We wrapped up a pilot test of MyEnergyTips a few weeks ago with a group of Massachusetts and California testers. The feedback was very positive on the approach and the interest was high in using the tool to make better choices.
There are a number of items we can do better on the usability front to make it easier for people to get started using MyEnergyTips. We are working on these areas now and should have a new release in about a month. For those interested, I am including the list of improvements we will deploy:
a. Simplifying the presentation of the amount saved (e.g., focusing on “life time to date” savings, fewer charts, more text based feedback).
b. Emphasizing sharing and posting results through Twitter and Facebook.
c. Simplifying the home audit process (removing any extra data input requirements, summary lightbulb count, etc.).
d. Clearer recommendations with positive feedback (message, sounds etc.) when you take a recommendation.
e. Adding comparables to put your efforts in perspective (e.g., you avoided producing 30 lbs. of CO2 which the equivalent to one tree’s use of CO2).
f. More information about the recommendations, importance of setting goals, what others are doing through links and popup views.
g. Progress bar during the set-up to show how far you have progressed and what is left to do.
h. More targeted alerts and reminders (now they are time based) that pop when there are lots of good recommendations.
These are all great ideas provided by the participants. The themes are all around making the app easier to fit into a busy routine. There are tradeoffs to made between information accuracy and usability and almost all the participants expressed more interest in the later and were willing to make tradeoffs in accuracy to reduce the amount of set-up work.
When we are finished with the redesign, I will post some screen shots and views to hopefully get more feedback on the new approach.