Wiener Netze – a subsidiary of Wiener Stadtwerke Holding AG – was established by merging Wien Energie Stromnetz and Wien Energie Gasnetz in July 2013. As distribution system operator, Wien Energie Stromnetz GmbH operated the electricity grid for supplying Vienna as well as parts of Lower Austria and Burgenland with electricity.
In the course of introducing smart meters in the supply area of the system operator, we conceived the basic strategy and initial design for both the web portal and accompanying smartphone app of then Wien Energie Stromnetz in cooperation with our technical project partner Fluidtime Data Services GmbH. This concept was designed as an intuitive and understandable communication tool for conveying the new technology’s target-group-specific added value to customers. In its first stage, the pilot project was implemented as a technical development with basic functions.
Smart metering web portal and app
The vision of changing the world
Smart metering technology has finally sounded the bell for a crucial step towards energy transition. Smart meters help to improve both energy efficiency and transparency. They are also consumer tool for controlling and regulating the actual consumption of electricity. As a start-up technology, they provide a fundamental basis for managing your own carbon footprint.
As many consumers still enjoy an abundance of affordable electricity, they do not really think about saving it. Therefore, we worked with today’s Wiener Netze to develop a basic strategy and conceptual design for a service-oriented smart metering web portal as well as an app that raises awareness and promotes a change in behavior: entertaining, encouraging, lots of interaction, and positive reinforcement based on rewards.
Appealing interface design: customized information and entertainment
In workshops with the client, we defined the functionalities of both web portal and app for various user groups to create the required technical specifications in cooperation with Fluidtime. In a next step, we developed storyboards as well as an initial look & feel for the concept and the communication story “Positive Energy”.
In the first concept developed with Wiener Netze, the appealing graphic user interface effectively provides household customers with access to their electricity consumption data. It is extremely easy to comprehend thanks to the creation of analogies as well as visualizations based on a user-focused graphic style with pictograms and infographics. An accompanying language and sound concept with situational sounds and harmonies provides additional support for the interface’s consistency in design and recognizability in elements and colors.
The conceptual application software ensures a captivating user experience with positive surprises and the customizable interaction concept with gamification elements. We use various ways of interacting with the user, such as challenges, a point system and rewards, to encourage a change in behavior.
Sustainable change in behavior: towards a joyful life with electricity
Based on individual smart meter data, our concept’s customized and visually appealing tips for saving energy are designed to reduce not only the consumption of electricity in our household but also our energy costs. Moreover, user tracking allows us to both ascertain and test the needs of our customers. As various functions can be evaluated according to their popularity, we are able to adapt out updates accordingly. Accompanying feedback systems and online surveys help us to collect market research data.
Positive Energy: energy lies at our heart
Information is our way of raising our users’ awareness for their consumption of energy. The contents are charged with emotion and realized through metaphors. At the same time, we convey a certain degree of urgency and create understanding for energy-related problems. Further development stages may integrate gas and other energy forms related to mobility and consumption into the web portal and smartphone app. This is how the individual energy profile informs users of their personal environmental impact.
The message: the responsible use of energy is something positive – for me, my personal environment, and the world. Every single day, my contribution is important for reaching major goals because the sum total of many small steps still creates grand strides.