Prototype & User Testing
The test's purpose was to verify whether there was such a need by collecting data on user applications and whether user participation in co-creation could provide insightful ideas that could actually help in the planning of public charging points. Users simply draw a circle within the webpage in the questionnaire link or on a paper map to represent where they would like to have a public charger installed. They can also leave additional information, such as the reason for the recommendation.
When the application is complete, we will tell them an approximate hypothetical time and then we divide them into two groups. The first group will know the entire installation process and will be able to see the corresponding time that each process will consume; the second group will only know that it takes about 6 months to install it. The user can then rate the overall experience of this service process.
We found some very interesting results: firstly, most of the users were very enthusiastic about being able to actively participate in the planning of the public charger, and from their comments, we could know some of their priorities. For example, this is what one person said, he thought it made perfect sense for the charging points to be close to some places with entertainment facilities, and then he pointed out that Embankment Place has a perfect location under the bridge for having a charging point, it's next to a COSTA and some shops to pass the time.
Secondly, compared with the control group, people's overall satisfaction with the service increased slightly when they were presented with more transparent information and when they knew the reasons behind why something was taking so long. People become more empathetic. We suspect that if councils adopted such measures, the rate of problem emails and complaints from users would be mitigated.
This conclusion directly influenced the direction we took for the next phase of the prototype upgrade. We realised that perhaps we should make the transparency of information a little more visualized, for example, by 1. allowing the user to see directly at the time of placing the charging point whether there are other ongoing applicants in the vicinity, and 2. whether the electrical infrastructure of the street or the legal code supports the installation.