Solar installers have a high cost of operations management. PWRfleet makes it simple for installers to monitor multiple sites.
Role: UI design, interaction design, prototyping
Team: Product manager, UX designer, and Software development manager
Tools: Figma, Sketch, InVision
For solar installers, target revenues are not attainable without the ability to closely monitor a large number of sites and rapidly respond to issues.
Design an app for managing a fleet of solar and battery (storage) systems, as well as other home devices such as energy meters and load control panels.
The app should allow installers to rapidly spot problems such as misconfiguration and equipment failures. It should analyze and report on the performance of each site.
Medium and large solar installers (50-500+ sites/year)
These users work in larger organizations and are part of a team dedicated to monitoring the performance of an installed fleet.
Performance at a glance
Reduce the time spent monitoring the fleet to minutes, with a quick view of the installed fleet, visualized on a map.
Finding sites with critical issues
Installers can sort the site list by alert level, surfacing sites that have critical alerts and allowing them to prioritize their support work.
No more time wasted triaging issues on the phone. PWRfleet gives installers a live view of each site, surfacing the status and recent performance in a simple, digestible manner.
The product manager identified 3 main personas based on interviews with solar installers at the beginning of the project.
- After the interviews, our assumptions were confirmed. We were designing for hardware technicians who needed to identify issues in their installed sites quickly.
- Monitoring needed to be tailored to different installers. We needed to offer deep customization for installers to choose the relevant data.
Support / Operations Manager
These users are technicians and are part of a team dedicated to monitoring the performance of an installed fleet.
They work at a desk in an operations room, but might also be working remotely. Their equipment is likely a desktop computer, possibly with multiple screens. Their sites can be located state-wide or nation-wide.
Their main priority is to triage and prioritize support as well as maintenance requests.
Here are two of the user flows that we devised before wireframing. The UX designer owned and led the UX sessions.
- Wireframes were particularly helpful to get the information that needed to be on each screen.
- The UX designer made the low fidelity wires.
- These were very useful for me to start designing the UI.
We built on the visual design I created for PWRview and together we defined the words that would best describe PWRfleet. We needed to appeal to installers and support managers rather than homeowners.
These are the words that informed the visual design and overall design direction.
UI DESIGN / PROTOTYPING
After the wireframes were approved, I started designing the screens in Sketch. I created the desktop version first. Our users are 99% desktop users.
We tested with high-fidelity mockups. It was my responsibility to create and have the prototypes ready for testing.
- The visual style followed the visual design I created for PWRview.
- We made the design simpler, more practical and more accessible.
- The final design reflects the vision we had in mind. Simple and effective monitoring for installers and support managers.
We had productive sketching sessions as a team. We could have benefited from more user research and sketching sessions with our users.
InVision is limited as a prototyping tool. We could have benefited from a more robust prototyping tool.
We wished we had data to inform the design. This was a brand new app and we could have benefited from a more data driven Lean development approach.