CitrusBits | March 2nd, 2017
Twenty-eight-year-old Cindy is just one of millions of women who struggle with mounting energy costs. As the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows, residential consumers like her tend to pay highest on electricity, with the average monthly bill pivoting $110, depending on the state you live in. If Cindy could slash her energy bills to, let’s say, 75% a month, she could send her son to Howard University. Of course, Cindy could install solar systems. They'd cut her taxes and add value to her home. On the other hand, they’re expensive to install.
In August 2016, Griddy Energy in California, a green initiative company that helps residents with their energy-costs, approached CitrusBits.
CitrusBits, a Digital Products Agency that focuses on Design and Development on iOS, Android and responsive mobile development, was founded ten years ago. Since then, CitrusBits has created hundreds of digital products for large organizations, including National Geographic, Burger King, and Symantec Corporation. Its new challenge was Griddy which sought an app that would help consumers snip their energy costs.
CitrusBits helped Griddy identity its ideal user and user’s habits. The company applied its own market research, set wireframes for the app’s layout and navigation, designed a mood board, or slides, for the color, photography, and other aesthetic details of the brand, strategized for unexpected issues that users may encounter, and worked on the app in two-week sprints, troubleshooting and testing for market feedback between each cycle.
The new application, called Griddy, is a cross-platform responsive web, which means consumers can use it on iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/RIM, and so forth, which decreases its cost and makes it easier to use. The platform shows interactive scatter charts, bar and pie graphs. These allow users to toggle between hourly, daily, and monthly energy costs.
“Red,” Cyrus Kiani, product owner at CitrusBits, explained, “shows you when to use less. Think of high or danger. Green means go ahead, low. Then there's orange which is somewhere in between. It’s simple. It’s clear. There are nice colors and graphics.”
Users get up to date price changes every five minutes which helps them see when and how to save on their energy usage. As example, Cindy may see all-clear green circles for 12.15, 2.00, 3.00, and 4.00pm. For 1.00pm, there'd be a hot pink circle. Another day, Griddy may point an arrow to the green section on an arc and jest, “Still in the clear. Head to the grocery store and stuff the freezer with tri-tip & icecream.”
Although the app costs, Griddy's savings help you more than recover the investment. Users rate it worthwhile.
Product Owner’s Advice
"To profit from Griddy, regularly review the app for patterns. After a while, you may see costs peak during certain parts of the day rather than others, revealing when to use your appliances."