Powershop wanted to engage various audience groups – ranging from researchers, teachers, students and general everyday energy users, to help them understand how energy works and how predicating energy is crucial for supply. Powershop needed something that was educational and impactful and would not only deliver a technical experience but also a storytelling experience that would speak to a broad spectrum of audiences.
Meridian Energy won a grant in 2019 to develop a real-time wind forecasting model, aimed at improving wind farm generation forecasts. The goal (now partly achieved) was to replace the official industry standard forecast provided by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator), through improved algorithms and superior technology. As part of the grant, Meridian Energy were tasked with creating comms that would take this project, and turn it into something educational, functional yet still engaging enough for any visitor.
TOFU researched various ways audiences consumed weather data or educational weather data and found that this medium resided mostly in the technical / scientific space. Technical / Scientific audiences all engaged with scientific publishers and bodies but there aren’t consistent mediums for everyday general users and/or educators. We wanted to create a solution that could speak to the entire range of audiences and landed on an interactive digital platform that was User Experience led. As the platform had to perform a range of functions, there were many core audience groups to consider in the design: academic researchers accessing raw data and visualisations; school age audiences being taught about renewables and technology; energy customers looking to understand Meridian Energy’s benefits and market contributions; and casual site visitors interested in green energy projects.
Though the three core website sections served very different purposes, all of them followed the same visual treatment using distinctive colour palettes, fonts and illustrations. Engaging design was at the centre of all work on this project as we were specifically asked to avoid a ‘dry looking functional/scientific website design’ and instead push the boundaries of how we could present the information. You can check it our for yourself at forecasting.powershop.com.au
Powershop Forecasting has become an engaging digital experience for industry audiences and Powershop users. Powershop is continually looking for ways to expand the experience into education bodies to help educate younger audiences about the importance of energy forecasts.