Building the future of energy distribution
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
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.
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.
Building the product
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.
The result was a list of features, which we affinity mapped and prioritised.
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.
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.