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The Future of Energy

 

Building the future of energy distribution

 

Introduction

The world of energy is changing - we are moving from a centralised, fossil-fuel based landscape, towards a decentralised energy landscape, based on seasonal renewables. In order to facilitate this transition, the infrastructure that supports and distributes the energy has to change as well, towards a more decentralised and flexible model. This is where Piclo comes into place, offering Network Operators a marketplace to connect with organisations that can provide energy flexibility.

I worked at Piclo as a UX Designer, working in the conception of Piclo Flex, their new Flexibility product, from inception to launch. I was in charge of usability sessions and research, and I assisted the Product Manager on design, development and prioritisation of features, working to agile sprints.

 

Understanding the problem

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A complex process

Energy flexibility is a complex process. In order to understand the product we were going to build, the Product Manager organised interviews with the big organisations

Understanding the user

In this project I did not build personas. Being a B2B product, it was more important to understand the processes that we were trying to optimise. Instead I made simple diagrams of the actors on the process, what motivations they had to use such a product and where in the process did they get involved.

Service Design

In this section you can see a picture of a blueprint map that was the result of several interviews with one of our collaborators in order to understand the main process behind what we were trying to build.

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Building the product

Challenging assumptions

After understanding the process we wanted to optimise, it was time to build a product that would tackle the problem. However, the first stages of building a product are riddled with assumptions. It is a crucial role of a UX designer to challenge the business side and help it identify those assumptions. At Piclo, alongside the PM, I led a workshop on assumptions gathering. We developed the following template, and asked all stakeholders to put all information in their heads on the table.

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The result was a list of features, which we affinity mapped and prioritised.

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The prototype cycle

In order to test our hypotheses, I run another workshop where we co-designed a prototype, which then I built using Sketch and Invision. The prototype had several versions and iterations, which passed rounds of user testing and trickled down into the development sprints.

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Learning as a team

I carry all the agile rituals that I learnt at Thoughtworks wherever I go. For example, Retrospectives are key to reflect and grow as a team.

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The final product

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