Simplifying and automating complex renewable energy wheeling transactions

Product design

UX Research

UX Design

Information Architecture

Branding

Web application

2023

2023

2023

Energypro
Open Access Energy

Energypro
Open Access Energy

Context

Open Access Energy’s mission is to build the energy data infrastructure of the future. Unlocking vital access to data was critical to unleashing the full potential of the private energy market.


At the time the private energy market had grown 70% in 2years since development of the electricity act to enable a competitive energy market. Fundamentally attempting to transform the electricity sector to achieve long-term energy security.

When Oriole started with Open Access Energy, the company was in the process of building two software platforms.


One that was being piloted with Municipalities as an automated all in one billing solution accessing smart meters. The other, Energypro, which can generate energy quotes, by matching the generation profiles of renewable power producers and that of consumers by time of use.

Problem - solution

Problem - solution

Problem - solution

The wheeling and distribution of energy is complex, and in order to distribute to customers at scale, automate and ensure accuracy, data infrastructure had to be set in place and there was need for data management software in order to manage energy transactions.

Energypro addresses the intricacies of private energy wheeling. Some of challenges that product addresses:

  • Accessing smart meter data on the generation and consumption.

  • Matching generation profiles and load profiles.

  • Optimisation and allocation of production made against point of delivery accounts

  • Historic data allows projections for proposals and Purchase power agreements.

  • Calculates accurate bills for private generation owners and consumers.



Solution

Consolidate all your energy needs with Energypro's comprehensive suite of solutions. Such as, scale your Energy Proposals, manage Purchase Power Agreements (PPA), automate energy transactions, and streamline billing and reconciliation processes. With Energypro, ensure accuracy, efficiency, and optimization throughout your energy operations.

Insight

Insight

Insight

Adapting to the ever-changing landscape of product-market fit means constantly navigating new areas that emerge rapidly, while also recognizing when certain features or aspects become redundant. Flexibility and responsiveness are crucial in this dynamic environment, ensuring that startups stay aligned with market demands and maintain relevance.


100% design overhaul
from existing platform

Simplified and
user-led experience

Scalable
design system

Initial Client
Solar africa

Company
Open Access Energy

Company
Senior Prodcut designer

Year
2023

Industry
Renewable energy

What we did

Business requirement workshops

User Research

Wireflows

User Journeys

Wireframes

Brand research

Design Systems

Role

Oriole was the first designer in the company to come onto the project as the Senior Product Designer. His role was to:

  • Shape and document the design team culture and processes.

  • Develop and implement design systems that help scale the system as we grow.

  • Identify our target user groups and conduct interviews or other inquiries to help understand user needs.

  • Incorporate market and competitor analysis, customer feedback, site metrics, and usability findings into designs.

  • Solve complex usability and design problems, humanise product ideas and develop high-quality solutions through wireframes, elegant designs, storyboards, mock-ups, and site maps.

  • Work with product managers and engineers to grow large strategic concepts through design exploration, ideation and user validation.

  • Oversee and play a hands-on role in the user experience of products and features from conception through launch and additional ongoing iterations.

  • Provide regular reporting on the status of the user experience (analytics, conversions, customer experience metrics etc.)

  • Assist in the creation of design elements and graphics for non-product related projects including: Open Access website, presentations, process flows related to wheeling or Open Access Energy transactions.

Respondent interview planning

Interview planning considered time, keys areas to cover and questions to uncover opportunities

Insights sorting

Data from the interviews was sorted into key insights, these inisghts are collated and possible put into the backlog

Wireflows

Making sense of the different flows and states

Prototyping

Building prototypes to show to investors and to get feedback from customers and users

Product developement activities

Working along the CX lead, our process for research as a Senior User Experience Designer was the following:

Respondent interview planning

Interview planning considered time, keys areas to cover and questions to uncover opportunities

Insights sorting

Data from the interviews was sorted into key insights, these insights are collated and possibly put into the backlog

Wireflows

Making sense of the different flows and states, to document for developers

Prototyping

Building prototypes to show to investors and to get feedback from customers and users

Discovery research and planning

The first phase of the work involved gaining as much context around the product and industry. Some of the activities involved:

ACTVITIES

ACTVITIES

DESCRIPTION

DESCRIPTION

OUTCOME

OUTCOME

Business workshops

Business workshops

Understanding the business ecosystem

Understanding the business ecosystem

Stakeholder maps, Documentation review

Stakeholder maps, Documentation review

Product workshops

Product workshops

Doing workshops with the product lead to understand the product goals

Doing workshops with the product lead to understand the product goals

Product reviews, schematics

Product reviews, schematics

UX audit and analysis on the existing products

UX audit and analysis on the existing products

Mapping the current product

Mapping the current product

Figjam map of As-Is

Figjam map of As-Is

Customer engagement

Customer engagement

Running workshops with customers to understand their goals

Running workshops with customers to understand their goals

Notes and mapping after workshop on FigJam or Figma.

Notes and mapping after workshop on FigJam or Figma.

Product Scoping and planning

Product Scoping and planning

Product planning based on feature and section to built

Product planning based on feature and section to built

Plan on Notion/Linear and Figjam for execution of work

Plan on Notion/Linear and Figjam for execution of work

Developing the MVP

After we had gone through the first discovery and planning phase, we continued with the following activities to develop the MVP:

ACTVITIES

ACTVITIES

DESCRIPTION

DESCRIPTION

OUTCOME

OUTCOME

Client workshops

Client workshops

Planning and running through workshops with clients

Planning and running through workshops with clients

Define insights on what features are useful and their priorities

Define insights on what features are useful and their priorities

Branding and style guide inspiration

Branding and style guide inspiration

Starting to define style guide for the application and drawing inspiration

Starting to define style guide for the application and drawing inspiration

Various options for the colors, fonts and look and feel of site

Various options for the colors, fonts and look and feel of site

Product requirement workshops

Product requirement workshops

Define product roadmap and viability a d feasibility of features with product and development team

Define product roadmap and viability a d feasibility of features with product and development team

Backlog of features

Backlog of features

Information architecture

Information architecture

Defining the heirachy of information based on the key components of the application and the product strategy

Defining the heirachy of information based on the key components of the application and the product strategy

Blueprints for navigation and sections of the application

Blueprints for navigation and sections of the application

User flows

User flows

Defining the structure, components and interactions

Defining the structure, components and interactions

Wireflows for main task and user flows states

Wireflows for main task and user flows states

Wireframes

Wireframes

Working with the style to define all the standard and new components that can be used as variants

Working with the style to define all the standard and new components that can be used as variants

Assets, style guides, variations

Assets, style guides, variations

Prototyping

Prototyping

Iterating the prototype to understand the general flow of the site and to be able to present teh concepts

Iterating the prototype to understand the general flow of the site and to be able to present teh concepts

Various prototypes that the product owner and team could use for presentations or user feedback sessions

Various prototypes that the product owner and team could use for presentations or user feedback sessions

Research

Working in a startup, agility is paramount due to limited resources and time. Feedback must be swiftly assimilated, translated into architectural and feature adjustments, while prioritizing direct user engagement to understand their goals and pain points effectively.

ACTVITIES

ACTVITIES

DESCRIPTION

DESCRIPTION

Interviews

Interviews

Defining questions to ask users about their experience with current tools they use to achieve their tasks. Uncovering their goals, and opportunities that will make their work or lives easier.

Defining questions to ask users about their experience with current tools they use to achieve their tasks. Uncovering their goals, and opportunities that will make their work or lives easier.

User feedback workshops

User feedback workshops

Running through sessions on the existing platform to define goals, and pain points. In these sessions we may take in flows and wireframe to get feedback or a more refined prototype

Running through sessions on the existing platform to define goals, and pain points. In these sessions we may take in flows and wireframe to get feedback or a more refined prototype

Demo’s

Demo’s

Note taking during demo’s of the prototype or product that has been developed. Defining what they like, didn’t like, what questions they had or what features are nice to have.

Note taking during demo’s of the prototype or product that has been developed. Defining what they like, didn’t like, what questions they had or what features are nice to have.

Affinity mapping

Affinity mapping

Synthesis of insights through grouping of data and interpreting collective feedback to then prioritise for the backlog

Synthesis of insights through grouping of data and interpreting collective feedback to then prioritise for the backlog

Takeaways

It can take multiple iterations, multiple prototypes and many back and fourths between the team to get to an MVP.

User research lays the direction for the architecture and higher level flows

Working with tools such as Miro and Figma are effective in product development for mapping, workshopping and documentation

Wireflows are essential for team alignment and research alignment

It important to work closely with UX writers and Product Owners to align on content and business rules

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