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Technology

65

The Little Things

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I’m learning that what sets designers apart is their attention to visual details. I remember the first time I noticed bad kerning between letters. Once the uneven spacing stood out to me, I could never read that word the same way. As a student studying design, I’m learning the importance of these details. I see that it takes a trained eye to pick up on the little things.

I’ve had the pleasure of spending the past three weeks learning from, and working with the Manoverboard team. I’ve observed their attention to detail and ability to pick up on discrepancies instinctively, and as a result I’m learning to become more attuned to noticing these details myself.

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Iceland Is Our Future

Photo of Reykjavík, Iceland

Many years ago I remember reading about Iceland and its use of Hydrogen powered cars. The country felt like it was in a world of its own, as if it was living in the future. The use of renewable energy is not a new idea in Iceland as the country has been in the game for over 100 years. The first hydropower facility was built there in 1904 and the country’s first use of geothermal energy for heating was in 1907.
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The Casio Challenge

With every new year we tend to assess the many facets of our lives and focus on the things that are not working. This seems to be common with every passing year, so I decided to see how I could curb the amount of time I spent staring into my phone. Even as I write this, I have already been interrupted by the urge to check it.

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Three months ago we proudly launched Serving.Green, our web initiative designed to highlight the impact that the internet has on the environment, and what we can all do to reduce that impact.

Now that the dust has settled a bit, I’d like to say a few words about what we did—from a development standpoint—to make the site as efficient as we could given our design objectives. I’ll be the first to admit that even more could be done, either by sacrificing some parts of the experience or by using techniques of which I’m not yet aware, but below are a few important tips and tricks that we can all do to make our websites more efficient. If you want to reach a digital green Nirvana, this will get you on your path.

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serving green screenshot introduction

The digital information that we ravenously produce and consume seems to be free. According to one source, we are posting 2.5 million images to Instagram every minute. I am no exception; my Twitter consumption has recently peaked for a reason that I will not dispel and that has absolutely nothing to do with the U.S. election.

But, unfortunately, the digital information that we love and share is not free. Yes, there are those pesky privacy issues — the targeted (or “sponsored”) ads on Twitter and websites are sometimes ridiculously relevant to me. But, to my mind, there is an even greater and more long-term cost than the loss of individual privacy.

Data is Powered Mostly by Fossil Fuels

Every time we click, upload a file or download an app, we make use of huge data centres that are mostly powered by dirty energy. According to one journal, the Internet will soon amount to nearly 1 billion tons of CO2 annually or approximately 10% of global electricity usage.

Some projections show that the information and communications sector of our economy is in fact expected to double by 2020! All of that data coming up and down the pipes could be powered by renewable energy if we so desired.

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