Listening to your new, smarter homeNeurio is a Vancouver-based Internet of things (IoT) startup. From industry leading energy monitoring and control technology, to sophisticated analytics, Neurio is changing how energy is used and managed in a home. Neurio provides a flexible home monitoring system that can integrate smart systems, solar panels, battery storage and electric vehicles.
The BriefNeurio initially reached out to our team to provide product lead support. The aim was to help transition their product and development teams from feature-driven processes to an agile and user story-based methodology. After successfully meeting this goal, we transitioned to providing lead design support. Together with Neurio, we undertook a redesign of the products’ display, consolidating the existing web and app components into a unified look and feel.
From Feature-driven to User-centeredNeurio was facing many challenges and opportunities. They needed to execute faster, improve the consumer-facing side of the business, and deliver on a substantial backlog of features. In hopes of creating some velocity on the team, we began by coaching them on how a user-centered, story-driven process could help them prioritize their backlog of work. We set up the sprint process and took over product management for the first three sprints. To ensure the feature rewrite was correct, we shifted each of the feature-driven requirements to a Neurio user’s point of view. In doing so, we identified the three key experience points along the user journey: unboxing and setting up a device, training Neurio to understand a home, receiving the first report and understanding key terminology (such as a home’s base energy usage). These key experiences helped us prioritize the backlog of features, get to work and deliver on time.
Character, Micro-Copy and Quick WinsAfter setting up the device, a users’ next experience is introducing Neurio to their home by turning on and off certain appliances. As this happens, the device can start to identify their signatures. In this phase, we had the opportunity to look at Neurio as a character, and understand how the app would communicate in tone and voice. This gave us clues as to how to approach micro-copy consistently and in a user-friendly way. From here, we also developed an experience that allows users to use Neurio before their whole home is set up. The intention is to move users from a quick set up stage, to receiving feedback and seeing value as soon as possible
Consistent Experience Across all PlatformsWhen our role shifted to design leads, Neurio had already developed four different components of the application: iOS and Android apps, a web app and an administrative dashboard. Each had its own unique style guide and features which put a significant burden on both development and support resources. As such, one of our initial goals was to make sure the experience across the different touch points was consistent. We first created a new style guide based on existing components. Then we ensured each sprint contained stories that would bring the app towards a consistent functionality, and look and feel across platforms. We also developed a consistent set of icons and other visual elements that could be used across all app components.
Prototyping for the FutureIn the initial design phase, we worked with the Neurio team to clean out features, clean up design and get the app to a consistent and strong place. Our next task is to imagine what Neurio could look like in the future. From alternatives for graphs and visual displays, to better inputs, we will work with the Neurio team to take intelligent home energy management to the next level.
Neurio’s apps give our customers answers in a highly intuitive, visual way that doesn’t require a lot of technical expertise. They can see what it means in dollars and cents and meet their goals, whether they want to save money or reduce their carbon footprint.
Director of PV Sales, SED