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Creating COZERO, a digital platform with the goal of raising awareness about the Direct Air Capture industry and supporting start-ups in raising funds.

My Role

Project Lead

UX Research

UI / UX Design

Team

Elaine Lu

Yixuan Luo

Cami Liu

Duration

4 weeks

Climate Designers

Climate Designers is the global hub for designers and creative professionals from all industries, committed to using our creative skills for climate action.

Our team as a part of this collective led by Mar O'Brien, aims to combat climate change by supporting the Direct Air Capture industry.

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Context

Greenhouse gases play a crucial role in the rise of global temperatures, largely caused by human activities that release substantial amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

The increase in CO2 levels over the past decades has resulted in the severe impacts of climate change that we are experiencing worldwide. 

Fortunately, great companies are dedicated to addressing this environmental challenge through various climate solutions.

Our research topic focuses on a solution called Direct Air Capture, also known as DAC. 

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What is DAC?

The technology aims to extract CO2 directly from the air and transform it into valuable products, including synthetic fuels, building materials, and chemicals.

Problem Statement

The challenge for the DAC industry is obtaining funds to deploy the extensive technology, mainly because the industry consists of B2B models and complex technology, resulting in limited awareness and visibility among the general public. 

Solution

Building an online platform named COZERO and potentially hosting an exhibition to raise awareness for the DAC industry through a friendly approach, and serve as a bridge, facilitating connections between start-ups and potential investors.

Meet COZERO

A platform with the goal of bridging the gap between DAC and the general public while also assisting start-ups in securing increased funding through heightened awareness.

The Design Process

Design
Strategy

1. Simplify complex information with eyecatching design

Acknowledging that the new technology in the DAC may be challenging for people to understand, our platform highlights how the industry directly relates to our daily lives instead of explaining complicated knowledge to create a sense of resonance.

2. Build connections between start-ups and potential investors

With the objective of helping the start-up raise a fund, our platform will facilitate easier access for potential investors to learn about and connect with DAC start-ups.

3. An opportunity to present the DAC products in physical event

Imagining an exhibition that fosters business development in the industry, it will also serve as a platform where industry leaders, innovators, and investors can come together to explore the potential of DAC, share insights, and establish fruitful partnerships.

User
Research

1. Secondary Research

Given our initial unfamiliarity with the industry, we dedicated a significant amount of time to research how does DAC works, its potential impact on the world, and the current challenges faced by companies in the field.

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2. Insight from industry experts

While conducting secondary research, we identified some gaps in our knowledge. To acquire more comprehensive information, we engaged with two professionals from the DAC field and their expertise helped us to gain a deeper insight.

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Jason Hochman

Co-Founder/Senior Director @ DAC Coalition

“ It’s fascinating to me that we are at the start of building a whole new industry.”

"The investors want to see the commercial traction,  science breakthrough, and techno-economic from the startups."

"There's a need to educate folks, decision-makers, communities, and the general public about the industry."

Insights
Goal & Method
Start-ups need funding to deploy the expensive technology.

The DAC technology is very expensive at the current stage, start-ups need the funds to deploy the field testing.

Draw in potential investors and facilitate connections with start-ups.

Create a digital platform as a bridge to introduce DAC and foster connections between start-ups and investors.

Investors value solid data & tangible evidence of growth.

Three key factors that investors value: Commercial traction, scientific breakthroughs, and techno-economics.

Visualize the profitability of DAC and showcase the pioneering companies.

Demonstrate the growth and revenue of successful DAC companies to instill confidence and trust in investors.

Downside &
Challenge
Because of
We decided to
Limited data accessibility on the growth of DAC from the internet.

Acquiring comprehensive data on the DAC industry proves challenging due to its novelty, resulting in the limited availability of information on the internet.

Entice the target audience with topics that resonate with them.

We decided to use what we have to introduce the DAC industry and showcase everyday products that can be made using this technology.

Could not reach staff from pioneer DAC companies to obtain further information.

We received no response from the DAC companies after reaching out, also there was also a concern that the data we sought might be considered confidential.

Pivot the target user from professional investors to general public.

Due to our limited access to data sought by professional investors, we decided to broaden our audience to the general public and focus more on raising awareness about the DAC industry.

Our goal is
"Don't make people think"

We were overwhelmed by the scientific theory and numbers during the research stage, and we want our users to have a better experience understanding DAC with clear information.

From this...

To this!

🤯

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🤩

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Final
Design

Design systems

Establish a design system for streamlined and efficient design alignment.

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01.

Homepage

Highlighting everyday products as a starting point to engage individuals with the DAC industry, and utilizing graphics to simplify the explanation of how DAC works to arouse curiosity to further explore the companies and products made from CO2,

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Influence individuals by highlighting the potential collaboration of renowned brands & DAC companies that are leading the way toward a more sustainable future.

02.

Start-up list

Users can easily navigate and discover the sectors by using a filter tool with a wide range of focuses, including food, beverage, textile, accessories, luxury, etc.

We condensed the key information of each company into convenient pop-up cards, which enable users to browse through the details more efficiently.

03.

Event page

The exhibition provides an excellent opportunity for DAC companies to foster business development with potential investors. It offers a platform for industry leaders to deliver insightful talks, explore DAC's potential, and form valuable partnerships. Additionally, the event welcomes public participation, allowing individuals to sign up and engage with the companies.

Reflection &
Learnings

1. Learning from testing

​Initially, our target audience was solely professional investors. However, we have discovered that our friendly approach opens up the opportunity to expand the TA to include regular customers during the testing.

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2. Space for improvement

More profound research & conversation

Given more time to work on the project, I would have dedicated additional time to engage in meaningful conversations with start-up companies, delving deeper into their specific needs regarding funding and resources. I believe brainstorming more solutions would have been beneficial. 

Incorporate an a-commerce section & a community space

I would have loved to incorporate an e-commerce section for the DAC start-ups to showcase and sell their products which is also a way to gain funding. Besides that, incorporating a community space allows companies to share their latest products or progress, thereby captivating the attention of potential investors.

Next project

Next project

Redesign the branding element and mobile APP to leverage user experience for customers.

Revamp Zynga poker's lobby screen to enhance player engagement.

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