Case Study: Alabama Power – Smartlakes

Alabama Power protects Alabama’s resources, while providing reliable, affordable electricity for the customers. It is part of Southern Company, a leading U.S energy company serving nine million electric and gas utility customers in 18 states through its subsidiaries.

The Challenge

Alabama Power is endeavoring to optimize the services it provides lakefront home and boat owners in Alabama. In doing so, plans are being developed to enhance the capabilities of Alabama Power’s Shorelines Mobile Application. Currently, the Alabama Power Shorelines Mobile Application provides lakefront home and boat owners with lake news, real-time data, such as water levels, and the generation outflow of hydro facilities, helpful fishing tips, etc. Momentum was tasked to design a futuristic application in order to support and engage the users.

Our UX Process

We identify the best process for every our customer. In this case, we identified three main phases: discovery, ideation and design.

For each phase we picked up some tools and deliverables to build our product.

We moved forward from Empathy Map and User Personas to Interaction Design and usability test.

Design Workshop

We performed a three days design workshop with our stakeholders working together on user personas, comparative and competitive analysis, user journey map, workflows and information architecture. In the workshop we defined the foundations of our design solution.

Additionally we discussed about further requirements like technology, business model and licenses.

User Personas

We believe in user personas like a vital element to the success of a product. In this case we discovered three personas that drove our design decisions.

Charles is our property owner, Pat is the weekender and Nathan our fisherman.

Through them we identified some important pain points and goals, they drove our design solutions.

Scenarios

Smart Lakes is a product where the context of usage plus the offline experience matters a lot.

We identified some stories for our personas (Pat, Nathan and Charles) like:

 

  • Pat wants to meet up with friends on the lake for the day;
  • Nathan wants to plan a week of fishings;?
  • Charles wants to check on his lake property and consider a visit.

Information Architecture

During our workshop we explored the IA through login/registration flow, global navigation and the our main entity: the lake.

We explored several areas like: weather, lake conditions, feed, map, lake information and thermostat.

Our feed will represent the community activity for our users to engage them in the day by day.

Wireframes

After defining the information architecture, user scenarios and personas we used the best design patterns to guarantee a happy experience with the smart lake app for our users.

The augmented reality view allows the users to explore more contextual informations and navigate through the lake in a more comfortable way.

The Lake is Our Home

We designed a home page in order to accommodate several features and without creating deep hierarchical navigation.

Users can easily navigate around the lake and find interesting information about it, additionally — if they are fishers — the can easily find out where the fish spots are and enjoy their day.

Holistic Experience

During our design thinking process we had a brainstorming on the kind of experience we wanted to offer to our users.

We wanted to provide them an app that was smart, engaging and enjoyable with apps that primarily entertain and/or educate through playful functionalities.

Visual Design & Key Interactions

Our style for the visual design was minimal and clean. Our fonts and the contrast guarantee a great readability without losing their appeal.

We carefully followed the Alabama Power’s branding guidelines for the colors.


Application Development

We developed the various views in order to validate our assumptions and allow our client to refine the product definition. The main elements of the development stack were:

 

  • React Native
  • Redux
  • React A/R
  • Contentful CMS
  • Google Places API
  • Nest API
  • Ecobee API
  • Honeywell API
  • Salesforce API

Summary

Smart Lake wanted to redefine the experience with the Alabama’s lakes. Our product redesigned and developed completely the way that people interact with lakes following the schema: explore, engage and enjoy. Additionally, through innovative solutions like our augmented reality on the lake, the users can really enjoy a new way to explore the nature and community activity along the lake.

More Work