During the fall of 2016, Con Edison embarked on a complete redesign and rebrand of both their collateral and web properties. It was part of those initial discussions that our team was able to demonstrate the value of branching their experiences into dedicated apps for their customers. After exhibiting both the use case and value provided, the team was to embark on designing apps for not just iOS and Android, but for Con Edison’s sister company, Orange and Rockland.
While the initial project complexities may seem daunting, having a strategic design process in place allowed the team to tackle each aspect through open communication and planning. As part of that process, our initial steps to beginning design was to have a fully collaborative kickoff, onboarding, and focused series of workshops. Through these workshops, we were able to fully detail all requirements, discuss our list of MVP features, and most importantly ask questions about mandated regulations and service capabilities. Having our guardrails in place, we began by planning the experience to best serve their customers' primary need, namely, account management. We also were conscious of other important user task goals such as customer assistance and providing the information a Con Edison customer may need. As this app was “from scratch”, it was also critical that we test our approaches for a wide range of customers on their preferred devices. To that end we conducted a week of user testing and reporting, modifying the individual platform experiences after each day of testing sessions. Upon completion of testing and navigation flow approval, UI standards were applied to every designed state and view of the complete app designs and interactive style guides were created for both the client and development teams. As part of the project, we also included design and layout of all the app store promotional materials i.e. product screenshots, marketing description write-ups, and finally an app preview video.
Having successfully built and deployed a 4.8 star rated to the store, our process and approach has fostered a long lasting relationship with Con Edison. Since 2016 the app has had countless new features and services added, providing Con Ed customers with a fast and simple way to manage their utilities. In the latest evolution, Con Edison has embarked on adjustments that will improve overall accessibility providing a new and richer color system, better field labelling, interaction response animations, and finally voice-over support.
As I have often returned to this app for new feature design and implementation, one of the biggest highlights of this project has been the latest evolution, namely meeting full accessibility standards. In the early stages of the app design, we had accessibility in mind, but guidelines were in their infancy. To be able to expand on this support and provide users with an even more inclusive tool provides a great sense that every user has an easy tool for managing their utilities. While I am often an advocate of this consideration, having a committed client product team dedicated to this principal was a true motivation to me personally.
Project Kickoff and Onboarding
Regulations and Conditions
User Focus Design Strategy