UX Research + Design
Sep 2023 (3 weeks)
Design & Interaction Lead
Quantum New Energy is a Houston-based technology company that provides a sustainability platform. They have a product called Enerwisely, which allows the residential users to monetize their carbon reduction. Quantum New Energy is currently expanding this product to include a commercial dashboard version for businesses to manage their energy usage across multiple locations.
Enerwisely was at the stage of launching the pilot program for certain users. Our team developed the current onboarding and dashboard experience to align with Quantum New Energy’s mission, reducing energy costs and carbon emissions.
Our team had an opportunity to participate in launching the pilot program to potential users. During this launch, we observed that users were confused with the onboarding and needed to spend time to understand data on the dashboard due to unclear instructions and the lack of information hierarchy.
How can we make the platform easy to use and improve the legibility for the data on the dashboard?
Create commercial dashboard for future potential for B2B2C white labeling.
We evaluated the interface of the residential dashboard to incorporate the findings in the commercial dashboard. Some of the highlights are violating the learnability of the information due to the misuse of UI elements and also the efficiency of use, such as not being able to view the map in full screen and lacking an informational hierarchy.
These competitors offer services similar to our app in terms of substantial energy reduction:
Pluses and Deltas
We discovered that these apps offer customization and personalized options for each user. However, they lack an efficient method for sharing multiple songs with individuals who use different streaming platforms.
Feature Inventory with Comparators
For our comparator analysis, we focused on how other apps motivate users to continue completing a task or achieve a goal. We found that they use various visuals, such as animations and mascot, and to gamify and track the progress.
We conducted user interviews with business owners, property managers, project managers, and individuals interested in sustainability to gain insights into their learning styles, motivations, task organizations, engagement with sustainability.
"Organization is so important. There's so many things you are juggling you don't want anything to slip through the cracks."
"Having some sort of information that shows you how what you are doing is actually impacting the environment in a certain way is really helpful."
"I wouldn't say I really celebrate achieving my goal. I just like the accomplishment of removing it from my to-do list."
We discovered that people are willing to learn more about sustainability, but they encounter some barriers like the difficulty level of terminologies and making a connection with how it would affect themselves in order to take actions.
"I view music as my inspiration and a way to connect with others."
"I don’t want to spend a lot of time organizing my playlist."
"I like having options to adjust my playlists, even if it’s generated
by the application."
* Affinity Map Progress
We noticed that both Camila and William are visual learners, have goals for saving money, and manage multiple locations. However, these different personas include both individual users and users who share with others, as well as users from different levels of understanding in sustainability knowledge.
The user journey is based on our primary persona Camila's scenario:
As a small business owner, Camila has been looking for ways to lower her energy consumption as a way to invest in her community and lower her monthly costs. She already has purchased energy efficient appliances for her coffee shop locations, but is interested in understanding more about how her locations can lower costs and shrink their overall carbon footprint.
We ideated potential solutions with a focus on user engagement, visual support, and creating a connection between business and sustainability:
The user flow shows how Camila can use Enerwisely as a new user. Her tasks are create an account to learn about her energy usage at her coffee shop.
This sitemap illustrates how the app is structured with the new features, which helps us to know where the content is located and whether it is easy for users to find the content.
Before starting wireframes, we had a design studio to brainstorm our ideas. We created iterations based on our HMW statements, and we were able to generate various design solutions and communicate with each other to move forward to the decision-making process.
We conducted five usability tests with our prototype to observe how users interact with the onboarding and dashboard. The users were either business owners or had a background in sustainability, making them actual potential users. The usability tests focused on signing up for a new account, adding a new location to manage multiple locations, setting a carbon reduction goal, and viewing the updated dashboard.
These are key findings from the usability testing:
Based on the insights, I proposed these suggestions to enhance the user experience:
Visual identity system is based on their current Enerwisely brand.
I was responsible for the main dashboard redesign, with a focus on improving the informational hierarchy to help users better understand the data.
1. More interactions with goal setting process
2. Gamify the reducing energy usage to motivate users
3. See how these design solutions are implemented to their program
Working with a tight deadline
Since we had only three weeks to present our design solutions starting from the UX research stage, I was able to learn how to manage my time more efficiently. I broke the task down and prioritized tasks. I prioritized tasks that we needed to do as a group such as design sprints and discussions so that all of our team members were on the same page with our progress.
Our team established a working agreement at the beginning of this project. Throughout the project, we consistently updated our progress with each other and ensured that everyone is in agreement with the project direction. This communication approach helped us maintain work efficiency and time-saving.
Presenting my design solutions to non designers
While collaborating with professionals during this project, I had meetings with the stakeholder and developers and shared our progress on the project and our design solutions. This experience was valuable practice for me to convey my ideas to people who are not familiar with design terminology. And also improved my presentation skills. Also, when delivering the materials to the developer team, I was able to organize files that were understandable to non-designers.
Importance of design sprint
Our team had a design sprint after defining a problem statement. This was very helpful to ideate and understand each other's ideas. We were able to generate interesting solutions during this sprint.