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Sydney’s rainiest year to date – UX Connection’s commitment to limiting consultant’s contribution to global warming

How UX Connections is limiting consultant’s contribution to global warming

With Sydney on track to break its annual rainfall record, and record breaking heat-waves in the northern hemisphere, we are continuing to experience the catastrophic effects of climate change.

At UX Connections AU, we are committed to being mindful of our impact on the environment and encouraging conversation around our environmental responsibilities. 

We spoke with some of our UX consultants about how sustainability and tech intertwine, discussing how to be sustainable as a UX designer, and some personal tips on things one can do as an individual.

How can tech help with sustainability?

Sophie, UX Consultant, Sydney Office:

Innovative products are constantly being created to make every part of our lives more efficient, and sustainability isn’t exempt from this. There is fantastic, ground breaking technology that is constantly being advanced such as solar energy, electric cars and biodegradable materials. 

However, with the development of digital products, we can also create appealing products which offer the user genuine value, whilst also being sustainable, such as second hand clothes such as Vinted, eBay and Depop, to food waste apps, such as TooGoodToGo.

Tech has a vital role to play in the active battle against global warming, however it also plays a huge role through the more passive means such as the apps outlined above. 

Hayley, UX Consultant, Sydney Office:

If you ask the general public about their perceptions towards sustainability, the majority are wanting to do their part, however in reality being more sustainable can result in inconvenience, and users making sacrifices. Tech can help us develop more energy efficient ways to live our lives, without the users having to compromise. For example, developing solar energy for a more sustainable electricity source, as opposed to asking users to limit their use. 

This is a more realistic and reliable approach to sustainability; it needs to fit easily into users lives and meet or exceed the existing means.

How is sustainability related to the job of UX consultants?

Sophie, UX Consultant, Sydney Office:

There is a constant stream of innovative concepts being brought to the market which aim to change the actions of users to swap to a more sustainable method. However if the UX of these products is not considered, users simply won’t use them. UX is just as important for sustainability products, as any other digital product we produce.

Hayley, UX Consultant, Sydney Office:

Good UX will help users complete their tasks more efficiently, resulting in less time on a digital product. When applied to the high number of users across the world, this marginal reduction can surmount to quite significant reduction of screen time, and therefore reducing its own environmental impact.

What is the environmental responsibility of UX consultants?

Sophie, UX Consultant, Sydney Office:

As a UX Consultant you are involved in the creation of digital products and therefore it’s down to us to consider sustainability throughout the design process. This awareness goes further than just when the user is interacting with the product; it considers the whole experience we are creating, and potential behaviours it causes after. For us, it’s important to create great experiences for users, whilst also not contributing to climate change, or better, combating it!

Hayley, UX Consultant, Sydney Office:

As a consultancy, we have an environmental policy which ensures we conduct our business in a way that is mindful of the environmental impact we are having, and seek out to provide services whilst mindful of being sustainable. We enforce this policy by working with more sustainable companies, being selective about our suppliers and clients.

What do you do to reduce your environmental footprint?

Sophie, UX Consultant, Sydney Office:

When moving from London to Sydney, I was mindful of choosing a sustainable way to do so. This meant I started early by selling my belongings on second hand apps such as Vinted and Thrift, and giving to friends and family. When arriving in Sydney, I bought most of my furniture secondhand, and even picked up a lamp from the street!

As a more permanent approach, I became pescatarian a number of years ago, swapping my usual consumption of meat for more sustainable sources of protein, as a method of reducing my carbon emissions.

Hayley, UX Consultant, Sydney Office:

I personally try to choose more environmentally friendly options throughout every aspect of my life. I ensure my money is going to those businesses who recognise the importance of being environmentally friendly (e.g. reducing single use plastics and using biodegradable coffee cups). In addition, I like to order my fruit and veg from a sustainable source like OddBox, who minimise food wastage by delivering imperfect produce for a discounted price.

 

UX Connections keeps designing more energy efficient products at the forefront of our consulting. Furthermore, we are constantly reassessing our ways of working to ensure we are doing our part for the planet, like our London team demonstrated by choosing CAT as their sponsored charity this quarter.

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