Recommendations Interest/Working Group

A few members of this group recently met with W3C to discuss creating sustainable web design recommendations, perhaps similar to the WAI‘s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) or perhaps something new entirely. For many of us who have worked in web/digital sustainability for some time, this seems like a natural next step.

Primary Take-Aways

Here are the main take-aways we pulled from the W3C conversation:

  • Sustainability is already included as part of W3C TAG group. There is potential overlap with other groups as well, which might mean more possible collaborators. 
  • Standards and recommendations are two different things (WCAG is the latter, we might want to start there).
  • Community groups are great to get as many people involved in discussing a topic, shared ideas, etc. as possible (That’s what this group is).
  • Interest groups bring together people who wish to evaluate potential Web technologies and policies. An Interest Group is a forum for the exchange of ideas.
  • Working groups typically produce deliverables (e.g., Recommendation Track technical reports, software, test suites, and reviews of the deliverables of other groups) as defined in their charter.
  • Working or interest groups have charters they must follow and a set of requirements. You can read charter requirements here.

If you’re interested in being a part of this, please add your name in a comment below. Thanks very much!

Link to my “Sustainable UX in Virtual Reality” Talk

I’ve been working with XR (Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality), specifically investigating design, usability, and sustainability. Here is a talk from about a year ago on the topic:

I’ve also been writing about it on my blog – basically why XR is currently being pushed in an unsustainable direction by its design community:

The current push in XR is to a “mirror world” – making XR as hyper-real as possible. That requires perhaps a 6G network plus 20x per user power consumption. The current XR design community is oblivious to sustainability issues. It is quite possible that an alternative XR design theory could be developed, following the trajectory from “skeuomorph” to more efficient “flat design” using abstract signifiers and idioms.

Sustainable Web Design Book from Tom Greenwood

Just discovered this book, “Sustainable Web Design” on A Book Apart from Tom Greenwood

Here is Tom’s blog post on his new book, describing motivation and intent:

Podcast featuring Tom discussing the book:

Feedback for a new version of Ecograder

Hi everyone, the team at Mightybytes is kicking off a redesign of our free web sustainability tool, Ecograder. We’re actively seeking feedback on what the new version could or should become. Our goal is to make it more useful and help people better understand how to improve their digital products to become both high-impact and low-carbon.

This group’s insights would be incredibly helpful. If you’re up for it, would you mind answering a few questions? Here’s the survey. It will stay open for at least the next week or so.

Thanks in advance,


Conversational Design as a Route to Web Sustainability (and what you do before “Mobile First”

I’ve been reading a bit about Conversational Design, and want to suggest some talking points about its relation to web sustainability:

Conversational Design uses text interaction, which reduces the complexity of the Ui

Conversational Design may provide a more natural way of user interaction for many apps, currently download gobs of JavaScript to create an elaborate, animated visual Ui that uses lots of visual symbols instead of a few words

Conversational Design creates a dialogue between user and a “Site Persona”, which fits nicely into many Ux models. We’ve been calling these, “Design Personas”, as part of Emotional Design:

Conversational Design outputs a text stream ordered in time, which means you naturally support visually impaired uses with screen readers. In contrast, we need to put ARIA roles on visual pages to make sure they let screen readers parse content in the correct order

Conversational Design deliverables look a LOT like a Ux user storyboard, scenario, or Customer Journey.

Conversational Design supports those without visual screens, which includes IoT devices like Alexa. But it also supports, in theory “smart” web spiders and related AIs trying to make sense of a web page, if they can also engage in a dialogue with the Site Persona.

Conversational Design will be used heavily in VR and AR. The reason? VR and AR environments are too complex to control except via voice interaction.

So, I’m suggesting that instead of “Mobile First”, “Conversation First” as a new route to Web Sustainability. Thoughts?

Bringing the Green Web to WordPress

With Mozilla’s 2018 Internet Health Report finally shining a light on sustainability, and thanks to Chris Adams’ presentation at MozFest last year, I’ve been inspired to seriously up my game in terms of helping wherever I can in this field.

As a first step, I’ve put together a very simple WordPress widget that allows users to easily add The Green Web Foundation’s badge to their website. I think of the widget more as a marketing tool than anything else – i.e. it gets The Green Web Foundation into WordPress’ shop window.

You can see the widget in action on my blog (bottom of the sidebar).

My next steps within WordPress are to create a theme that incorporates all of the sustainable web design techniques. My goal is to make a theme that can theoretically score 100 with Ecograder. I say theoretically because some things are dependent on the host, MozRank etc. But if, for example, I could get the demo site for the theme near to 100, that’d be awesome. And I could also centre all of the content on the demo site around Internet sustainability.

Also, hello everyone! I’m Jack and I work as an engineer on the VIP team. I’m rather passionate about environmental issues. 🙂 I was the Green Party candidate in a UK parliamentary by-election last year which meant I appeared on TV a bit!

Old JavaScript Code Threates Web Sustainability

The following research paper describes the astonishing extent of old JavaScript code with know security problems on the web:

Thou shalt not depend on me: analysing the use of outdated JavaScript libraries on the web

What’s needed for better sustainability is a library that allows lookup of JS library by version, with known vulnerabilities. At the very least, design and maintenance documents for websites should include a strategy for fixing outdated JS libraries in the mix.

Sustainable Ux in VR – Using Ux to enhance sustainability of Virtual Reality

My presentation from Sustainable Ux – for Jan 2017, also the Nov 2016 Los Angeles Ux Professionals meeting

Narrated YouTube:

Google Slides: