UX Research

LightApp is an app designed to make home electricity consumption a transparent act rather than a black box. By using LightApp, we will be able to control and manage our electricity usage. 

The app connects to the different power outlets in the house, monitors each device, and provides recommendations for better usage and savings of electricity. 

Context: Graduate Project

Tools Used: Sketch, Illustrator, XD, Photoshop

The Problem

Unlike other financial aspects of our lives,  the electricity budget remains a black-box that is almost impossible to control and predict. With so many variables in the equation the average user finds themselves surprised by the end of every month. 

Additionally, for many young adults who share apartments with others, splitting the electricity bill evenly course an out of control reality and a fair living situation. 

The Goal

To create an application that allows users to monitor their electricity consumption and improve their practices. To allow users to manage and control their budget . 

User Research

For this project, I conducted qualitative research that involved user interviews in order to learn better about their habits and pain points. This part involved a small sample of 10 participants. Each of the 10 pre-screened participants was 1:1 interviewed for about 30 min. The interview included both closed quotations (mostly for demographics information) and open-ended ones. 

From the thematic data analysis, five themes have emerged: 

- The Black Box: All of the participants, whether if they expressed interest in their electricity consumption, had more assumptions than actual knowledge when it comes to how much they consume and how it affects their bill or sustainability efforts.
 

-Why do we care: For this theme, I came up with two primary motivations -money and sustainability

All of the five participants mentioned money as a motivation to pay attention to electricity consumption. Even the only participant that said she does not care about it mentioned she would like to save money on it if will be possible. 

The other reason that was mentioned continuously is sustainability. Even that wasn’t the primary motivation; they expressed a will to do better in that domain. 

-Consuming X paying Y: The participants with roommate mentioned that they don’t know how much each roommate is using electricity, and they split the bill evenly. Some of them said that they actually barley at home; hence they are not using it as much as their friends.

-Practices for saving electricity: Most of the participants mentioned turning off the lights as the first action they do, but more important – wish not to forget to do. A/C and dryer also were mentioned as devices that people can control and limit their consumption if possible. All of them said that they assume it saves electricity, but don’t really know if that affects and with what amount.

- Knowing leads to save: When asked if they are budgeting other life activities, all of the participants mentioned that they are trying to keep and be responsible for spending. They also said their habits when it comes to it.

Key Takeaways

"I never know how much the bill will be..." 

"I'm trying to save electricity mostly because of the money..." 

"I know it helps keeping the Earth..." 

"Before i buy something i make research"

" I keep forgetting turning the lights off..."

Flow Chart