Selected UX/UI Works Designed by Amy Stoddard
/ Beyond Look and Feel
Cover-DTE-Insight.jpg

DTE Insight as Text

DTE Insight is a real-time energy management application.  Southeastern Michigan electricity customers can download it for free from the App Store or Google Play.

 

Project
DTE Insight

Role
UX/UI Lead

Date
March 2012-Summer 2014

App Links
iOS / Android

DTE Insight enables consumers to understand their home's energy consumption in real-time.

Challenge  Home energy management solutions are complicated to install and use.  Energy companies are investing heavily in advanced, smart meter technology, yet haven't fully realized their potential beyond basic meter reading.

Solution A turn-key smart phone application, DTE Insight, paired with the DTE Energy Bridge makes it possible for consumers with an advanced, smart meter to read their electricity in real-time.  iPhone users can measure electricity consumption for plug-in devices right from their phone.  Consumers get advice how to save energy around their home.

 

 
 

The Process

  1. Validate the Vision.  Document shortcomings in existing energy managment and home automation products.
  2. Define Features.  Honing in on how we’d like to manage energy in our own homes.
  3. Lay Foundation UX.  Real-time data, user-friend experience and a deep social foundation drive our pitch to the C-suite.
  4. Explore UX & UI.  Sweat details in wireframes, workflows storyboards and compositions and work with developers.
  5. Pilot, Refine & Prioritize.  User test and prioritize features for the MVP (initial release).
  6. Document the Design.  Document userflows, information architecture, design details, branding/marketing material.
  7. Package & White Label.  Repackage DTE Insight for other utilities and add support for tablets and Apple Watch.
 

Validating the Vision

Our research helped us identify a major gap in the marketplace.  In 2012, Vectorform team members were already hacking together their own home automation solutions.  At the time, solutions either focused on energy monitor or home automation, but not both.  So we set out to design a solution.  The dream of simple, accessible, comprehensive home automation solution focused on energy management continues to drive the vision of iterations of DTE Insight.

Top Customer Frustrations

  • Difficult installation.
  • Expensive.
  • Interoperability Issues.
  • Focus on energy monitoring or automation, but not both.
  • No centralized control.
  • Third-Party/Privacy Issues.
  • Vague data interpretation.
  • Subscription fatigue.

The Opportunity

  • Create a solution provided directly from an energy supplier by leveraging the Smart Meter.
  • Make it accessible to everyone.
  • Keep architecture open to promote a standardized protocol.
 

Defining Features & Functionality

Generate ideas where they sky is the limit!  We walk away with a Feature & Functionality Matrix, a spreadsheet we’ll later validate what’s technically possible and compare that with the features users want.  This is one of my favorite stages of a project!

 

Laying Foundational UX

Give Rise to the Energy-Optimization Generation  Our platform focuses 1) Real-time data, engaging consumers in their energy consumption in meaninful ways.  2) A User-friendly experience for consumers to control their home.  And 3) A deep social foundation to rally communities through energy-saving conversation.

Insights.  summarizing all activity in the app.

Electricity Usage.  Real-time readings for AMI consumers equipped with an EnergyBridge.

Tips & Projects.  Prescribed energy efficiency plan based on the consumer’s home profile.

Challenges. Weekly incentives to keep consumers engaged.

Tools. Read power consumption from plug-in devices and research products for energy efficiency.

Community. Create groups to compete for energy savings.

Exploring UX

Storyboard.  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam diam felis, maximus at tellus vel, faucibus mattis lectus. 

 
 

Explore Gamification through Challenges.  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam diam felis, maximus at tellus vel, faucibus mattis lectus. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam diam felis, maximus at tellus vel,  mattis lectus. 

dte-gamify.png
dte-userflow.png

Document User Flows.  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam diam felis, maximus at tellus vel, faucibus mattis lectus. 

 

Explore Compositions.  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam diam felis, maximus at tellus vel, faucibus mattis lectus. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam diam felis, maximus at tellus vel,  mattis lectus. 

 

Piloting, Refining & Prioritizing Features

30

Day Pilot Duration.  Tested a fully-functional prototype that pairs with the smart meter.

 

6

Participants.  4 Affluent Greens / 2 DIY Consumers.  All with AMI Smart Meters, iPhones and Energy Bridge.

3

Surveys.  60-minutes each.  One conducted before, during and after the pilot.

 

Participants Told Us...

Functional Insights

  • Give me real-time energy data
  • Make me aware of what’s going on in my home
  • Help me prioritize work to be done
  • Help me keep home management simple with a to-do list
  • Help me maximize my savings
 

Emotional Insights

  • Keep me in-control
  • Help me learn
  • Make it easy
  • Help me achieve my goals
  • Make the experience predictable and reliable
  • Let me do it myself
  • Keep me safe and secure
 

Documenting the Design

Normally storyboarding would precede information architecture and UI.  But the vision for DTE Insight was so strong and we needed a viable concept as part of the pitch, so wireframes and compositions came first. 

 

Packaging & White Labeling

Normally storyboarding would preceed information architecture and UI.  But the vision for DTE Insight was so strong and we needed a viable concept as part of the pitch that wireframing and compositions came first.