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Cristina Venanzetti

Product Designer

Household utilities purchasing process

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  • Client: Dominion Global
  • Year: 2021
  • Team: 2 Product designers
    1 UX Researcher
    1 Project manager
    1 UX Writer
  • Execution time: 3 months

The scope

Dominion is a global company with multi-technological engineering projects. In 2021 it commissioned Secuoyas to design Butik, a new home multi-service company. Until then, there was no provider in Spain capable of supplying all services such as electricity, gas, telephony, and insurance.

I was lucky enough to be involved in the project as a Product designer. Mainly, we had to design the purchasing processes for the utilities bundle that would be part of their website.

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Competitive benchmarking matrix

UX Research

The first stage was focused on research in order to understand the market and position the product correctly. Domestic and international benchmarking was carried out. That way we were able to understand what could differentiate us from the rest of the products on offer.

In addition, trends in comprehensive supply and the future of home services were studied.

Finally, we conducted personal interviews with 7 potential users with several goals:
· To gain an overview of the different roles in the contracting and management of home services.
· To understand the needs when contracting and managing home services.
· To explore the acceptance of the utilities bundle among users.

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Sample of bundles cards for the user interviews

The insights

For this last point, several bundles were prepared. During the interviews, the participants were asked which ones they would find most interesting and for what reason.
In general, the major findings were:
· Interviewees responded positively to the bundled proposal.
· There was a preference for customization vs. bundling.
· Savings are the main driver for bundling

It was seen that there is a strong interest in utilities bundles in Spain, mainly due to the preference for having to interact with only one supplier, thus saving money and time.

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A second test to investigate users' preferences about bundles
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Relationship between the idea of household and home utilities, according to the users

“In Europe 28% pay for their fixed and mobile services through a single bill (fixed-mobile convergence). This figure is as high as 71% in Spain.”

Report: “Beyond COVID-19: can telcos lift consumer revenues?”, Kearney 2020

Improving the purchasing process

Once the initial research is finished, we start designing the commercial website with the purchasing process. To do so, we worked closely with the client's business department. In order to validate the flows we organized usability tests with users. According on the results of these tests we iterated to improve the purchasing process. One of the most interesting insights was that, contrary to expectations, users did not mind answering more questions during the process if in return they received a more accurate cost estimate based on their real consumption.

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Some of the screens (mobile version) of the purchasing process used for usability testing

Achievements and learnings

Not every day one can be part of the design of a disruptive product. I loved participating in the research phase, which was led by a colleague with years of experience. I learned a lot from her.

It was a process with ups and downs, where managing the expectations of different stakeholders was key to progress and deliver the final product.

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Some of the screens (desktop version) of the purchasing process used for usability testing
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