We all know that we share a responsibility for reducing our impact on the environment. However, finding out what we should do specifically, for our unique circumstances, is a much bigger challenge. There is so much to consider (our home, our family, our work, our lifestyles) and so much number-crunching to do, to arrive at reasonable steps you can take.
Genous is a new, premium service that evaluates data that you provide and helps you decide what steps you can take for you and your family to become more sustainable. Each suggestion has considered the cost / benefit ratio and they are all bespoke to you.
Big changes, like the installation of a heat pump or cavity wall insulation, are complex and require the involvement of an expert. So, tech startup Genous is also a concierge service - the platform identifies what topics are appropriate for you and puts you in touch with a qualified agent to guide you through the process.
Existing carbon calculator apps fall short — they’re usually far too simple and only offer generic recommendations. Genous is designed to be the best-in-class decarbonisation service.
We ran a series of workshops to better understand the breadth and depth of the calculations that would be required. Fortunately, Genous founder Simon Bones is an expert in this field. The topic is vast and the understanding of decarbonisation is evolving all the time. We knew that it was crucial that Genous remains at the cutting edge of the science behind it.
The obvious challenge was creating a process that non-expert users would find simple and rewarding. Wireframes are a superb tool for quickly iterating user journeys and they form the backbone of most Discovery Phases.
We also wanted to quickly identify areas that were not relevant to a given user. For example, perhaps our user doesn’t own their home and so there is no point asking them questions that might lead to building works.
It's crucial that we ensure we’ve designed a platform that can grow and evolve as we can offer more recommendations to our users. Our design system needs to be flexible and wide-ranging to accommodate future expansion.
Technology & Technical Challenges
There were many technical challenges to overcome, most of which stemmed from the volume and complexity of the data and calculations that generate the recommendations.
We needed to consider: data formats, maintainability of both data and calculations, documentation, flexibility, automated testing, fast and robust deployments and so on. Genous is very much a ‘living’ system which will require constant changes as the science behind it evolves and new opportunities arise. We needed to ensure that any developer can quickly identify exactly what needs to change without months of experience with the codebase.
Genous ran a beta test with a limited number of real users. The benefit of gathering feedback from real users cannot be understated - it allows us to make changes that improve the whole experience and ensure the launch has maximum impact.
The Launch and The Future
Genous has recently launched and is free to sign up. To learn more and to start your free Impact Review, visit genous.earth
This is only the beginning for Genous. More features are planned, including the upcoming Offsetting module which will allow users to offset their carbon footprint with high-quality carbon projects.
The team at Gravitywell were instrumental in getting the Genous platform off the ground. They collaborated with us effectively on design, usability and back-end structure and creation, as well as inputting to the overall product, to ensure that we were able to launch a brand new and innovative platform that is focused on consumer sustainability. Written by Simon Bones (Founder // Genous)
To learn more about how Gravitywell, Bristol's Venture Studio can help with your tech startup, or for advice on building a sustainable product or service, please get in touch.