Brand - Emitwise
Work - I was first introduced to Emitwise following the inception of a new identity and vision for the brand that sought to bring a fresh perspective to the climate tech arena. Whilst seismic, the Emitwise mission was clear; accelerate the transition of businesses into a net-zero emissions world.
Internally the different teams had a strong sense of how the brand should be communicated inside and out of the product, the role I would need to play as Creative Lead was ensuring we did this with a holistic end-to-end brand experience. Emitwise seemingly had all the right tools at their disposal to influence the sustainability behaviours of some of the biggest carbon producers in the world. The Challenge wasn't so much about being 'disruptive' or even heard it was more about education and that was an aspect of the mission that excited me most.
Defining the principle brand guidelines
The road to Net-Zero was always going to present unforeseen bends and turns but we knew our best chance of winning in such a saturated field would be to guide not regulate and this notion became the foundations of how we built the brand. I spent time listening to what customers, employees and the industry were telling us about the problems they face which eventually manifested in the curation of the Emitwise brand guidelines 2.0.
Segments of the 2022 Emitwise Brand Guidelines that I designed following a forensic deconstruction of the existing brand & subsequent reimagining of the new brand story.
Building a scalable product
Unquestionably the greatest achievement and impact made during my time with Emitwise was seen in the evolution of the product experience design in which I contributed primarily on the UI/UX and visual design whilst also serving as a brand consultant in regular design system sessions.
At the time of joining Emitwise the team had produced a first version of their carbon management software which was designed to support primary data collection and tracking tasks that would satisfy customers secured during the companies infancy. A classic MVP, with the minimum requirements to have a good user experience and also provide value. Fundamentally the product was clunky, lacked scalability, it was taxing on engineering time and required undesirable levels of manual data handling. To be successful in this space we would need to introduce a level of automation without compromising on granularity of data, insights and reporting.
The product and design teams gathered and agreed that the only way to get this right would be to start over, get the foundations laid and allow customer feedback and data to guide the architecture of the new product.
Creating a design system
Once the teams had settled on a roadmap for future product releases we started to explore templated design systems that would present an opportunity to rapidly produce new features and updates without costing too much time or resource to implement. It wasn't long after that it was agreed IBM's Carbon Design System would be the best fit for the product vision and roadmap. A task force including myself, two product designers and engineers set about breaking the existing system to meet the requirements of the new product which involved removing, redesigning and introducing components to ensure users felt like they were experiencing the same Emitwise brand but in a new light.
The above screens sample a handful of the studies made for the new product design system colour proposal. The proposal sought to introduce a stronger brand presence through the product experience whilst establishing a holistic language for colour. The proposal went through various rounds of review until the design team was satisfied that we'd exhausted enough scenarios in which the users experienced those colours in a range of environments.
The hardest part of this exercise was finding a way of using colour consistently through data visualisations when presenting vast quantities of data in a variety of visualisation types. With customers demanding greater density of data, it was challenging to find a system where colour could be effectively to (at times) convey up to 50 data types in one visualisation. That said, the design team and I were extremely satisfied with the proposal I made and we released it early in a V2 of the product to fundamentality allow our customers to tell us what worked and what didn't.
The fruits of our labour
Around a year in the making and here it is, the new Emitwise carbon accounting tool; introducing a new look interface design, colour palette and most importantly a blank canvas for new learnings!
A lasting impression
The aforementioned projects only scratch the surface of the work and obstacles I've encountered during my time with Emitwise and each learning has had an immeasurable impact on me as a designer and leader.
Here's some of my key learnings along the way...
01 Don't avoid releasing something scrappy in the pursuit of perfection, test it quickly, iterate and test again.
02 Every scoping session is another barrier to releasing something new or fixing something that's broken.
03 "Form ever follows function" As the dictum suggests the UX should be the precursor to the UI design.
04 Challenge what others take as given, every perspective is relevant and diversity of thought is invaluable.
05 Deadlines aren't a doomsday clock, they enable focus, clarity and unity.
06 Don't assume! Mitigate for future spend by basing decisions on user opinions / insights.
Visit Emitwise to find out more about how we're empowering carbon reduction leaders around the world.