Tools for an eco-designed regional website
On July 9, 2019, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region adopted its regional roadmap dedicated to the energy and ecological transition: Néo Terra. It sets 11 ambitions, each of them supported by quantified commitments and concrete actions. The objective is to support the green transition in terms of energy, ecology, and agriculture by 2030. One of the ambition deals with exemplary administration.
Therefore, In order to be coherent with the Regional Roadmap Néo Terra the region will have to set-up a website to present it, that would have to be conceived, from the start, as an eco-designed tool.
The main issue is to find the right balance between developing the means to achieve the objectives of the communication while having the minimum ecological impact. On this purpose, the Region’s internal IT department worked on a specific framework for an eco-designed website.
The regional Communication Departement did not strictly follow the recommendations of the 115 good practices of the expert in green IT, Frédéric Bordage, but the team was inspired by the essence of this approach.
The choice was made for the website to use “Wordpress”, the open source and most used CMS (Content Management System) in the world.
The Region had to find lightest website version available. All the unnecessary extensions had to be removed, to keep only the essential ones. The civil servants had to think about its lightness, with less bandwidth used to navigate through it, and the need of simple browsers to go visit it, limiting by so the risk of technological obsolescence of the users’ equipment.
The Region selected the “Yootheme template engine” where a light and graphically simple template was found. Fonts system were used, as well as few visuals or at last the lightest possible visuals.
Nouvelle-Aquitaine decided to avoid useless digital functionality for the user’s needs: “gras numérique” such as images, videos, maps, internal search engine, original fonts, etc.
The Region also decided to elaborate and animated a website trying to avoid any “content redundancy”. It is specifically the case when adding new content. In that case, if the content exists in another webpage instead of duplicating it, adding the link became the favored option.
All those solutions are the result of an internal brainstorming between the engineer and the communication team., decision have been made to choose the right tools and take the right decisions on communication.
The internal professional involved in the project were a project manager who developed the website, a writer for the content and a graphic designer for the provision of graphic sources. The site is hosted on platform managed by the communication department of the Region.
The development of the site is now complete. However, it is in perpetual evolution on the editorial side. Indeed, depending on the communication needs, some sections can be edited as well as the navigation menu.
Results and Impact assessment
At the end, Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine managed to implement a specific eco-design framework for the Néo Terra website, while keeping an accurate and net ergonomics and an efficient user experience.
The traffic is measured using Google Analytics. For the moment we have not had any milestones to compare figures, but it will be the case in the first half of 2023.
Dependencies and constraints
The main issue was to settle the boundaries on how far would go the eco-design of the website. Although the regional administration had to make a website as light as possible, the primary goal is to keep a performant communication to the public.
Therefore, it has been necessary to create a framework for a light but esthetically attractive website.
Another problem regards the quantity of updates combined with the increase of the content that have to be limited.