Before we could get started reimagining and rebuilding the site, we needed to do some comprehensive research. We sought to understand every aspect of our prospective user—what would drive them to the website, what topics and actions would be most appealing to them, what features they would most expect to see, and what content they value most.
We conducted a detailed assessment, engaging several hundred residents, small business owners, contractors and stakeholders. We learned that the average utility customer spends about 8 minutes per year thinking about energy—roughly the total time spent reviewing their monthly bill. We knew we had a tough row to hoe. We also analyzed more than 75 similar websites, looking at best practices employed by other state governments and non-profits seeking to achieve similar goals. Scorecards were created and presented for each of the benchmark websites, providing a clear breakdown of what was and was not working for the audience.