designing a customer engagement tool for electricity providers
In states with unregulated markets, electric companies must compete with each other for customers. Due to the fact that their rates are relatively similar, it's difficult to for companies to standout. Meter Genius saw an opportunity for electric companies to use gamification to enhance customer's experiences.
I led the design exploration for our agile in house sprint. Our team at Sticksnleaves entered the design process after a prototype was in mid development. Our challenge was to build on the already strong cross platform UI experience and bring a level of play into building new energy efficient habits.
The Meter Genius team is built from the vision that Ty Benefiel and Yan Man had to create happier, more engaged customers for energy suppliers. Ty and Yan honed in on what motivates consumers to become energy-conscious, they needed an experience that brought a sense of delight through gamification. Their goal was to bring more loyal and valuable customers to electricity providers through a self-branded customer portal.
We conducted a 5 day agile sprint to examine important feature sets for the consumer and strategize ways to encourage deeper engagement. We determined that focusing on the current weekly challenges, energy handbook, and displaying real time energy impact would be the way to go.
Meter Genius was addressing a problem that electricity providers face with customer attrition in deregulated markets. Their challenge was to provide a mobile platform for these companies to not only engage their current clients but provide a layer of incentive for customers to stay with their provider.
We were asked to produce a functional prototype in a short amount of time. We decided it was best to conduct a deep agile sprint to determine feature sets rapidly. Quick sketches, fast iterations, and clickable prototypes.
Our design team premised our designs off of the existing framework created by Innovate Map. We held tight to the the existing design standards while finding moments of elaboration within a gamed context. Our goal was to inject moments of joy for the consumer as they navigated through the app.
Ty and Yan were at the point in their development that they had deep insights into their customer base and market landscape. Our team was tasked with understanding the how energy suppliers currently interacted with their consumers
In our sprint we identified opportunites to personalize prompts and contextualize data that at first look did not mean anything to the user. Seeing maximum household use in kilowatt hours did not mean much until it was compared to the use the week prior.
After identifying these opportunities, I managed workflows within the sprint, making sure that I was always in step with our design team and client to get quick sign-off and continue on to the next feature set, cycling back if and when necessary.
The weekly challenge provided and continuous opportunity to encourage consumers to participate in reducing their energy usage. The leaderboard exhibited energy savings in comparison to other consumers in their area.
The Energy Handbook provides quick educational tips on how a consumer can make adjustments in their habits to earn points and level up in the application. Points are earned by answering short questions, setting and completing a habit reminder, reading articles and purchasing products.
Connecting consumer action to a tangible achievement proved to be key in encouraging consumers to come back to the application. By tying energy savings to gains towards their own reward, we were able to motivate consumers to make small changes to their behavior.