carbonfuture: A focus on user and planet

When we first discussed the idea of carbon sink financing with the management of Karakun, they immediately saw the potential of the innovative approach. It was a real pleasure to work with such a professional, critically thinking and efficient team.

Hannes Junginger, Business Lead

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Your CO2 footprint! Greenhouse gases! Climate change! These topics are omnipresent in our daily life and people are very conscious about reducing their CO2 footprint and compensating for their CO2 usage. But the reduction is not enough. Additional removal of atmospheric carbon is paramount. We must actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it sustainably to contain global warming. But how should we do this? And what is the contribution of Karakun?

The German startup company carbonfuture GmbH aims at removing CO2 from the atmosphere, in particular at the storage of CO2 using so-called carbon sinks. The company plans to establish a centralized, trustworthy and reliable trading platform for all relevant stakeholders with a strong focus on security and transparency. In this project, Karakun as a technology partner for carbonfuture was faced with three major challenges.

Challenge 1: “Hello? Anybody out there?”

Typically, we start a project from the users perspective and try find out who uses the product, how users interact with the application, and where the main challenges are. As the planned platform addresses a new service, there was no experience to rely on, no users to talk to and no competitor platform to evaluate. Thus, we tried to characterize potential users together with the carbonfuture team. Based on their assumptions and research, we identified several main personas. With those personas, the initial wireframes and a jointly created moodboard we started defining and designing the look and feel of the application.

Challenge No.2: „High Five! And mobile, please!”

Five different user roles with individual demands are working with the platform:

The roles within carbonfuture consist mainly of field experts. The Balancer is the only “mainstream” role, which may be taken on by anybody. This role is therefore quite hard to grasp – in particular as both individuals and corporates will take on that role. We assume that such a user is not familiar with table views but prefers a lightweight, fun-to-use interface with state-of-the-art look and feel. To make this challenge even more fun, let‘s add the mobile component to it so that the application can be used anywhere, anytime.

Challenge No. 3: “Dressed to kill”

carbonfuture is out to become the best in class of the carbon sink economy. Thus, the appearance must be innovative, trustworthy, reliable but also young and fresh.

The application uses a lot of white space, high contrast fonts, and a black header bar to appear clean and ordered. The tables look easy and lightweight due to lots of space around the items; redundant lines and separators have been avoided. All these design decisions result in a serious and reliable look.

To make the application appear young, innovative, and fresh we also dressed some elements more playfully. We modified the navigation items by using capital letters which we underlined in one of the primary colors. The Balancer view differs from the other roles as meaningful photographs accompany the presented portfolios. Plus, we opted for tiles instead of table rows to accommodate for the differences in expectations and experience of this role. We want the Balancer to stay with the application, feel at home, and at ease and encourage him with our design to actively engage with the application.

Our time frame for all this was extremely short. In only two months, an agile team composed of one developer, one designer, and 3 people on the customer side developed an attractive and intuitive application for all defined roles. Something we can be proud of. Not only for the users of but also for the future of our planet.

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