A major utility company asked us:

What do our end users want in using and interacting with energy tools?

How could our current emergency event and power outage maps, tools, and notifications better meet user needs?

Our energy client was looking for a research partner to help them refine their online emergency interface on both mobile and desktop. During emergency events and outages, their customers need a way to get information fast, visualize where outages are taking place, and get timely notifications about their service.

Our research goals included: 

  • Understanding what’s currently working well and what could be improved
  • Get user feedback on how customers are notified of current and future outages, as well as impressions on newly designed outage maps and address lookup tools
  • Identify successes in the new design’s functionality and ease of use, as well as opportunities to enhance the usability prior to the scheduled launch date

We answered:

As we do for many clients looking to refine and iterate on a design over time, we designed a rapid research program featuring consistent, regularly scheduled research sessions to get continuous UX insights over time. This program featured 5 rounds of rolling research over the course of 10 weeks. 

By running multiple rounds of research, our client was able to:

  • Refine prototypes on a rolling bases
  • Gain timely user feedback throughout the development cycle and on each iteration
  • Answer new questions that arose from previous sessions for the next round
  • Stay on track for a fast-approaching launch date
For each round of research, we interviewed 12 current customers, both residential and business accounts, in 60 minute one-on-one usability sessions. During each session, we gained critical feedback on the most recent emergency site prototype, while probing for exploratory insights on user needs, wants, and habits when using energy tools.


Our research enabled our client’s team to make well-informed, quick decisions about their online energy tools and emergency services, refining their designs week over week while sticking to their goal timeline. 

Through our research, we dug into customers’ preferences, habits, and needs when it comes to dealing with emergency events and power outages, while getting tactical usability findings to improve the online mobile and desktop experiences. 

Our findings over the course of the program included:

  • First impressions of the emergency home page
  • User preferences on how and when power outage notifications would come to them
  • Feedback on the copy in the terms and FAQ sections
  • Reactions to different map views and navigation menus
  • and more...


Learn more about how our rolling research engagements offer consistent research—from design concept validation to live products—without missing a beat in your development schedule.

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