Tall’s curious minds hit Leeds Digital Festival

We’re an inquisitive bunch, always questioning whether there’s a better way of doing things. So attending this year’s Leeds Digital Festival has been the perfect opportunity to expand our ever curious minds, meet some smart people and chat all things digital. And because we believe sharing really is caring, we wanted to make sure we passed all our lovely learnings onto you.

There were some great events held across the region. But here are some of the most interesting ones that we attended and what we learned. 

Tackling carbon emissions through digital marketing.

Did you know that websites with an average of 10,000 pageviews per month make roughly 553 kilograms of CO2 per year and it would take approximately 22 trees to absorb that amount of carbon emitted? Or 1.6 billion trees would have to be planted to offset the pollution caused by email spam?

Thought not.

Decarb your Digital Marketing held by Sharp Ahead explained how we can all help reduce carbon emissions by making more mindful marketing decisions. 

By making relatively straightforward changes we can make a difference for the environment but also for the consumer. 

Optimisation is key and making sure that you are always looking for improvements and ensuring that you are considering the below…..

  • Does your website have fast page speed?
  • Do you have simple user journeys?
  • Does your website meet Core Web Vitals criteria?
  • Are you dark mode ready? (read our blog here)
  • Is your hosting provider carbon neutral?
  • How is your email database looking? Giving it a cleanse now and again will help

Overall, reducing your carbon footprint isn’t going to happen overnight but this talk reinforced what we already know, which is that implementing simple changes and being more mindful with your marketing can result in big benefits for both your emissions and your business. 

You can see here one of the ways we’re doing our bit to be a Carbon Neutral business.

Being more mindful with User Experience and User Interface design.

Another hot topic is how UX/UI can have an effect on our mental health. Although an area that is still being explored, the seminar by MindWell and 100% Digital Leeds: Mindful UX/UI for Mental Health gave us some great insight to some key areas that we all need to still consider: 

  • Remove communication barriers – don’t assume the user understands digital language. 
  • Avoid time limits – allow users ample time to respond and give adequate review time to avoid time limited actions. 
  • Design for peace of mind – keep it consistent to build confidence & use language that instil trust. 
  • Consider colour triggers.
  • Co-design: involve the audience in the design phase. 

As the industry evolves and more focus is placed on digital channels not only is mental health a key consideration but accessibility as a whole needs to be front and centre of our digital real estate. 

Having highlighted the importance of ‘accessibility in design’ in a recent Soundout of ours we couldn’t have agreed more with XDESIGN and their talk Accessibility: Why it’s vital we build digital estates like physical ones made it clear that accessibility shouldn’t be seen as an added extra in the design world. Physical estates have had legislation in place since the 60s to ensure buildings meet accessibility standards and now is the time to think about how we need to have similar criteria for our digital ones.

There was an interesting debate about how this should look; whether the responsibility lies with web browsers to flag up exclusions within websites, if legislation should be in place and whether or not big brands should lead by example..

Regardless of the above, what was glaringly crucial from the talk was the need to gain the perspective of the user; those who ultimately rely on the accessibility of a website in order to use it. These are the people who have first-hand experiences that are invaluable to knowing what steps are required to make what you do as a business accessible overall.

Women in Digital by Yorkshire Building Society

As an agency equality is incredibly important to us, with nearly 50% of our workforce being female. But, it’s not a secret that many roles within the Digital industry are male dominated, Developers being one of them. Did you know that there are less than 10% of female Developers globally, yes globally! 

Stats like this make it clear to us how important events like Women in Digital are. It gives everyone a necessary chance to hear about first-hand experiences from women within the industry, both in terms of the positive steps being taken towards progress as well as the areas where gender inequality is still glaringly present.

What stood out for us is that whilst gender equality in the industry is definitely progressing, there’s still room for improvement. That’s why it’s so inspiring to see initiatives being put in place in Leeds such as the recent Code For Girls £4.5m investment which will help bring women into the tech sector and benefit our beloved industry as a whole.

Once again the 7th edition of LDF certainly didn’t disappoint. It’s always a great opportunity to step away from our screens and expand our learnings. If there are any topics that you want to explore further then get in contact with us and we can see how we can help.