Tangent wins international award for carbon-conscious website development

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Newcastle digital product agency, Tangent, has won international recognition in the 2023 Umbraco awards for its development of a low-carbon, cloud-native website for its client, UK Power Networks.

More than a million websites worldwide have been built on Umbraco’s open-source content management system (CMS). Each year, web developers from around the world gather at Umbraco’s Codegarden event in Denmark to learn about the latest software, network with their peers, and share best practice. The conference concludes with a celebration of the year’s premier projects, selected by a panel of international judges, with the overall winner being awarded Jury’s Choice.

Tangent scooped the Jury’s Choice Award for its development of an agile, low-carbon website for UK Power Networks, which employs Umbraco’s headless CMS, Heartcore. During the course of the project, Tangent migrated UK Power Networks from a monolithic web application that did not perform well under heavy load, to an agile, composable, cloud-native platform that can support 40,000 concurrent users. The new site benefits from an Incident Centre which provides timely updates in the event of a major storm, and a pin drop application allowing customers to share their location from their mobile device if they’ve suffered a power cut. The judges also praised Tangent’s carbon-conscious design, which encourages clients to bundle assets, optimise images and use a content delivery network (CDN) to make sites run more efficiently and minimise energy use. Tangent’s Jamstack approach halved the page load times, made the UK Power Networks site more energy-efficient and reduced operational costs by 66%.

Commending the design approach and composable architecture selected to create the site, the judges said, “Tangent’s understanding of user behaviour and the team’s approach to creating a well-crafted digital experience, which integrates the most appropriate components, has resulted in a user-friendly, high-performance website with a slick UI, that also provides an excellent example of how to significantly reduce a site’s CO2 emissions. This is a great example of composable architecture being applied to create a solution that meets all users’ needs.”

Accepting the Jury’s Choice Award, Andy Eva-Dale, technical director, Tangent, said, “We’re absolutely thrilled to have our work recognised by the Umbraco Awards judges. Codegarden provides an excellent opportunity to share best practice with our peers, so we’re delighted that this award showcases our work with UK Power Networks and continues those conversations about carbon-conscious design.

Commenting on this year’s award submissions, Umbraco CEO, Kim Sneum-Madsen, said. “It is deeply rewarding to see such high-quality digital experiences being created by our digital agency partners. This year’s award winners are shining examples of what can be achieved using Umbraco: enjoyable, accessible user experiences and intuitive editing, with seamless integrations that allow organisations to build digital solutions that are tailored to their customers’ needs, while being kinder to the environment.”

The Umbraco Award categories include:

Best editing experience – won by Prestbury integrated agency, McCann Manchester, for its development of the HSL Chairs website. The judges praised the extensive research into user experience (UX) and accessibility, which allowed the team to successfully carry the in-store feeling over to the digital experience. The agency’s integration of product information management (PIM) software with Umbraco created a faster workflow and allows editors to continually update the site with new product information.

Best Cloud solution – won by Southampton agency, Semantic, for its development of the impressive LOOP site for its clients Gunpower Immersive and Wildwood Trust. Both sites demonstrate how Umbraco Cloud baselines can be used to quickly spin up new sites for tourist attractions with multi-location support, calendars and rapid content tailoring.

Best Umbraco Partner Solution – won by Leeds digital agency, Enjoy Digital, for building a virtual assistant for paint company, Valspar. Using Umbraco’s Heartcore headless CMS and custom-built microservices integrated with elastic search, allows customers to upload a picture and visualise interior design projects in-store, or on-screen at home, selecting from 2.2 million paint colours. The Vendr ecommerce integration also allows customers to order their selected paint through B&Q.

Best Green Solution – won by Nordics digital agency, Kruso, for the climate-friendly website it developed for Danish local council Herning Kommune. With one click, all pictures and videos are removed and colours are muted, reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 70% across the site.

Best-designed site – won by Dutch agency, DotControl for its digital transformation project for Dutch national cinema voucher company, De Nationale Bioscoopbon, which replaced physical giftcards with digital vouchers that have customisable templates and an intuitive workflow. The project involved using the Konstrukt UI developer tool to create new back-office admin interfaces, developing an extension of the Vendr ecommerce analytics dashboard and DotControl’s customised Umbraco Hangfire package for processing finalised orders, which saw conversions increase 29%, completions increase 76%, and a 15% increase in average spend.

Best custom solution – was won by London’s Durable Digital agency, for its work on the multi-lingual website for Lazard financial asset management, which involved the development of two extensions for the Umbraco Cloud deployment engine, Deploy, giving Lazard web editors granular control over content published on multiple websites, serving 26 countries.

Best Umbraco package – was won by Søren Kottal, technical lead at Danish digital agency, Ecreo, for his development of the Impersonator package for Umbraco 10+, which allows web administrators to check the permissions of editors and other users.