Monday, November 13, 2023
5:15 PM - 6:45 PM
Fast & Fair: Design & Development Decisions to Accelerate Inclusive, Equal, & Sustainable Web Access
Session ID
Poster Presentations
Nick Langle

What an exciting technological age we live in! A marvelous wonder known as the internet affords humanity near-instant access to more data, knowledge, and communication capabilities than ever before – or, does it? Each passing year yields technology gains in hardware and software development; web tech companies tout advancements such as Javascript frameworks, cloud and edge resources, use more video!, people want more images!, 5G speeds solve it all!, and more – oh my! But many of us don't realize there is a growing gap between who benefits from those gains; and who can easily access what on the internet. Performant-minded web developers know that there is a performance budget to stick within to make their products run optimally for all. Unfortunately, research shows that many websites require more request data transfer than reasonable for 80+% of the world's web users. Building accessible websites provides a fast user experience for all, an improved experience for many – especially disadvantaged users – and, wait for it, performant websites are also more sustainable because they require less energy consumption from the behemoth that is the internet! Some researchers estimate the internet may use 20% of all electricity by 2025, and if it were a country, it would be the fourth largest polluter in the world. Building performant websites helps to minimize your web product's contribution to this. I'll review how to audit and identify these issues with existing websites, where to start making low-effort changes, how to challenge status quo design, and best practices for building new websites that are inclusive, equitable, and sustainable. Indeed, changing web designer and developer behaviors may have a wide-reaching human and environmental impact.

Supporting Document 1