UI & UX design
Powerswitch.
Helping users get the most out of Powerswitch by designing a ‘fast track’ to the results page.
At a glance
As part of the final project for my Master of User Experience Design (MUXD), I teamed up with three other students to work with Consumer NZ (CNZ) to help improve the user experience of one of their websites, Powerswitch. 

Our goal was to get more users to the results page, so they can get the most out of the website.
PROJECT CONTEXT
  • 8 weeks (Mar-May 2023)
  • Team: 4 students
  • Client: Consumer NZ
  • Capstone project
MY RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Project management
  • Desk research
  • Stakeholder & user interviews
  • Usability testing
  • UI design
About Powerswitch
Power is an essential resource that we all need, but many of us don’t understand how its pricing works and whether we’re getting a good deal or not. This is where Powerswitch comes in. Powerswitch is a website that enables people to conduct a free, independent assessment to find out if they’re getting the cheapest power option. 
How it works
The problem
Almost half of the people who come to use Powerswitch don’t make it to the results page.
CNZ stated that people abandon the process because they either can’t or won’t enter the data that is required. Some don’t have the information, like people who have or will move, while others don’t feel comfortable sharing personal details like their address. Consequently, people leave the site without obtaining any useful information.

CNZ believes that creating a separate 'fast track' to the results page could be the fix.

The major barriers to the results page are:
  • The section asking users to enter details from their power bill (2)
  • The sign-up form (4)
  • The address input (1)
The current user flow
The challenge:
How might we create a ‘fast track’ for people who can’t or won’t enter the details, while reassuring them that the results are still reliable?
Our approach
Desk research
To help inform our primary research and gain understanding of the problem space, we analysed previous insights from CNZ about their website. I also conducted competitive and precedence analysis to understand existing design patterns and best practices to help guide our concepts.
Stakeholder interviews
I conducted two out of the four interviews with key stakeholders to gain understanding of why it’s important to get people to the results page, gather insights into their expectations and concerns regarding our project, and identify ways past knowledge can guide our work.
User interviews & benchmark usability tests
To gain insight into peoples’ experiences as a consumer of electricity and gather feedback about Powerswitch, I helped conduct a mix of user interviews and benchmark usability tests with current and potential Powerswitch users.
Comparative usability tests
To ensure that we were designing the right solution, we organised two rounds of comparative usability tests, with six participants in each round. This approach allowed us to test multiple concepts at once and gather valuable feedback to guide our design decisions.
Design considerations
From our initial research (desk, interviews, benchmark usability tests), we summarised our key findings and insights into four main considerations that guided our design concepts.
Support user choice
Provide users with more options throughout the process.
Consider different use-cases
Enable people in varying living situations to still get the best price plans to suit their needs.
Integrate transparency
Remove unknowns so users feel more confident in the results.
Be one source among many
Recognise that people aren’t likely to switch retailers from the results Powerswitch provides alone. Powerswitch therefore doesn’t have to be everything for everyone.
Concepting
We explored two key ideas during the concepting stage.
1. The number of questions in the process
Participants struggled to answer questions like ‘What insulation do you have?’, which made us think about what questions are actually necessary for a ‘fast track’.
2. Two pathways from the home page (two CTAs)
As some users may not have a bill handy or don’t want to provide information upfront,  we explored two user flows to better accommodate different use-cases.
Usability testing
To gather feedback quickly, my team transformed these concepts into paper prototypes and conducted two comparative usability workshops with six individuals responsible for their bills. Using the insights from these workshops, we iterated our concepts through sketches and wireframes. Two team members then developed mid-fidelity Figma prototypes based on the refined designs.
Key findings
Removing questions raised doubts about accuracy and relevance of the results.
Participants thought the billing pathway would be faster because they expected to be able to upload their bill.
Participants wondered how the questions impacted the results.
Participants uncertain about answers guessed and expected less accurate results.
The solution
Our ‘fast track’ solution has two parts:
  1. Reordering of the user flow
  2. Improving the user interface
1. Reordering the user flow
Instead of creating a separate ‘fast track’ for certain users, we decided to create a ‘fast track’ for all users. As Powerswitch doesn’t offer the option to upload a bill yet, we found that creating two separate pathways wouldn't address the problem of people abandoning the website, and continue to set them up for failure.
Before
After
We changed the address barrier to a 'select your region' to accommodate people who didn't feel comfortable entering their exact location. We also moved the billing and sign-up as an optional step people can take after getting to the results page. By moving the major barriers, more people will get to the results.
2. Improving the user interface (UI)
We made improvements to the UI of the homepage, question pages and the results pages to align with the new user flow and incorporate the feedback provided by participants.
Homepage
We removed the barrier of inputting your address upfront and moved the CTA to appear above the fold. Removing the address input from the homepage better accommodates people uncomfortable with entering their personal details upfront.
Before
After
Question pages
Added ‘Why are you asking me this?’ tooltip
Tooltips on each question page clarify how the answers factor into the results. We added ‘Learn more’ as a secondary CTA to connect the FAQs with the process.
Open tooltip
Added an ‘I don’t know’ option
An 'I don't know' option allows people to answer to the best of their knowledge rather than forcing them to guess. Avoiding guesses helps build trust in the accuracy of the results page.
Results page
Added a summary card
The summary card helps people review their responses. It also notifies users who select an ‘I don’t know’ option that the system will factor in the most common response into their results.
Added the billing CTA
People can continue with process with their current power bill information to get more detailed results, which include cost savings figures.
Included a way to send results
People can email or copy a link to share the results with others. If people opt in, Powerswitch can collect email addresses without asking people to create an account.
Send results
Key takeaways
Embrace the adventure
There were many moments where I found myself wondering whether we were on the right track or not. Looking back, I realise that all the highs and lows are part of the process, and its important to be comfortable with ambiguity and be proactive to get ahead of potential roadblocks.
Nothing is as simple as it seems
Initially, we believed the solution to the problem was straightforward. However, we soon realised that designing a solution that meets both user and client needs requires careful consideration. Testing our assumptions becomes crucial to ensure that we design the right solution.
Other case-studies.