Anybody in The Netherlands knows Essent: it is our biggest energy company. At the headquarters, in Den Bosch, there is a special devision tasked with coming up with new innovative applications. For six months, I was the concept artist and interaction designer for this department.
An assignment like this is all about being part of a bigger team, and doing a multitude of different jobs. Essent was no different. I did a number of smaller jobs, in addition to one big, innovative one.
- I organised several workshops for defining user requirements and finding out the user paths for a number of new products.
- Rapid prototyping for new iterations of both the website and apps, helping cooperation between business and tech.
One of the current hot topics in the energy world is the ‘smart grid’. This is a multifaceted concept, which will lead to a smaller national energy grid, that is much better equipped to deal with normal or sudden variations in demand.
An important part of this smart grid is the installation of new meters in customers’ homes. These meters enable customers to get much better insights into their energy usage – which helps them save energy.
The amount of data that is being collected in the smart grid is huge. The challenge is not to show the data, this is easy, but to show it in a way that gives customers something they can use.
I was able to use my expertise to help develop a system that looks at showing this kind of data in some new ways. This is a process that will take years, but the first steps are being made.