Out of the Cold

Branding and low-carbon web design and development


Out of the Cold Community Association is a shelter that provides low barrier, people-centred support rooted in anti-oppressive and harm reduction practices. They needed a site that organizes all of their services to help members of our community find and access them. The other goal of the site was to drive donations to maintain their shelter. We did this by having a clearly coded colour system to draw the eye to areas where users can take action.

Visit their site here

We used light SVG illustrations from macrovector (then edited by us) along with dithered images for the staff's headshots. Both of those aided in keeping the weight of the page low.

The site was designed to be responsive for any device, and was designed mobile first. By designing mobile first, we were able to organize the content to create a clear and poignant narrative in the site's most reduced state. Plus, the amount of mobile users outnumbers those who would be visiting on a desktop, so the site should be as beautiful and delightful to use on small screens.

We used a lightweight WordPress theme, called GeneratePress, for this site. The theme, even its free version, had everything we needed to build the site. Because it's not bulky with unnecessary features for customization, much of the small finessing of functions or features were done with custom CSS. To keep the site's page size small, plugins were used selectively.

Caching was used for content whenever possible to keep the site's load time low. We also used CSS and Javascript minifies to remove any code that wasn't being used.

On Google's Performance Tracker, Out of the Cold rated an average of 98% on desktop and 92% on mobile. This exceptionally high score relates to the page's efficiency and speed, which is important for sustainable websites because it means they require less energy to load. The webiste emits an average of 0.33g of CO2 per page load (according to websitcarbon.com), which far below our targeted CO2 limit of 1g.