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In this UX audit case study, I go deep into the challenges faced by RES, the world's largest independent renewable energy company, and how strategic recommendations were implemented to enhance the user experience, aligning with their core values of collaboration, sustainability, and inclusivity. They wanted to create a better customer journey and website, not only for their clients but also for their people.

Powering Progress: Transforming RES's Digital Landscape User Journey

A UX Audit to understand the renewables sector current state.

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Responsibilities

As the Product Design Lead, my responsibilities included conducting a comprehensive UX audit, identifying pain points, and strategising solutions to align RES's digital presence with their global vision and values.

Hypothesis

  • RES needed a dynamic, accessible, and inclusive website reflecting their commitment to sustainability, that can help people understand what they do.

Methodology

The audit employed a multi-faceted approach, combining heuristic analysis, competitor benchmarking, usability testing, UI design assessment, data analytics, marketing analysis and accessibility evaluation.

Goals

  1. Communicate RES's global presence effectively.

  2. Improve user engagement and satisfaction.

  3. Enhance accessibility and inclusivity.

  4. Align digital presence with the company's core values.

Key Findings:

01.

32% increase in engagement post-implementation

02.

Passed AAA, in website accessibility, reducing errors 

03.

56% rise in positive customer feedback

04.

15% decrease in mobile bounce rate

Solar Panels in Mountains

Problem Statement

As a new employee in the renewables sector, I'd like to find all the information in one place that will impact my career SO THAT I can perform better at my job.

Usability Testing Insights:

01

Navigation

Currently using a side bar. Confusing and old style. Difficult to navigate and find information

Navigation needs to consider the different personas/ audiences

02

Accessibility

Testing revealed areas for improvement in links, images,

and contrast

Ensure thorough testing of links, images, and contrast pre-launch to enhance accessibility features

03

Mobile Experience

Prioritise mobile development to ensure a seamless and intuitive user journey across all devices.

Currently no responsive design that caters to the entire user lifecycle.

04

Content Clarity

Pain points in content clarity were identified during testing

Collaborate with stakeholders to create a concise and clear content strategy for improved communication.

05

Address and Catchment Issues

Manual entry required for new addresses

Difficulty registering without address documents

Accessibility
Audit

  1.  Visual Contrast: Improved visual contrast, ensuring better readability and user engagement.

  2. Alt Text for Images: Implemented comprehensive alt text for images, promoting accessibility for users with visual impairments

  3. Keyboard Navigation: Enhanced keyboard navigation, providing an inclusive browsing experience for users who rely on keyboard inputs.

  4. Screen Reader Support: Comprehensive screen reader support, ensuring content accessibility for visually impaired users.

  5. ARIA Roles: Implemented ARIA roles to enhance the interpretation of dynamic content for assistive technologies.

  6. Colour Contrast: Meeting accessibility standards for colour contrast, enhancing readability for users with visual impairments.

  7. Focus Indicators: Clearly defined focus indicators, aiding users in understanding their current position on the website.

  8. Text Legibility: Clear and readable text, contributing to an overall positive user experience.

  9. Navigation Structure: Logical and consistent navigation structure, providing an intuitive experience for all users.

  10. Forms and Input Fields: Accessible forms with limited customisation options, ensuring usability for all users.

     

Heuristics Analysis:

Findable

Rethink information architecture for better responsiveness.

Controllable

Users can't control errors. No breadcrumbs so they don't know where they're.

Accessible

Over 200 errors on links, images, and contrast

and others

Learnable

Information into big chunks of text and pages are too different. Can't easily learn.

Clear

Website isn't clear. Message is confusing. Redefine pain points.

Valuable

Recognised cognitive overload. There's no added value in using the website.

Useful

Information isn't helpful and there's no clear CTAs. It's not useful to any audience.

Delightful

UI and interactions lack user-friendly

functionalities.

Credible

Add testimonials and user stories to enhance website credibility.

Communicate

Design rules are not applied and content has no set tone of voice or strategy.

UI Analysis

Visual Appeal

Contrast: No leverage of high contrast to enhance visual appeal and readability. Visual Hierarchy: No clear visual hierarchy to guide user attention.

User Engagement

Gamification: No gamified elements for enhanced user engagement. Microinteractions: Lack of any animations to delight users during interactions.

Interaction Design

Affordance: No indication of interactive elements for user engagement. Feedback: Providing instant feedback for user actions to enhance responsiveness.

Innovation

Novelty: No element for novelty in the design to capture user attention.
Curiosity: No element in the website inspire curiosity or encourage exploration.

Consistency

Consistency: Inconsistent design language for a cohesive user experience. Familiarity: No utilisation of familiar design patterns to enhance user understanding.

Responsiveness

Adaptability: It's not adaptable for a seamless cross-device experience. Many overlapping elements on mobile and tablet. Progressive Disclosure: Cognitive overload on short-term memory.

Accessibility

Simplicity: Lack of design elements for accessibility. Inclusivity: It’s not designed with empathy to cater to diverse user needs.

Navigation Clarity

Information Architecture: Struggling to understand the structure of the current information architecture logically for ease of comprehension.

Competitor Analysis

01

BayWare

Message: Technical expertise and focus on energy infrastructure. Visuals: Clean and simple visuals, reflecting a technical and functional approach. Products: Emphasis on energy infrastructure, presenting a focused product range. User Experience: Functional and clean, with a limited but clear focus on technical aspects.

02

Iberdrola

Message: Positioned as a sustainability leader with a focus on green initiatives.
Visuals: Modern visuals conveying a user-centric and conscious approach.
Products: Diverse energy portfolio highlighted, aligning with sustainability goals. User Experience: Clear and modern, with a strong emphasis on user-centric design and green initiatives.

03

Natural Power

Message: Environmental focus with a range of renewable energy services.
Visuals: Outdated visuals, presenting a static and unresponsive online presence. Products: Limited to renewable energy services, lacking diversification. User Experience: Limited and unresponsive, focus on environmentalism but failing to engage users effectively.

04

Quintas Group

Message: Limited messaging with a varied energy offerings focus.
Visuals: Static visuals lacking a clear focus, contributing to an outdated appearance. Products: Varied energy offerings, but the website lacks a cohesive theme.
User Experience: Confusing and unengaging, struggling to convey a clear brand identity or message.

05

Akuo

Message: Eco-friendly innovator with a strong focus on renewable energy.
Visuals: Engaging visuals creating an intuitive and attractive online presence.
Products: Emphasis on renewable energy solutions, showcasing innovation. User Experience: Intuitive and engaging, reflecting a commitment to eco-friendly innovations.

Hick's Law

Simplifying choices in navigation and design to reduce decision time for users.

Fitts's Law

Designing larger interactive elements for easier and quicker user interaction.

Miller's Law

Presenting information in chunks and prioritizing key messages to align with users' cognitive capacities.

Parkinson's Law 

Focusing discussions and decision-making on critical aspects rather than getting bogged down by trivial details.

Psychology of Design
Principles and Laws

Information Architecture

A thorough examination revealed a need for restructuring information architecture. Card sorting being the best method to rethink how the website.

Recommendations included simplifying menu structures, create a mega menu to improving content categorisation, and implementing a user-centric approach to facilitate seamless navigation and understanding focusing on persona (landowner, communities, employees...)

Marketing Funnel
Audit

  1. Awareness: Varied messaging, lacking a clear sustainability focus.

  2. Consideration: Diverse renewable solutions highlighted, traditional energy message.

  3. Intent: Unclear value proposition without user-focused navigation.

  4. Purchase: Very long sales cycle, unclear navigation and experience.

  5. Loyalty: Lack of communication channels and support for ongoing marketing. This is not even touched when it comes to talk about loyalty.

  6. Advocacy: Lack of Social proof and user stories content. New website needs to focus on this in order to standout.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Decisions

Decisions included a comprehensive redesign, prioritizing mobile-first development, enhancing accessibility features, implementing a user-friendly design system, and fostering global collaboration through dynamic content.

Recommendations

  1. In-depth User Research to understand the different audiences in this project

  2. Continue monitoring analytics for further optimisations.

  3. Implement a content update strategy for sustained credibility.

  4. Conduct periodic usability testing for ongoing improvements.

  5. Explore innovative interactive features for a delightful user experience.

  6. Engage with users for feedback and ensure continuous alignment with evolving business goals.

Accessibility Recommendations:

  1. Conduct regular accessibility audits to address any emerging issues and maintain compliance.

  2. Continuously seek user feedback and involve individuals with disabilities in usability testing.

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© 2024 by Natalia Torres

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