Need to Know
- London Hydro’s legacy site needed to be more user-friendly by putting popular services and tools upfront to meet the users’ interaction needs.
- London Hydro partnered with Northern to create a new digital experience with intuitive, repeatable interactions and information pathways, which would help London Hydro increase site traffic, user engagement, and registrations for self-service features, including MyLondonHydro, Aeroplan, and Outage Notifications.
- Launched a minimum viable product (MVP) in under one month, allowing early user feedback and testing that influenced further development.
- Using Acquia's multisite feature, Northern helped London Hydro quickly create a new partner site, Festival Hydro, from a clone of the London Hydro website.
- Winner of the 2021 Acquia Engage Award, Leader of the Pack in Energy/Utilities
- Top Honours at the Electricity Distributors Association Excellence Awards
London Hydro is a distribution company that services London, Canada, delivering a safe and reliable electricity supply to nearly 160,000 customers from the residential, institutional, commercial and industrial sectors. Northern partnered with London Hydro to create a new digital experience that provides a space to educate customers to help them understand their energy needs and options and allows customers to access tools and services.
User experience research revealed a need to pivot the site to be more user-friendly by putting popular services and tools upfront to meet the users’ interaction needs. The legacy site was less efficient and less flexible from a technical standpoint, which created unnecessary delays for content, layout, and structural changes. London Hydro needed to increase site traffic, user engagement and registrations for self-service features, including MyLondonHydro, Aeroplan, and Outage Notifications.
The overall development plan needed to pivot to include a new navigation and site architecture to make the site more user-friendly and put self-service features and assistance programs upfront. London Hydro required a flexible, intuitive, and fully responsive content management system (CMS) that would be easy to manage and maintain internally, focusing on visual components to deliver an engaging visual experience to customers. London Hydro also needed to ensure their Outage Map page was easy to find so that customers could report service outages. The resulting digital experience integrates their corporate website and digital self-service portal into a Communication Hub, delivering effective and timely communications and digital interaction points to all audiences.
Minimum Viable Product in 30 Days
User feedback and testing were captured early by launching a minimum viable product (MVP) in the first month. User research supported navigation design that would serve user needs in three clicks or fewer. These changes created a strong foundation for the development of a plan tailored to user needs while also meeting organizational goals to promote London Hydro’s educational resources.
Tailored to Improve the Customer Experience
The new Drupal 8 website is a fully responsive, WCAG 2.0 AA-compliant solution that quickly and easily delivers content and services to users. Customers can quickly sign into the self-service portal from the header section on every page. A Communication Hub combines the corporate website with a digital self-service portal and delivers frequent, effective, timely, and multi-directional communications and digital interaction points to all audiences.
Enhanced search functions help customers, and staff easily navigate the site, and the home page includes buttons linked to the most popular and relevant pages: “New to London Hydro or Moving?”, “MyLondonHydro Account Login/Register,” “Bill Payment and Pre-Authorized Payments,” and “Outages.” The team integrated a Google-powered map of hydro outages to keep customers aware of up-to-the-minute data.
Extensive Flexibility to Expand with Acquia Multi-Site
The multi-site setup provides London Hydro with many future opportunities to incorporate its partner sites’ architecture. Acquia’s multisite feature recently enabled London Hydro to create a new partner website, Festival Hydro, cloned from the London Hydro website. The London Hydro team is selling a hosted web solution for smaller utility companies (i.e. Festival Hydro) and offering them the opportunity to clone their current Drupal 8 build and change out the theme and content to launch a new site.
Since the project launched, London Hydro has seen increased site traffic and a dramatic increase in registrations for its self-service features. Fewer calls to customer service regarding the digital platform indicate that users can find the information they're searching for and need.