Expertise

  • User Experience Design

Industry

Energy + Utilities

Impact

33%

Increase in change of supplier online completions

Powering inclusivity for Northern Ireland’s energy customers

Power NI have been a household name for over 90 years in Northern Ireland. As the largest electricity supplier in the region, they energise over half a million homes and businesses.

The Strategy

Power NI have been a household name for over 90 years in Northern Ireland. As the largest electricity supplier in the region, they energise over half a million homes and businesses.

Like many other sectors the energy sector faces many challenges particularly due to the evolving energy crisis and tackling carbon emissions. 

Last winter (2022) marked a key turning point for residential customers of which some struggled to pay bills or keep their electricity on. Power NI placed a real focus on supporting vulnerable customers and spent time on the ground with the people of Northern Ireland to understand how they could support.

Outside many initiatives supporting the community and working with charities to support the financially vulnerable Power NI quickly observed that their website was not fully accessible for those with additional needs particularly visual and cognitive.

It’s estimated that over 20% of the Northern Irish population have physical or mental impairments which has substantial effects on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities such as topping up their keypad meter, submitting meter readings or switching their electricity provider.

Power NI recognised that not only was it the right thing to do – to make their website accessible to all but that it made good business sense too with an addressable 20% of the market potentially being unable to carry out core tasks on the website.

The Solution

Our delivery process involved detailed auditing, using automated tools, expert review and usability testing, with a focus on collaboration, knowledge share and producing actionable, prioritised outputs and recommendations for implementation.

The process

Establish business and organisational goals

Benchmarking metrics and defining common usage to decide upon testing technologies i,e most common browsers, devices associated screen reader combinations (detailed below).

Carry out audit

Used combination of automated tools and expert review to audit systems against established guidelines.

Usability testing across desktop and mobile with 15 users with impairments (despite the use of standard accessibility tools and guidelines automated and expert reviews  is no replacement for testing with users who have to experience these issues when using the website in real life.

Summarise findings in a report

Outlined background, methodology, findings, prioritised recommendation and next steps.

Handover and implementation

Remedial work fed into product roadmap and was implemented through designers, developers and content authors.

Accessibility statement updated and published.

Discover ideas, insights and news from our experts

Sign up to our newsletter