Sustainable Web Design Trends We Want to See in 2024

We could be like every other design agency and tell you to hop on this year’s digital trends like AI and custom typography. But, as we like to do things a little differently, and because we’re proud advocates for sustainability, we thought we’d use a greener perspective for our own list.

Sure, AI and custom typography sound cool and look flashy but, we can’t ignore the fact that they are extremely unsustainable (and they probably won’t do wonders for your website’s user experience either). 

Because a website is a digital product, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there’s not much of a carbon footprint there, compared to something like single-use plastic. But websites do have a carbon footprint of their own due to energy use, storage and hosting. 

With that in mind, we’ve put together some of the sustainable web design trends we want to see far more of in 2024 and beyond to create a green future for the web.

 

More Dark Mode

Darker colour palettes have been getting more popular in recent years, and we expect this to continue in 2024. Designers are increasingly choosing deep, contrasting colours and making use of dark mode interfaces. As well as looking great, this comes with environmental benefits too. 

The concept is simple: dark backgrounds with light text consume less power on OLED and AMOLED screens. By reducing the energy required to display content, dark mode can significantly extend the battery life of devices, meaning you need to charge less often and therefore use less electricity. 

Dark mode and dark colour palettes look great and have a lower carbon footprint – so what’s stopping you?

 

Streamlined and Clean Coding

Behind every great-looking website lies the code that powers it. We’re predicting (and hoping) that web designers prioritise clean, streamlined coding this year so that their sites not only look great but are better for the planet.

Streamlined and clean coding can play an important role in sustainability. Efficient, well-structured code loads faster and uses fewer server resources. This means reduced energy consumption and a smaller carbon footprint for the site as a whole.

 

Image Optimisation… Finally

Ok, so this one isn’t really a new trend,  but image optimisation remains a critical aspect of sustainable web design, and people still aren’t doing it! It’s a simple practice but neglecting it leads to longer load times and increased energy consumption.

We’re urging web designers to pay closer attention to image optimisation in 2024. Compressing images and using modern formats can significantly reduce a website’s data size, resulting in quicker load times and a better user experience, all while being kinder to the environment. So put some time aside and get those images sorted!

 

Using Sustainable Fonts

Fonts come in and out of fashion and when a new one starts trending you’ll notice it on every third site you visit. Custom fonts are also a way for you to put a unique stamp on your site, something completely ‘on-brand’. The problem is, neither of these options are very environmentally friendly. 

When it comes to typography, default fonts like Arial, Helvetica Neue, and Times New Roman are readily available on all devices, requiring minimal time and energy to load. In contrast, custom fonts, which are often considered more aesthetically pleasing, can substantially increase a webpage’s weight, demanding more energy to load and slowing down the user experience, increasing the time they spend on the page and the energy they use to do so.

For 2024, let’s get rid of the idea that default fonts are boring. Times New Roman can be sexy too!

 

Green Hosting

Making a space for your site on the world wide web uses energy, and there’s no getting around that. But the way that hosting is powered can make a huge difference. That’s why we have switched all our new websites over to super-fast, secure Krystal Web Hosting, powered by 100% renewable energy.

We’re predicting that the global push towards sustainability will mean more web designers think about their hosting choices and look towards renewable options, which would mean a huge step in the right direction for our industry.

Krystal doesn’t compromise on the quality of performance or the health of the planet, so we urge any web developers still using inferior, carbon-heavy hosting to check them out.

 

UX Design With Sustainability in Mind

You might not think so, but user experience (UX) design has a significant role to play in making websites more sustainable. A well-thought-out UX design ensures that users can find what they need quickly and efficiently, reducing the time spent browsing the website and, as a result, lowering energy consumption.

Think about it – how long do you spend on a site when the navigation is clunky, the design is not intuitive and you have to click through links on multiple pages to get where you want? Compare this to a site with stripped back, easy navigation, and maybe a drop-down list on the homepage to reduce how many steps it takes to get to your destination?

If people are spending loads of time on your site, it should be because they love being there, not because they can’t find what they’re looking for. There really is no downside to creating a great user experience, so make sure 2024 is the year you get on it!

 

Every click and scroll consumes energy, and making conscious choices contributes to a more sustainable digital landscape. Sustainability and aesthetics can coexist harmoniously. In fact, they can elevate each other, creating websites that are not only visually appealing but also eco-friendly.

Sustainable web design is more than just a trend; it needs to come from a desire to always do better. There’s sure to be more developments in the future that change how we all do our work, but for now, by embracing these practices, designers can not only reduce the environmental impact of their sites but also enhance user experiences.