How user testing helps us build better products

By Mara Jul 29, 2021

At Moixa, we believe that user testing is a key tool to understand our customers’ needs and offer them better products. As we’ve just recently finished a round of testing for our latest update to the Moixa Dashboard, we sat down with Product Manager Sophie Yates to discuss the process and how a customer centric view can enhance product release processes.

User testing 1 Moixa | Home Energy Storage | Smart Energy Management We want to ensure we always listen and act on customer feedback to build customer-oriented products. That’s why when Sophie and her team were building a set of features to increase the understanding of our automated planning software (in response to customer feedback!), they knew this was the perfect time to complete some user testing.

The aim of the testing for this update was to confirm that the changes we’d made improved customer understanding and that they were easy and logical to use. But what exactly is user testing?

User testing explained

User testing is an essential part of user experience design and can technically be for any product (software or a physical one, like a kettle). User testing is a broad term used to cover user research, usability testing (watching users use your product in real-time), web analytics and much more.

The main goal is to gain feedback from actual end-users of the product throughout the design and development stages to ensure that you’re building something customers want and can easily use.

Our goal

Our latest update to the Moixa Dashboard came from numerous comments to our support team querying battery behaviour whilst on an automatic charging plan. Our hypothesis was that exposing more data on the intended behaviour such as charging instructions, tariffs and historic predictions could improve customer understanding.

Firstly we did some internal planning, quality checks and built the features we thought could help – but to ensure that we were actually solving the problem at hand, we needed to engage with our customers. Therefore, we reached out to all our customers who were running automatic charging plans to gauge interest in our user testing event. We’re pleased to see how quickly the responses came back and that our customers were eager to participate in the testing.

Customer engagement and diversifying a pool of testers

Although all users had a time-of-use tariff that we were optimising for, we had a diverse group of dynamic, day/night and SEG tariffs, tech-savvy customers and less so, and customers who visited the Moixa Dashboard daily and had only visited once since their install.

The varied set was important as it allowed us to have a more accurate representation of our customer base and avoided the data being skewed.

The steps of the user testing

The testing comprised of customers having access to the update for 3 weeks and completing:

  • A short initial survey to gain a baseline of the understanding we were hoping to improve
  • Interview sessions with 5 users with our Product Manager Sophie and one of our front end designers to see how customers interacted with the Dashboard in real-time and have a personable feedback session on the features
  • A longer closing survey to follow up on the understanding and gather opinions on the new features and potential upcoming ones

The project results

After collating and reviewing all the feedback it was great to see that, thanks to the new set of features, customers’ understanding had considerably improved.

Below shows the statements we asked customers to give a 1 to 5 ranking based on how strongly they agreed or disagreed, with 1 meaning strongly agree.

table final Moixa | Home Energy Storage | Smart Energy Management

Off the back of customer feedback, we made several improvements to the draft features. For instance, we changed headings to better explain features, made colours more distinct, added colouring to icons, improved info bubbles explanations of the new terminology introduced, and expanded the charging instructions to show for the future as well.

Our products have to cater for a variety of customers from those on the most complex time-of-use tariffs to those on flat tariffs. We wanted to ensure that all of them could get the most from the Moixa Dashboard, and after speaking with our testers, we made features like tariff data and charging instructions something that customers can turn off and have their preferences saved in the dashboard between visits.

Getting ready for future challenges

User testing 3 Moixa | Home Energy Storage | Smart Energy Management We also used part of the testing to gain some insights into what we should develop next. It was interesting to see that the most popular requests were features that we already have on our roadmap, confirming that we’re on the right track when it comes to delivering value to our customers!

When we build these features, it’s encouraging to know we have an engaged customer base who we can rely on to participate in future testing and include them at even earlier stages of the design.

Would you like more details about the newest features? Read our latest blog post about this exciting Moixa Dashboard update.

Last year Moixa carried out a redesign process to revamp the Moixa Dashboard and App. To learn more about it, have a look at our blog on the topic.

The Moixa Dashboard is one of the parts of Moixa’s GridShare Software platform – talk to our business services team about how it can bring value to you or your customers.