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Digital product design
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EDF Innovation Lab

Innovating for electric vehicle charging whilst exploring Blockchain technology

Researcher & product designer

Contract (2016-2017)


EDF innovation lab is a product team that work on future-thinking projects that explore service and technical possibilities that the larger business can incubate and absorb. They work faster and more creatively than the traditional business so that competitive ideas can rise to the surface.


In 2016 the electric vehicle (EV) market was starting to gain traction, however a barrier to uptake was the lack of charging points. Due to this, fully electric vehicles were not as popular as petrol/electric hybrids. Fully electric vehicles were seen as a business opportunity for EDF as they rely solely on electricity and they have the potential to support emissions targets as part of climate change goals so should therefore gain market traction.

Who I worked with

  • Product directors and owners
  • Lead design
  • Full stack developers
  • Scrum masters and project managers
  • EDF senior stakeholders


We conceived and created a mobile webapp that allowed chargepoint owners to share their chargepoints with EV drivers (think Airbnb for your home’s chargepoint). It allowed chargepoint owners to specify a fee and manage bookings from EV owners (who were allowed to search, book and pay for the chargepoint). Being a mobile webapp we took advantage of GPS and map capabilities to help guide users to their bookings.


One of the project’s business goals was to build the technology that recorded and managed transactions by using Blockchain. This aided the EDF to explore if Blockchain could benefit and be absorbed into the wider business. A hope was that they could move away from their expensive and dated legacy solution to something more flexible and modern however they needed to explore if it supported all of the requirements. We worked with Tata Consulting experts who delivered the Blockchain setup for our developers to integrate into our webapp. (NB. As this engagement was a contract role I wasn’t privy to the outcome of this)

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UI styleguide for front end teams to build components from

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Styleguide documentation: Interaction patterns

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Styleguide documentation: Off-canvas menu interactions

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Styleguide documentation: Form variants and specifications

DSFS Homepage transp

The final UI: Homepage

DSFS Map CP open transp

Final UI: User chargepoint detail page

DSFS photos transp

Final UI: Chargepoint photo page

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Final UI: Paying for a chargepoint hire

Artboard transp

Final UI: Filtering charge points by type

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Final UI: Specifying your electric vehicle

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Final UI: 'My trips' bookings page

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Electric vehicle user research session

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Research report presented to product team prior to design phase

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Mapping out the user journeys and each interface for team review

Key activities

Generative user research

After domain research I planned our research study and recruited a panel of EV drivers. We interviewed them in their homes and around their EVs and chargepoints to fully explore their issues with charging. I presented findings and recommendations to the director and lead designer from which we agreed our scope.

UX and product design

Working collaboratively with our fullstack developers and lead designer I mapped out the architecture of the user accounts and payment system to uncover how technology influenced the user interface. Once these constraints were accounted for I produced user flows and wireframes of the entire app so that the team could review. These were later turned into a low-fi prototype which we used to brief in content requirements and user test.

Mobile UI design

From the wireframes I produced hi-fidelity versions of key screens to explore the visual language of the product. These were expanded into a component library with accompanying guidelines for design usage and mobile interactions for developers. I reviewed development of the front end, working on CSS to style elements.

Rapid R&D to support agile sprints

To quickly gather regular user feedback, I recruited a research panel whom I could schedule ongoing test sessions. I worked a sprint ahead of the development team; agreeing on a scope which I spent the first week designing. In the 2nd week I prepared the prototype for user testing and then iterated this for handover for the development sprint. As this was a mobile product I needed to set up mobile testing on both Android and iOS environments.

Lessons learned

  • Interviewing users in their environments (contextual enquiry) can provide you with more insights. For a product with a physical user journey (driving and connecting) this was incredibly helpful.
  • When working on UI prototypes for mobile, ensure to account for Android and iOS interactions… your prototypes will flunk if you give a user an environment that they’re not used to.

Get in touch

If you’d like to discuss any roles, projects or how research and design might solve your business problems, drop me an email.

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