Thoughts

A place for education, information, and insights about the water industry.

Topics: design processes

Reducing bill shock through design and testing

June 14, 2018
| By Charlie Czechowski
Bill shock. We’ve all experienced it. You receive a bill and let out a curse when you see that the amount due is WAY higher than expected.  Research has found  that “a high bill is something that 40% of customers reported experiencing during the past 12 months and a full 72% of those customers admitted was a source of anxiety”. Through user testing and research, WaterSmart has found 3 essential approaches to decrease anxiety and increase customer satisfaction:
  1. Present the right information at the right time
  2. Allow customers opportunities to explore
  3. Empower users with a strong foundation of data. 
 
Balancing information overload for Goldilocks  
In a 2015 study OPower found that “between 30 and 50 percent of calls are about billing . ” WaterSmart strives to decrease the volume of bill related calls with the introduction of our first-of-its-kind Bill Explainer solution. The interactive wizard proactively encourages customers to
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Topics: design processes

Four Ways Design Thinking Can Transform e-Government

September 8, 2015
| By Deborah Sherwin

When you reflect on the last time you interacted with a public institution, it likely tested your patience. If that experience was digital, it may have been buggy, cobwebbed with bureaucratic language, and fixated on pushing you back into the analog world with a form to print out. If we look closer at the ways government services miss the mark, we see an exciting design opportunity. We’re lucky to live this opportunity every day at WaterSmart, supporting water utilities with world-class digital tools, while building on the best practices documented by civic technology leaders such as the UK’s Digital Service, US Digital Service, and Code for America.

  1. Deliver Digital Services Instead of Websites

When public institutions try to “go digital”, that often means carving out a presence on the Web and calling it a day. While this checks a box, it doesn’t get citizens any closer to resolving their needs. For example, a PDF of restaurant

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