With further development of the eCharge+App foryouandyourcustomers proved its UX expertise
The eCharge+ App: Not only a mobility app but also an integrated IoT product.
‘With the further development of the innogy eCharge+ app for electric car drivers, foryouandyourcustomers was once again able to prove its expertise in user experience and user interfaces. It was an exciting project for our team, and a fantastic opportunity to support another customer in their next step towards multichannel excellence,’ said Anne Behrens, Project Manager at foryouandyourcustomers. The app, along with the new eBox generation, was presented by the energy company at the E-world energy & water trade fair in Essen, Germany.
At the end of 2017 innogy commissioned foryouandyourcustomers with the task of further developing the concept of the eCharge+ app for electric car drivers. ‘We chose a customer-oriented approach based on the Exploded View model developed by foryouandyourcustomers,’ Anne Behrens explained. ‘Our expertise in the field of developing and implementing mobile apps and responsive online platforms is something we have already been able to incorporate in countless projects in the past, such as when we designed and implemented a commerce app for Elektro Material (EM), Switzerland’s leading electrical goods wholesaler, or when we developed the websites of the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) and of RWA Raiffeisen Ware Austria. Our aim with the innogy app was to transform it from just a mobility platform to an integrated Internet of Things product, offering users new features in the process and making the configuration and control of the intelligent hardware generation of the new eBox appealing, easy and as satisfactory as possible, even in personal use.’
The existing app first underwent detailed analysis by crowd-testing it in real-world conditions in interaction with a charging station. Using the knowledge and insights gained on the needs and challenges of electric car owners, the UI and UX team at foryouandyourcustomers then drew up initial concepts and prototypes for the new app version. These prototypes were presented to the decision-makers at innogy for approval and used to validate feasibility with the developer teams. Moreover, the prototypes were also used in moderated user tests conducted by the team on a regular basis. Key stakeholders and decision makers from innogy were able to supervise the tests both in person and remotely and receive feedback directly from the users. The product owners and developers then worked in close collaboration to incorporate the knowledge gained from the tests directly into the app development process. ‘Thanks to the solid integration of the UI and UX team in the agile scrum teams at innogy, we were able to understand technical challenges quickly and take them into account accordingly in the UI/UX design process,’ Michael Kunz, Team Lead User Interfaces at innogy, said of the collaborative process with foryouandyourcustomers.
An agile approach to the work ensured that the app was given a well-thought-out design and structured, clear user guidance right from the start, so that use of the app was still easy and intuitive even with countless new features and the increased complexity resulting from the additional functionality. ‘We had to make fundamental structural changes and define new interaction principles in order to map out requirements, maintain consistency and be able to offer the user an optimal user experience across the app as a whole,’ added Anika Sanwald, Project UX Lead at foryouandyourcustomers.
‘The app is designed to play a supporting role in innogy’s eMobility division,’ Senior Multichannel Consultant Anne Behrens explained. ‘Originally it was used to find and operate public charging stations, but now thanks to new features, users can enjoy a number of services for the new eBox generation, such as new onboarding, new and improved navigation, the display and control of charging processes and the charging history, profile management and much more. The app can also be extended at any time now due to its scalability, and thanks to its white label design, it is appealing and useful even for third-party companies despite its innogy DNA.’ After the first successful release of the eCharge+ app, innogy and foryouandyourcustomers will continue to collaborate as they make constant enhancements to the app and the user experience in line with user needs.