Finally, an app made by the company that powers you, and by extension, your home — PSEG: For You.

Illustrated version of the app

First of all… What is the problem this app is attempting to solve?

PSEG’s current online portal is clunky, outdated, and is simply unsatisfying for its customers — what customers would want is less of the corporate, and more of the consumer side* of the website.

What PSEG website homepagelooks like as of 02/21/2018
Going deeper into the current dashboard on desktop and mobile

In-depth Analysis: What is NOT good about it?

ELEMENT OVERLOAD — There’s a lot of different things happening on a page

On the other hand… What is actually good about it?

Despite all of its flaws, and unsophistication, PSEG.com works. It just works. Whether you are paying your monthly dues, or reading about what the company is up to — or even as deep as asking for help on how to read your own meter, this website can make it happen. Sure, it’s not the most fun thing to use — but it does what you need to happen on a lazy Saturday morning, when you’re not asking for much except to finish your to-do tasks, even if it includes logging in on the utility site, hoping you can find the tool you need to use, in order to accomplish the task you need to do.

Interview takeaways

Here’s what I gathered from the short user research I’ve conducted:

Feature Prioritization

Here’s a breakdown of the feature prioritization I made based from information gathered from research

Some sample user flows for easy enrollment

A simple, and secured 3-step enrollment for first time users
Flow for filing a complaint via a secure message center
One of the features: Stop and start your service through the app
Some early UI mockups and wireframes

User stories

And this is what I came up with

Introducing PSEG: For You

Deeply personal

The app is tailored to the owner’s needs: from the ease of usage, to friendlier, less robotic language it is built upon. Users can edit, and update their profiles. PSEG: For you, and by extension, your home.

Thrives in simplicity

Supported by a design that is minimal but necessary. You will only see the things that you would actually need and want. As a PSEG customer, they will likely be top three: Bill Overview, Billing History and Customer Service that is efficient, and quick and up to speed with what you need.

Prides on security

Current PSEG customers who are primarily in their 60–70s are more likely to still pay the bills through checks, mail or in-person. The app will attempt to solve this fear and anxiety from users (of any age) by securing the billing system, and making sure users are protected. Onboarding process would require not just an account number but also a 2-step verification (via SMS or Email) to ensure that the account is protected, and in the instance that the user gets locked out of the app, the secondary / backup phone or email will ensure that the user will be able to log back in securely.

Soft launch reviews

I’ve shown it to a few people and heard their thoughts:

Most of them are the same people I have interviewed from the very beginning of this research. It all comes full circle in terms of feedback and direct approach to an overlooked problem

What didn’t work

“Needs a one-time tour guide feature” — User 1

A mockup of how data visualization will play a big role in changing the way people analyze their PSEG bills

Overall objectives

  1. To allow users to create an account, and pay existing electric bills within minutes from the app.
  2. To keep track of energy and gas consumption through that account using a digestible data visualization chart.

Secondary objectives

  1. To improve customer service within the app, with one-click and easy access* to PSEG’s different departments (Emergencies, Gas, Billing Department, Outage Center, Safety Program, General Inquiries etc)

Business goals

To provide users (tenants, landlords, houseowners, business-owners) access to their PSEG account from any smartphone to be able to pay the bills, track their consumption and contact PSEG anytime, anywhere with an internet connection.

User goals

Safely pay their bills, and manage their PSEG accounts from any smartphone, anytime, anywhere with an internet connection. Should a user need to talk to any PSEG department, the app is there to provide them access to them.

Information architecture

How things should be

Constraints

TECHNOLOGY, FEASIBILITY AND MAINTENANCE — To build an app that would work across every device would take time, money and resources. A lot of things would need verification, and would entail restrictions (TouchID/FaceID, Fingerprint Scanner each has its own set of guidelines when implementing on an app). Aside from third-party support, the app would also require support to store a database for the company’s 2.2 Million electric customers and 1.8 Million gas customers assuming all of them would switch to the app for its services.

SO… why am I still attempting to build this?

HOPE FOR A MORE INNOVATIVE HOUSEHOLD — I don’t know what it’s going to be. I don’t even know if it’s remotely possible to make this work given the constraints I have listed from the previous slides. As a user, consumer, tenant and concerned resident, I believe this is a step towards the right direction on money, time and household management for anyone who’s ever have to deal with electric and gas issues. It can be a valuable tool for a very specific type of user found in every household.

Even in the attempt, it is still a problem worth solving.

Final thoughts

A LOT OF WORK, AND FURTHER RESEARCH MAY STILL BE NEEDED IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE THE BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGICAL RESTRAINTS TO SHIP THIS PRODUCT.

Now serving: New Jersey

On the intersection of life and work. No in-betweens. http://nikkiespartinez.com/projects