Solving the destination charging problem

Market trend: The adoption and usage of Electric Vehicles is a growing trend in NZ. By 2021, 64K EVs will be on NZ roads making up 2% of the total volume of cars on NZ roads. However, the number of EV chargers at destinations where people frequently shop, eat and drink has not kept up to the pace of EV adoption.

Customer problem: EV drivers would like to know if chargers are available where and when they choose to shop, eat and drink to be able to extend their range. This particularly affects the largest segment of EV drivers (~70%) are short range Nissan Leafs. User research has confirmed that range anxiety and availability of EV chargers remains the biggest barrier to adoption of EVs in NZ.

Solution: I designed as part of a two day hackation, an end-to-end solution that  included the installation of cost effective 22KW unit at destinations + a mobile app that allows customers to book chargers at destinations so that they are available when they arrive. This was designed to create a closed eco system of destination chargers with loyalty features baked into the app. Break-even to profit was calculated at a few years.

Vital stats for EV drivers

Market trend: Second hand Nissan Leaf drivers are the biggest Electric Vehicle segment (~70%) in NZ. This market used to be dominated by innovators and early adopters. However, early and late majority EV drivers have begun to show interest in joining the EV revolution.

Customer problem: When purchasing a second hand Nissan Leaf, customers use of an app called LeafSpy designed to interface through an OBD2 adapter in a car to read data about its battery deterioration and other stats. These stats are important predictors of the life of the car. LeafSpy’s poor user interface however alienates a large number of potential EV drivers because of poor usability and a design that was intended to target innovators and early adopters who are more adept with EV technology jargon.

Solution: I designed a high usability concept mobile app prototype optimised for late EV adopters. The mobile app was designed to use data collected and spit out very useful metrics for a EV driver including driving habits, EV usage statistics,  environmental impact and the return on investment of customers driving an electric vehicle. Data mined from the app could also be used to understand EV driver habits and build new EV related products and services.

Build an app with a drag and drop interface

Market trends: In 2010, retailers and SMEs in the hospitality segment were increasingly keen on using the power of mobile apps to reach their customers, build loyalty and taking customer orders using mobile apps.

Customer pain points: The time, effort and costs required to build and customise bespoke mobile apps meant that it wasn’t cost effective to build and support their mobile apps over multiple devices and platforms and keeping the apps up to date.

Solution: I conceived and designed a build-it-yourself SaaS solution that enabled anyone to build apps and websites through a simple CMS in the cloud. The solution was designed so small businesses could add new features, update the content and in app promotions on all platforms including mobile apps and website instantly using a simple drag and drop interface. It was designed to be simple enough for anyone including non technical users to use.

Designing a news platform for a niche audience

Market trend: In the year 2006 a large Kiwi Indian population of 80K were underserved and only had a physical weekly newspaper available to serve the cultural needs of a large demographic

Customer problem: Indian readers are fastidious and have habitual comfort zones they go to but had no real online platform to serve their cultural needs.

Solution: Conceived, designed and developed the Content Management System (CMS), frontend and all features on the website. It was NZ’s first online news source developed exclusively for the Kiwi Indian community.

Outcome: The website is now one of NZ’s most visited websites and has an over 120K monthly readership. The website was used as a springboard to launch other services including an event ticketing service and an awards platform aimed at the Kiwi Indian community 

Electricity monitoring pilot app redesign

User feedback research: As part of a new innovation technology trials, we were testing the appeal for an electricity usage monitoring app designed to give electricity usage updates in real time. I conducted the user research among pilot users using a mix of surveys and interviews to get qualitative and quantitative data that would allow me to understand what we needed to do to improve the usage and appeal of the Electricity monitoring pilot app.

Research: I used research conducted by Camora research on Electricity monitoring as a proposition to understand what was the appeal of the solution, and what problems the solution was intended to solve for customers

Solution: Based on the feedback from users, I designed a high fidelity prototype of the Electricity monitoring app that was better designed to meet the needs of the pilot customer user group. Some powerful features that were conceived as an outcome from the users research included, real time notifications of cost spikes for any monitored device, an instant comparison over previous costs for a device and a summary of the costs of different devices cost in real time. A gimmicky bubble interface that was disliked by users was replaced with an easy to navigate interface and was setup on Invision for testing and refinement

Mobile and app development

The spark: A lifelong fascination with technology prompted me to learn to develop apps for desktop and mobiles.

The technology: I learned web development technologies including HTML, Javascript frameworks, database development and different languages including C#, ASP.NET, and Java depending on the platform and the app desired

Outcome: I designed and got very familar with developing for a range of different apps using a number of different technologies. The apps included CRMs, website content management system (CMS) using ASP.NET as well as PHP and mobile development for Android.

UX research

The spark: I grew increasingly fascinated by UX research in my role as a Product Manager and began to investigate the techniques and learn what were the key ingredients that drastically improved product usability and created product-market fit

The result: I jumped into the deep end and tried and experimented with multiple UX tools, techniques, frameworks and methodologies designed to uncover user needs, pain points, gains, jobs to be done could be used to tease out and discover a strong product value proposition. My background in UX design enabled me to combine multiple skill sets in conjuction with design thinking to create optimal user interfaces with a strong product market fit

Crowdsourcing news gathering

Tech trend: In 2010, iPhones with a camera that could send images became more widely available. As a news organisation we were looking at every way we could tap into the power of this mobile device for the news service.

Stakeholder problem: Being the first to a story was a critical news metric, however this was impossible for a small team of journalists at Mediaworks to cover the length and breadth of NZ

Solution: I designed and created a crowd sourced news channel called ( iWitness) and designed into the first version of our mobile app a feature from which readers could submit photos and stories directly to the news team editors right from their mobile devices

Outcome: 3News was the first news service to get photos when the devastating Christchurch earthquake hit. The website broke all records for traffic with iWitness becoming one of the most visited channels online without adding any additional resources to the team

Keeping an on-air conversation going

Market trend: A large percentage of prime time morning engagement on talk radio was lost during work hours which dropped engagement levels on Radio Live’s on air talk shows

Customer problem: People commuting to work stop engaging with the talk show hosts after arriving at their workplaces. Majority of these were office workers who couldn’t call in from their office to chat with talk show radio hosts.

Solution: I designed a web based chat where they could continue to interact with the host live while they were live on air without the need to call in. This kept content for the talk show continuous even through hours when users reached their workplaces

Outcome: Online interactive conversations from listeners became a rich source of content on the website as well created interactive debates on the website. This helped to continue to drive traffic to the website even after an on air debate was over. The debates served as a rich repository of content for future debates on the subject. Advertising revenue on the website doubled overnight