Elia is a Belgian company responsible for the transportation of electricity all over Belgium. It is also their job to ensure that the total production of energy in the country is equal to the total consumption of electricity. In order to reach this goal, Elia fosters innovative solutions to give more tools to the actors in the electricity market.

There are currently several teams working on digital solutions to improve the circulation of electricity across the country. For each of those solutions, the company needs a back-office platform to:

  • Manage users
  • Execute contracts
  • Measure volumes of electricity transactions
  • Monitor performance

As a UX designer, Eyon had to ask: Who is expecting to perform those tasks? After contacting the Product Owners of each team, it appears those tasks fall under the Solution Manager team.

“It is my role to select a panel of them and inquire about their day-to-day struggles and their personal goals. By asking questions, I try to understand what way makes more sense to allow them to perform their new tasks.” said Eyon

It turns out, in their day-to-day, the team already managed several back office platforms. Although, too many complain that they often need to switch between different platforms, even for basic support tasks. Together with Eyon, they discovered an important pain point; adding more back office platforms would only increase the difficulty of their job and would be time-consuming in their daily tasks.

The solution to this was to regroup all back office platforms into one; a place where the support team could manage all contracts and all users from previous, current, and future digital solutions.

To do so, Eyon first organised workshops with Product Owners to gather their needs, expectations, and the specificities of their solutions. As an example, he asked:

Is it possible to have one “contract management” page for Solution A and solution B?

Solution A: the contracts need a start and end date; we display electricity exchanges in kilowatts; and a contract needs only to be signed by the two parties to be validated.

Solution B: here there is a start date but no end date; the energy exchanges are calculated in megawatt and Elia needs to sign for the contract to be validated.

Product Owners A, B, and Eyon listed all the fields the two solutions have in common, as well as the fields unique to each solution. He also kept in mind solutions C and D that will be launched next year, and solutions E,F… X that may be created in the future.

Eyon used the results from the workshop to design a first draft of the interface. They tested it with the Product Owners, and then with the Solution Managers. With each round of testing, he updated the wireframes so they would cover more use cases. Once they have a viable wireframe, he’ll plan meetings with the developers, explain the functionalities of the product, and offer them a maximum of context so they can estimate the effort. Once all of this is done, they will be able to start building the platform.


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