True Energy is a startup with a brilliant idea and a simple concept: Help electrical vehicle owners charge their car in a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way.
The key product is an app that, connected to the users’ charging posts, controls the timing of the charging. Instead of just starting the charging of the car when plugging it in (often at the most expensive time in the afternoon after work), the user can set a final time for when the car should be fully charged. Along with the publicly available information of energy prices and estimated CO2 emission 24 hours ahead, this enables the app to plan and optimize the charging for the lowest price and the lowest emissions, while making sure that the car is ready on time.
Before arriving at a list of recommendations of changes to the current app and implementation I wanted to form an idea of the target group of existing and potential new users. Understanding user’s common behavioral patterns, their jobs to be done, and the situations of interaction is essential to establishing a good UX framework with a set of principles to be observed working on improvements, and designing and developing new features.
Component of the analysis:
- User analysis. Who are the users, what are their common behavioral patterns. What are their shared values?
The UX Framework
With an understanding of the user base, I could start pointing out the most important features of their experience with the app and which areas to look at to expand on that relation, making sure we build a product that understands the users and where the users share that feeling.
An important part of this is understanding the concept of ‘jobs-to-be-done’ – the user has a job to do, and s/he is using a product for exactly that reason. You need to understand the job. How it starts. How it’s solved in the easiest, most convenient, and most delightful way. And what is the measure of success? When is the job done?
It’s one thing to understand or set up a list of business objectives, but without user insights and an idea of user’s needs in their own right, there is no basis for user’s adoption of a product.
Components of the UX framework:
- Jobs to be done
What is the need for anyone to use the product?
- Situations of interaction
A description of natural use cases and situations.
- Values guiding the design
A list of shared values and affinities of the users. What makes them feel understood and ‘at home’ with the product.
- User journeys
Flows mapping out the main use cases and the steps and options presented to the user.
Most value for the least effort
The analysis and the UX Framework informed a list of specific recommendations for the True Energy to proceed with. Including specific recommendations for the product structure and design based on the concepts of the UX Framework, and a list of quick wins to get started.