Hilo, the new Hydro-Québec subsidiary, has chosen lg2 to plan, design and develop its mobile app and transactional platform. This is a multi-phase project with an ambitious vision: to reinvent Quebecers’ relationship to energy.
Working together, we’ve envisioned a new kind of smart home, where controlling technology is no longer just for geeks – it’s for everyone.
“Hilo comes to life in a number of ways, but it’s primarily digital technology that brings the brand closer to its customers. With the expert support of lg2, we have created a mobile app and e-commerce experience that support the user at every stage of their journey.”
As the main point of interaction between the user and the service, the application can be seen as a control tower. With Hilo, users can manage their smart devices, track usage data and schedule automated tasks. Through smart notifications and interfaces, users receive advice on their energy consumption as well as reports on how well they’re doing with their Hilo challenges. Hilo’s energy consumption reduction challenges are essential to the success of the brand.
To ensure that each customer gets the most out of their smart home, the idea of personal assistance has been the central focus. Every step has been taken to make the app user-friendly and intuitive.
To make Hilo a truly accessible smart home service for everyone, we had to design an app that people could relate to. Taking an illustrative approach was not a trivial choice. Unlike photos, illustrations allow users to identify with and see themselves in each of the visual elements.
To popularize new technology, you have to know how to guide users. We therefore focused on offering user support at each stage of the journey, with tutorials on all key features of the app that users can easily follow, helping to speed up and simplify the training process.
The Hilo app lets users access their energy consumption data. A veritable gold mine. To make it easy to consult and understand this data, efforts were made to make the display interactive. The goal? Popularize the data and put it in context, so that it’s quick and easy to assimilate.
Hilo's reward system remunerates users who take part in Hilo challenges. To bring the rewards to life, the Hilo experience includes micro-interactions. This helps give users instant positive feedback and ensures they understand and engage with the app.
Hilo has developed a technological infrastructure that makes it possible to create web services with other smart home systems and that complies with the very highest in security standards. To make collaborative work of this magnitude possible, it was essential to use technologies that facilitate rapid prototyping and quality-control testing.
To support marketing, the online experience makes buy-ins for the smart home service easy and clear. The flexibility of the chosen technology (Episerver) has allowed us to create a first-class platform, both in terms of customer experience and marketing power.
A phased approach is fundamental for any digital project of this scale. In collaboration with Yaksa, we chose Episerver for its marketing power and its ability to scale up to support the growth of a client like Hilo. The site was at first solely informational, to generate excitement around the new brand; then, in the beta phase, it evolved to support recruiting participants. The platform is now fully transactional, and it continues to evolve.
In order to clearly explain the breadth of the service, three sets of products were designed around fictitious cases. This gives users the opportunity to draw inspiration from Leo's, Martina's and Daniel’s stories – to help define their needs, estimate potential earnings and make specific choices.
Signing up for a smart home solution is rarely an impulse purchase. In response to this reality, the tools offered by Episerver and Microsoft Dynamics have made it possible to design a site that adapts to visitors’ purchasing cycle. Whether it’s personalized calls to action or even forms, the website consistently offers an optimal conversion funnel for each user.
Typography, colours, the various components of the interface: everything has been thought out to create a scalable and flexible brand language. A good design system allows design teams to work more efficiently and to maintain a natural harmony between all digital products.
Once created, the design system goes to the developers, who are responsible for bringing the website and application to life. This helps reduce quality control time and increase productivity during all phases of development. For content editing, CMS block development was also based on the design system, to facilitate creating dynamic, flexible, brand-loyal pages.
Collaboration with the consumer is a key ingredient of democratization. Throughout the design process, we ran a series of user tests to ensure the digital experiences we developed were effective and relevant.
Close collaboration with the Hilo teams was also crucial to the success of the mandate, from strategy to design to development. The talent of strategists, project managers, UX experts, designers, solution architects, developers, engineers and analysts was truly brought to bear. Behind the scenes, a large and unified team with multiple areas of expertise worked in concert with an eye to increasing the synergy and effectiveness of the product.
Hilo is a Hydro-Québec subsidiary whose mission is to develop innovative, value-added products and services designed to position Hydro-Québec as a major provider of new energy services. In addition to smart home offerings, Hilo will soon launch services to help companies reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs. Other products and services will gradually be deployed, including electric mobility offerings, smart energy storage and solar self-generation.
Online orders can be placed as of today at hiloenergie.com.