SERVICE DESIGN & SOLAR

Hope is like the sun.


Providing solar customers with a sense of pride for their clean energy decisions and a closer connection to their environmental impact.

Photovoltaic panels

overview

SAN FRANCISCO

“Are my solar panels even working?”

Leiden from the sky at night night

COMPANY

Sunrun, founded in 2007, is the largest North American provider of residential solar energy, providing over 250,000 households with clean, sustainable power. They operate in 23 states, including Puerto Rico.

 

PROJECT

MySunrun, an energy monitoring service, is an app where customers can monitor their solar energy and battery storage, and connect to the sun itself. MySunrun is how customers view their relationship with solar.

PROBLEM

Limited communication and lack of solar education caused frequent cancellations and an overflow of calls into customer service.

Tiny Neighborhood Aerial Tilt-shift Photo at Sunset

ROLE

Project Director - Creative direction, user experience, and team building. Created alignment and managed cross-department collaboration. Lead the redesign and MVP launch of the company's customer mobile experience, bringing it in-line with user needs and business growth.

 

TEAM

This project was made possible by a senior product designer, an engineering manager, a senior engineer, and two front-end developers. Extended team included a design researcher, visual designer, content strategiest, and business analyst.

IMPACT

Reduced customer care calls by 70%, 15k a month.

Improved customer retention and education.

Introduced design process and operations.

research

DISCOVERY

User Research & Synthesis

IMG_0173

USER RESEARCH

Met with 15 customers, two competitors, and 12 stakeholders across the Bay Area and Denver, and gathered 48 hours of customer research and interview footage.

 

METHODOLOGIES

  • Card Sorting
  • Journey Mapping
  • Picture Association
  • Concept Prototyping

USER QUOTES

“I feel like I need a PhD! I don’t understand solar, my bill, anything.”

“Are my solar panels even working?”

“I don’t know if I made the right decision to go solar. I can't even explain the benefits to my friends.”

synthesis-1

PROCESS

Participants were selected based on:

  • Region (Bay Area, Denver Region)
  • Family Size (young, grown, or no children)
  • Duration as a customer (6 months - 5 years)

We included standard scheduling, compensation, and consent forms. This research was later validated as part of an in-depth marketing initiative within the company.

movie-night

"EMPTY NEST" PERSONA

People typically between 60-80, may be retired or self-employed, and looking to optimize. Motivation priority: save money, and then save environment.

 

"NEW HOME" PERSONA

Gen-X and Millennials buying their first homes, usually with young families. Motivation priority: save environment, and then save money.

SYNTHESIS

Customer Journey

whiteboard

CUSTOMERS

Solar-Curious Homeowners

sheet-fort

CUSTOMER PROBLEM

Upon going solar, customers can go through an unconscious surge usage, adopting behaviors of energy abundance due to the mindset that clean energy is free energy. 

However, the average home solar installation can only cover 30% - 60% of a household's energy needs. The rest of the home's power comes from the local utility.

As a result, customers find themselves with larger utility bills after their first month of solar, causing confusion and doubt about their long-term decision.

CUSTOMER NEEDS

Be informed and able to confidently answer questions about solar.

Build a trusting relationship with the solar company, and their 25-year contract.

Feel they are having a positive impact on the planet, and peace-of-mind in their decision.

strategy

STRATEGY

Roadmap & MVP Prioritization

needs-map

BUSINESS NEEDS

Due to user confusion, the Customer Care center was overwhelmed with questions that could more effectively be answered through FAQs and chatbots. 

Product business goals included:

  • Decreasing user calls into the call center.
  • Increase connections to regional utility data.
  • Increasing overall app usage and improving online reviews were also included in our key metrics.

STRATEGY

Product Roadmap

roadmap

design

IMPLEMENTATION

Design & UX

design-sprints-1

DESIGN SPRINTS

For the core designing stage of this product’s development, we followed a tight and modified design sprint plan that integrated cross-team reviews, quick user testing, and extra buffer time for iterations and additional research and discovery.

light-table

PROTOTYPE

Once wireframes were reviewed, iterated, and finalized, we moved them to a read-only Figma file to be attached to Jira tickets and distributed to the engineering team along with the user stories and acceptance criteria for each feature.

user-flow
mid-fidelity

USER TESTING

MVP Prototype

Solar + WattzOn

IMPLEMENTATION

User Testing

user-testing

Limited budget for user testing meant creating a bootstrapped testing strategy specific to each stage of fidelity. Developed scripts and spreadsheets to log tests. 


MID-FIDELITY

Testing for usability, overall comprehension, navigation and discoverability.

PROTOTYPE
Testing for duration, and completion of key interactions
Accessibility compliance.


IMPLEMENTATION

Design System

design-system

CONTENT STRATEGY
Tone and voice for overall content and messaging (including help text, error messages, and alignment on consistent language between product, care, and sales)

VISUAL DESIGN
Branding, Assets, Icons, and Infographics.

PATTERN LIBRARY
Once elements and flows were finalized, they were transfered to a React framework, and became the foundational blocks for the company’s first design system.

IMPLEMENTATION

Constraints

System-History-Grid-Connect

HARDWARE & DATA

Our biggest constraint in delivering a behavior-changing experience came down to data availability and frequency.

This made it difficult to create a universal real-time experience for customers. In many cases, data would be delayed by 24 to 48 hours, decreasing its usefulness to users.

Data discovery on this project highlighted these infrastructure inconsistencies, and kicked-off an initiative to update and build a more robust energy monitoring system.

dev

IMPLEMENTATION

Development

sprint-timeline

SPRINTS

Once we had our first feature designed and user tested, we kicked off our development sprints and maintained a steady cadence, with new features being added to the engineering queue as they were completed.

  • Sprint Planning
  • Front-End development
  • QA
  • Demos
metrics

METRICS & ANALYSIS

Crafted detailed metrics to gather for each core flow. Monitoring for engagement, drop-off rates, time-to-completion, and overall ease-of-use.

alignment

DEMOS

Sunrun develops and maintains a small suite of internal software for energy monitoring, sales, and installation. MySunrun is the only customer-facing application, and as such, it is a representative of Sunrun’s mission and brand.

As part of our MVP launch, it was important to showcase this new experience to leadership and employees within the company. We wanted to get the employees excited for the product, its new features, and how it represents the company.

  • Department Demos
  • Documentation
  • Internal Beta Launch

launch

Production-by-hour

LAUNCH

With MySunrun, it had been years since a customer-facing, pulic software launch happened within the company. As such, communication channels and an aligned launch framework needed to be strategically developed along with the MVP rollout.

Creating a scalable launch strategy that all teams were aligned on included:

  • Sales and Care Team Training
  • Cohort Marketing and Outreach Strategy
  • Legal Review and updated Terms of Service

MVP LAUNCH

My Sunrun 2020

PREVIOUS VERSION    |   MY SUNRUN MVP 2020

THANK YOU

Hope is like the sun.

CONTACT
ERIS@ERISFREE.COM

 

© ERIS STASSI 2020