WindStax Energy App

Technology for wind power

Background

This is a team project for the course Interaction Design Studio II. We designed an App for WindStax Energy, a company that focused on full-service development of integrated alternative energy solutions. WindStax produced the largest vertical wind turbines in the US and helped its customers develop economic and environmental-friendly energy solutions. 

Our App aims to help WindStax to build a stronger connection with both the current and potential customers. For the current customers, the App keeps them informed of their energy use and production status, savings & payments, and new product notification. For potential customers, the App helps them to evaluate the wind condition in their areas and estimate the potential value that WindStax products can bring. 

Project Time:  4 weeks

Team:  Allison Mui, Hamza Qureshi, Nadia Razek

Role:  Conducted various user studies to understand user needs and incorporate feedback; Design artifacts in different phases and the final product

Product Overview

Artboard.png
 

Research

To begin our research process, we conducted secondary research to learn more about WindStax company and its products. In addition, we conducted a phone interview with Ronald Gdovic, the CEO of WindStax, to learn more about the company operation and current goal & pain points.

 

According to Ron, wind energy has become more popular during these years and WindStax has been working on a new product line and market expansion. However, the company doesn’t have a concrete strategy to promote its brand and products.

 

From our research, we drew the following insights:

Insight 1 

In order to expand the market, WindStax needs to convince both environmentalists and non-environmentalists. 

 

One of WindStax’s long-term objectives is to reframe how the general public views wind energy. In order to do this, they must consider some of the reasons why wind energy is opposed - namely initial costs, maintenance, blue-collar job prospects, and a lack of information. By addressing these issues, WindStax can expand their audience and market to achieve their company goals. 

Next, we each looked at who our potential stakeholders are in this project and then identified their needs, goals and expectations. 

To synthesize, we each looked at the opportunities and pain points the group addressed as a whole. 

We developed a detailed concept map and value flow diagram to consider the connections between the company, the domain, and the stakeholders in the issues.

Concept Map

Value Flow Model

Value-Flow Model.png
Stakeholder Map.png
 

Our Design Concept​

Creating a service that helps customers better recognize the value that WindStax products bring and allows WindStax to build a larger and inter-connected "Eco-mmunity". 

Design

Low-Fidelity Prototype

We each looked at the opportunities and pain points the group addressed as a whole. 

Based on our own perspectives, we first approached low-fidelity prototyping independently. After sketching multiple design ideas individually, we came back together and strategize our low-fidelity prototype from there.

Low-Fidelity
 

Final Design

Understanding all the nuances of our problem area and aspects of our design idea, our team took our solution to the next level and moved on to medium fidelity designs.

At this stage, we identified we wanted our application to be effective two main stakeholders: current Windstax users and prospective environmentalists.

 

Micro-interactions

In the final version, we also designed some microinteractions to provide users with a better experience. 

Ron mentioned during the interview that he and WindStax were invited to many conferences in the energy industry, during which they promoted their products and gave talks on renewable energy. We thought it would be a great opportunity for people to learn more about WindStax and its' products. 

Frame 3.8.png

Landing Page

 

Drastic facts about the environment were used on the landing page to show people the reality of the condition. It helps to attract people's attention and motivates people to explore more about alternative energy option. 

The landing page will also be available on handouts and posters. A QR code will be provided and people can scan it to download the app. 

wind-condition.gif

Information about wind condition in the user's area

 

Users can either tap on the map or text in the textbox to input their location. After getting the information, the app shows information about wind conditions in the area. Users can swipe left and right to see different data.

New User Journey

Frame 3.8.png
potential-saving.gif
Frame 3.5.png

Product Recommendation and Estimated Savings

The app will then recommend products based on user information and wind condition. It will also give the user an estimate of its potential savings with the use of WindStax products. The user can move the pointer to see their savings over time. 

The user sees a "call to action" screen and they can choose to talk to an agent, browse products, etc.

Current User Journey

Dashboard for current user

The dashboard designed for current user helps them to check their payment and savings, energy use and production and battery storage easily. We use visualization to help them to understand the data easily. 

Frame 3.9.png
Frame 3.12.png
Frame 3.11.png
wind-detail.gif

Wind Condition Information

Wind is important. Wind drives the turbines and produces electricity. When users drag the wind facts bar to the left, they can read more details about the current wind condition as well as the daily & weekly forecasts. 

Feedback and Next Step

After our final pitch, we received some very valuable feedback:

  • What are potential customers most interested in? In addition to leading with environmental benefits of renewable energy, include information about cost savings to draw consumers in.

  • Would customers with multiple turbines be interested in seeing how each one is functioning? Consider allowing users to be able to see their systems together and individually.

 

From there, we can theorize some potential new steps to push this project forward. These include:

  • Scale up the current user experience to allow for reading the status of the various turbines in the system

  • Create a feature that allows customers to schedule maintenance appointments through the app.

  • Present our findings and designs to Ron Gdovic for feedback, and to help understand if needs were met and pain points were addressed.