Val d’Isère Tourist Office has committed to an eco-design approach for its website, www.valdisere.com, in order to mitigate its impact on the environment.
With this in mind, the public relations department has created a specialist position trained in the issues of digital technology and eco-design: post occupied by Violette STAEHLE.
To provide an initial overview and determine areas for improvement, an audit was carried out in April 2023. This revealed the website’s partial compliance with the general frame of reference for the eco-design of digital services (RGESN) – Version 1 of 28/11/2022.
What is the eco-design general frame of reference?
Recommended in the software obsolescence report that the French government presented to Parliament in June 2021, the General Frame of Reference for the Eco-design of Digital Services is one of the government’s commitments under its ‘digital services and environment’ roadmap published in February 2021. Led by the Interministerial Digital Department (DINUM) and the Ministry for the Ecological Transition, as well as ADEME and the Digital Responsibility Institute (INR), this frame of reference has two main purposes:
- To fight against the obsolescence of equipment owned by users and of network and server equipment
- To reduce the consumption of IT and energy resources
This website’s reason for being
This website aims to centralise all information and documentation that allows physical persons to learn about Val d’Isère as a holiday destination, and organise their holiday. It aims to promote the region’s appeal and its engagement in eco-friendly approaches in favour of sustainable tourism. Lastly, this website aims to support the region’s social and professional players, to help and guide them in the development of their tourism activity.
To identify users of this website, UX Research has been used from the outset. Needs and actual expectations are analysed and the Val d’Isère Tourist Office website is regularly updated to remove features and content that are little used, misunderstood and/or of little added value.
Target users are firstly French and foreign tourists intending to visit Val d’Isère and organise their holiday, but also local residents and holidaymakers already present and in search of real-time information (ski slope status, activities, events, sites to visit, restaurants, etc.).
Sustainable Development Goals
By making it easier to access information and to promote the region’s touristic appeal, Val d’Isère Tourist Office contributes to the following sustainable development goals:
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth, in particular:
- 8.9 : By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products.
SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities, in particular:
- 11.4: Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
- 11.7: By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities
- 11a: Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
SDG 12: Sustainable consumption and production, in particular:
- 12.2: By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
- 12.b: Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
SDG 13: Action to combat climate change, in particular:
- 13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
SDG 15: Life on land, in particular:
- 15.1: By 2030, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
- 15.4: By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development
Implemented strategy and goals in terms of reduction or mitigation of environmental impacts
The main challenge is to ensure that this website runs on the oldest possible devices and in various conditions of connectibility:
- Work on the UX (user experience) offering different ways of accessing content: via ‘Our suggestions’ or via ‘Your preferences’ (by topic)
- The most intuitive navigation possible, to reduce the time taken to find a piece of information
- All content can be consulted by smartphone as a minimum. The website adjusts to all screen sizes
- Maximum compression of images and videos
- Proposal of text as an alternative to videos
- Manual deletion of obsolete content: news, calendar entries, etc.
Considering the specificity of tourist destination websites, which must be to some degree appealing and immersive in order to create interest, it is difficult, even impossible, for Val d’Isère Tourist Office to limit itself to reasonable maximum values for the number of server queries and the weight of resources per screen.
However, everything has been done, jointly with the web agency that produced the website www.valdisere.com, to find the best compromise between appeal, performance and environmental impact.
The diagnosis carried out in April 2023 concerned the following sample:
- Consultation of the homepage
- Consultation of a ‘preference’ page
- Consultation of the list of hotels
- Consultation of an individual hotel page
- Consultation of the ‘Real-time info’ page
The tools employed to assess certain technical indicators are the ‘network’ inspector of the browser development tools, the Green IT Analysis add-on, the Yellow lab tool and the Eco index tool.
With the help of NumEcoDiag, a self-diagnosis indicates a rate of compliance with the RGESN (eco-design general frame of reference) of 77%:
- 55 compliant criteria
- 18 non-compliant criteria
- 6 non-applicable criteria
Val d’Isère Tourist Office uses as standard mechanisms as possible. All desktop and mobile browsers must be able to use the Val d’Isère Tourist Office website, which is hence compatible with any terminal capable of running a compatible web browser:
- PC Pentium 4 or above, minimum 2 Go of RAM for Windows (minimum for Firefox and Chrome)
- Mac compatible with MacOS X High Sierra or above (Mac hardware from 2009 or later)
- Mobile device Android 6.0 or above (mobile from 2015 or later)
- Mobile device IOS 10.3 or above (mobile from 2012 or later)
In particular, the service was tested (for real or by emulation) successfully on:
- Operating system: Windows 7 and above, MacOS X High Sierra and above, Linux
- Browsers: Chrome/Chromium, Firefox (latest version or ESR), Edge, Opera, Safari 11 or above
The product therefore guarantees a display adapted to various resolutions:
- All consulting users: smartphone 360 x 800 minimum, tablet and PC
- Offerors: tablet 800 x 1080 minimum or PC 1366 x 768 minimum
Minimum configuration required to access the website
- Compatible types, years of manufacture or versions of user hardware: any mobile device dating from 2014 or later
- Minimum connection required for access and comfortable use of the service: 3G for mobiles and 512 Kb for landline connections
- Adjustment to different screen sizes: Yes, minimum screen width 320 pixels
Identified areas for improvement
- Ensure that the website is correctly displayed on small and/or older mobile devices (criterion 1.6)
- Be aware of and take into account the environmental impacts of ready-to-use interface components and third-party services used during their selection (criteria 2.4 & 2.5)
- Seek to optimise the website’s accessibility and use with dial-up internet (criterion 4.1)
- Allow the user to decide whether or not to enable a third-party service and display certain content such as media (criteria 4.5 & 4.19)
- Restrict server queries during user input (criterion 4.11)
- Seek to restrict the number of domains called up (criterion 6.11)
- Have a clear procedure for the conservation of data and documents that require this, and for their storage and/or deletion after expiry of their conservation period (criteria 7.3 & 7.4)