All online activity generates carbon emissions. Every image downloaded, every click, server call and visit to our site. These types of interactions generate Scope 3 emissions. Lowering these emissions helps Scottish Enterprise towards achieving our Net Zero targets. And, for our users, the user experience is improved, along with SEO, because pages load faster and they use less data interacting with our sites.
In the run-up to January 2023 we migrated our first site – – to our new Design System.
Just under 3 years of research, design, build and, finally, the migration of content from the old site to the new site. This is a huge milestone in the development and success of our future websites for Scottish Enterprise.
Last week I read a Twitter thread from Gerry McGovern. He’s a bit of a guru in designing digital experiences and is also passionate about the impact that ‘digital’ is having on the environment.
‘Organisation with 100 million visits a year finds that 5% of its content is getting over 80% of visits. Over 100,000 pages have not been reviewed in 10 years. We produce content. We do not manage it. 90% of content is crap. It was like this 25 years ago. It’s still the same.’
It made me think about the Scottish Enterprise website and whether we saw the same statistics. So, I asked our product owner David what our customers were looking at.
Earlier on in the year, myself, and Derek Hawthorne from SDS connected on LinkedIn about a mutual interest in an article about making the web a greener place. Through further conversation we discovered that we are both working on Design Systems.
SDS are at the very early stage of creating a Design system while we are further on in our journey. Derek reached out to see if we could share what we are doing, so we set up a sharing session.
Scottish Enterprise is changing. We are delivering services to customers and stakeholders in new ways, this gives us a fabulous opportunity but also presents some challenges.
As the team leader for the user centered design team at Scottish Enterprise I hear comments such as ‘What do you mean when you say service’, ‘We don’t really know what you do or who you are’ and also ‘But don’t you just build websites? Why do you care about all this other stuff that’s not digital?’
It prompted me to think what was causing this perception and how I felt four years ago when I joined the digital team at Scottish Enterprise. I was struck by how many people are involved and therefore how confusing it can be.
Over two years ago we re-launched the Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International websites. We had six months to research, design, build and launch the sites. During the build we created a Global Design Language (GDL), a library of components within the CMS to use for future updates and builds.