Accenture Digital for Galp
I worked on the Interactive team at Accenture, a management consulting firm that offers digital solutions to business problems. Through a seven-year restructuring process, Accenture is working with Galp, one of the main natural gas and electricity providers for Portugal, to improve the organizational design of the company.
Through user research, Accenture discovered the culture around gas and energy services in Portugal. If someone wanted gas, they would look to Galp. If someone wanted electricity, they would look to their competitor, EDP. Many did not know that Galp also offered electricity services. Accenture is working on rebranding Galp by using the theme "casa" (meaning home) to restructure Galp and its services.
We found that a customer's experience in trying to navigate through Galp's digital resources (e.g. website) and finding which energy and gas services best fits their needs is currently frustrating and has a low completion rate. Galp's digital resources were not as accessible as they could be.
Our goal is to improve this process, so that customers have a more efficient and pleasurable experience of choosing services and ultimately, find a plan that makes them feel comfortable in their own home.
When I first joined the team, they were currently working on Galp's website UI and building the private client area as these were areas that Galp was looking to improve in.
I became involved in two projects for Galp as the team was interested in gaining an international perspective of how to make their products more accessible.
Writing use cases on private client areas for development.
Designing responsive screens for mobile and tablet.
Before addressing specific parts of the project I was working on, I took the first month of my internship to better understand Galp's role in Portugal and its interaction with Accenture's digital products. I knew that I couldn't fully understand the targeted users in the limited time I had, especially working for a summer on a project that would last for seven years, but I tried my best to show how I'd build my understanding.
Designing a product for a company whose services I haven't used and for an international audience, I understood my limitations, so I wanted to learn about how folks can feel comfortable using new platforms (mobile and tablet) if they were new to Galp.
Writing use cases on private client areas for development.
One of the product managers asked me to redesign the flows of their private client areas as the folks from the development team in Accenture Technology in Madrid expressed that the current explanations did not fulfill their edge cases.
Because their shorthanded notes were written in Portuguese, I translated their notes into English, which became an advantage for this project as the Portuguese and Spanish teams communicated in English, and described the edge cases.
I wanted to understand what would be the best way to explain the flows that would:
- Make building easier for the developers
- Describe the environment of the client private area well
- Provided enough context that made sense to the two teams (Design and Technology)
After talking with the developers and product managers, they suggested writing use cases.
4. SIMPLIFYING THE FLOWS
Before I could write the use cases, I spent the first week of the project understanding the current flow chart and simplifying it so I could write the use cases based off of the simplification.
5. WRITING THE USE CASES
As this portion is covered in the NDA, the following is an example of what the use cases looked like and is not the actual flow of the private client area.
IF - a client clicks on the account activation link
THEN - the system sends a success message to the client on the website that their account has been activated
ELSE - the account activation link expires
I also included design recommendations (such as UI elements) with the use cases for the design team to further explain what the private client area can look like.
6. DESIGN GAPS
While rewriting the flows, I noticed Accenture had written one of the flows for resetting the clients' passwords on mobile to not include the option of email. At the time, resetting the clients' passwords on mobile would only include the option of sending a text for two-factor authentication.
7. DESIGN RECOMMENDATION
Since we wanted to encourage clients to use two-factor authentication to better protect their accounts, I suggested including the option of sending an email for their password resets because
- Texts are very costly in Portugal due to internet legislation (similar to what non-net neutrality would look like)
- The option of using multiple devices instead of depending on one to reset passwords
Both reasons would encourage clients to use two-factor authentication and use their email to reset their passwords, ultimately protecting their accounts. (Fortunately, the recommendation was accepted!)
Designing responsive screens for mobile and tablet
I was able to leverage past work from the team's website screens and ideas related to Galp's services to begin reorganizing its content in a visually cohesive manner that made sense to users.
I sketched different user flows, concepts, and narrowed down the concept to a couple of executable ideas.
In the end, we focused on how we wanted to prioritize content and figure out the visual hierarchy. One of the senior designers in the team shared that deciding the visual hierarchy is one of the most challenging (yet rewarding) aspects of design because a designer is distinguishing which content is important enough for users to see and which is not.
Through diverging ideas, I met a few challenges:
- How should I prioritize information?
- How would this look to users in real time?
- How can the UI elements coordinate with the information?
- How can I design screens when the descriptions have not been written?
- How will users learn the information on the screens, choose the best options for them, and navigate through the information that would address their potential questions?
With this iteration, I was trying to address the following needs:
- A clear differentiation between options
- Users can prioritize between the sections
- How can users interact with the content and learn more?
The team at Accenture is currently refining Galp's digital products, and also integrating some of my designs into them. Unfortunately, my internship had ended before we could test, but I am excited to see how Galp will improve overall and their impact on energy in Portugal.
Although it was one of the most challenging moments of my life, I am happy to say that I was able to accomplish some of my professional and personal goals through this learning experience. My biggest takeaway in design was understanding more about the importance of visual hierarchy and how to navigate through design decisions while deconstructing social and cognitive biases. I am also grateful for the team who welcomed me into the team and helped me adjust to Portugal as it was my first time traveling outside of the U.S.