Helping businesses become sustainable & user research on the go

Back to the Articles
Helping businesses become sustainable & user research on the go

A team at Digital Detox have been working on creating a tool to measure the carbon footprint of businesses, in collaboration with Future Economy Network (FEN). This is a story about the process over the last few weeks, and how we tackled some complex problems and validated ideas in a very short time with minimum resources.

Understanding the problem

First of all, it is really important to understand and agree on the problem and the objective of the project. With FEN being carbon footprint experts, we ran a workshop with them to understand the full problem and learn what we need to do, to accurately measure businesses’ CO2 emissions.

Workshop DD & FEN workshop

By the end of the workshop, we agreed on what we were trying to achieve, and what we had to deliver before the Sustainability Festival on the 17th of September. We sliced up this complex problem into smaller bits, prioritised them, and decided to concentrate on one bit at a time —in our case, business travel. We then created a few hypotheses and a plan on how to validate them.

Understanding the user

To tackle the problem, we, of course, needed some insights from real users, so ran a few quick and dirty interviews. Targeting environmentally conscious professionals, we identified their habits, collected some stories from their working lives, and tried to understand their motivations around the topic. These exercises helped us to create two user profiles.

Users User profiles and their stories

Creating protypes

With the identified two target groups of professionals, we created a separate interactive prototype for each. The prototypes contained the information that has proven to be of importance to each of the groups.


And now for the fun part! To validate building the right thing and building it right, we came to the Sustainability Festival in Bristol. With the companies at the festival being the direct target audience for the tool, we created a small testing lab at our stand. We then asked all the curious people to complete our tasks and tested them for their interests and motivational habits.

We tested the prototype with 6 people and interviewed up to 10 people.

Festival Testing prototypes with people at the Festival of Sustainable Business

Next steps

Moving onto the next steps, we will incorporate user feedback into the prototype, start developing it, and one by one will add up other slices of the tool to the pack!