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Home Energy Management System Prototyping Project

Home Source aims to create a system that will provide users with the information they need to act on their own energy usage. My team designed this home energy management system starting from the initial user interviews all the way through wireframing, moodboarding, prototyping and refining to better suit the needs of potential users.

Preliminary Research

As home energy management systems are not ubiquitous technology, we started by compiling a large features list by talking to people who might be interested in using the product. Based on our customer interviews, we created 4 different user personas with different needs and requirements to help identify key features of our interface and product. 


We also did a thorough competitive analysis to look at what features products currently on the market offer and find a way to differentiate HomeSource from other existing interfaces. This was also helpful in determining what a user might expect from an existing home energy management system. 


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Market Research

Key User Needs

Through our research, we identified 10 key user needs, and based our interface requirements off of those.

  1. The user needs to know their energy consumption for each appliance in their home

  2. The user needs to be able to see the energy cost associated with each device in the household

  3. The user needs to be able to manage billing and pay their bill 

  4. The user needs to be able to see past consumption history and easily compare this data

  5. The user needs to see multiple different types of energy usage (gas, water, electricity)

  6. The user needs to be able to pre-program anticipated energy needs

  7. The user needs to be able to predict times of high energy usage or changes in rates

  8. The user needs to remote control their energy usage and connect to third-party applications

  9. The user needs to be able to compare their energy usage to similar-sized homes in their neighborhood

  10. The user needs to be able to set goals for their energy consumption

Categories of needs: current usage, past usage, billing



For the moodboard, we originally created four divergent moodboards which each prioritized different aesthetics, and then worked as a team to incorporate the most salient parts of each board into an overall graphics package.
In creating the final moodboard, we wanted to prioritize a clean, eco-friendly aesthetic. One that would fit well in all of our users homes and inspire confidence in our technology and their ability to make an impact.

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Taking user feedback into account, we iterated on our wireframes and added the graphics package to create an initial set of medium fidelity prototypes. We then tested these with potential users to continually change and improve them to create a functional, usable and appealing interface.

Future Directions

To work on this design further, I would like to do more user testing to test our current design. It is also important to build out some of the features, like goal setting, that we had identified as key features of the product initially but were not chosen as one of the main prototyped flows.

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