TreeHugger has an excellent article about how a website’s color scheme can actually impact power usage of its audience. Actually, it makes perfect sense, I just had never really thought about it. If Google switched their background to black, it would have 750 Megawatt-Hours a year. According to the Department of Energy, this would roughly be enough to power the state of Pennsylvania for an average month of consumption. Frankly, I never would have thought the numbers would be so staggering.
As can be expected, some eco-minded folks are already changing their bright-color-schemed ways – such as ecoIron with an energy efficient color scheme. Even the slightest glance at this blog’s design shows how energy inefficient it is. White is by far the highest consumer of energy with red not too far behind. All of this is spelled out very clearly from another DOE page. Some Random Dude is the web equivalent to the Hummer. Yeah, this all sounds funny to myself as well.
So what to do? Do we all change our vibrant ways? I would like to scale things back a tad from this site, but I am very cautious of ruining the site’s identity. Either way, this is an interesting topic in the theoretical sense. Does design on the web need to start accounting for energy efficiency for the end user? Perhaps it is just me, but it seems that with every passing day, web design becomes more and more like industrial design.