Smart Energy Product Suite
Our client was a start-up creating a family of hardware & software products for monitoring household energy consumption. Their in-home products would be used by broad user groups and they knew that their customers’ user experience was going to make or break them.
• Low Budget
• Fast turn around needed
• No user experience individuals on staff
What We Did
1. Strategic Planning
• Created a 6-month user research plan
• Educated executives on how to fold user experience into their development cycle
• Helped hire a senior-level user epxerience employee
2. Usability Review
An expert usability review was conducted of all products in the suite. Since time and budget were an emphasis for this activity, we focused on finding the issues that if fixed, would provide the best “bang for the buck” and simple fixes. We also focused on how to make the family of diverse products have the same look and feel.
3. Interaction Design
In this phase of our engagement, we created specifications for thermostat and in-home display UIs. We worked closely with team members to iterate and hone these designs. We also advised on website UI design & made design change recommendations. We were also asked to review and comment on printed and online help content.
4. Iterative User Research
Because this was a suite of products and the user experience of these products was of paramount importance to the company, we covered our bases and conducted the following research studies:
• Focus Groups – to understand how what will motivate users to purchase and use these products in their home and to understand any questions and concerns they had about this new technology
• Iterative Usability Studies – to test the product designs for usability during and after the implementation phase
• In-Home Usability Studies – to observe users installing and interacting with the devices in their own homes where limited space, access to outlets, and a wide number of other variables exist
• Participatory Design Sessions – to quickly generate a number of innovative ideas for the type of content, features and organization users wanted to see on the website portal product.
• Products within the product suite now have a similar look and feel
• User interfaces have been proven to be intuitive and usable
• It has been shown that most users will welcome this new technology into their home and what needs to change to reach an even higher adoption rate
• The company as a whole has a better understanding of user experience principles and how to incorporate them into their company culture
• A satisfied client
“We found Shannon’s input very helpful and appreciated that she found a way to work within our tight budget. You’ll see upon reviewing her credentials that it’d be pretty hard to find a more qualified and experienced user interface expert. I highly recommend Shannon.”
Tim Enwall, former COO, Tendril Networks, Inc.