Pacific Gas and Electric came to Opower asking for a unique online experience for their solar customers. They wanted to increase customer satisfaction and reduce call center costs related to bill confusion.
By providing a clear, interactive visualization of their bill we were able create a product that educates users and adds value to their online experience.
I led the design of this project with oversight from David Royer, Senior UX Designer at Opower. I was responsible for all phases of the design process including; research, wireframing, user testing, visual design and documentation.
Read the Case Study
Utility bills can be confusing. This is epecially true for Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) customers who own solar panels. Their billing works differently than most because they pay for their electricity usage just once a year instead of every month.
Our goal was to create a unique online experience for these users to help increase customer satisfaction and reduce call center costs related to bill confusion
To gain an understanding of the current experience for solar customers I conducted an audit of PGE's website as well as the paper statements customers receive in the mail each month.
Using what I learned from the research I started an interative process of sketching starting with user flows and moving into higher fidelity wireframes. During this process I held work/critique sessions with the Opower UX team.
From my wireframes I created high fidelity prototypes with limited interactivity. Since clear communication was essential to the success of this design, I wanted to test with proper visual hierarchy
Using the invision prototype we conducted 2 rounds of remote user testing sessions with 6 participants each. After each round of testing I consolidated the findings and then iterated on the prototype
In order to change the mental model of monthly usage billing we built in education for 1st time users. Users can choose to permanently dismiss this notification or learn more.
This area provide users with snapshot view of the current status of their usage charges. It also helps teach novice users how billing works.
This allows users to track their charges and see how they progress towards their final payment date. Details on demand helps eliminate surprise bills at the end of the billing cycle.
The final deliverable was a specification document that explained the functionality of the product as well as research findings. This was used internally by PG&E to bring stakeholders up to speed so that they could come sign off on the design. It was also used as reference for the development.