New laws and regulations make the acquisition of a heater more and more complex that people don't really know how to choose the right heater for their home. Topheizung had the vision to reform this process and to give the control back to the customer.
The market for heater renovation and acquisition is a complex one. Different incentives, laws, and regulations, as well as a bevy of variety, make it challenging to decide fast and for the right technology.
Topheizung's approach was to digitalize the customer journey from the first idea to invest in a new heating system until the installation of the heater and its maintenance. Uniting the content to make a well-considered decision with the service of the consultation, which heater technology would be ideal for the own home. This Service Design approach should be empowered by consistent and digital processes that would speed up the journey and deliver data to improve it.
The replacement of a heater is no procedure that you often accompany in your lifetime. With some exceptions, people are doing that once or twice in their whole life. While the high durability can shift your replacement to 30 years, technology and regulations are changing much faster. The consequence: people are not aware of present legal situations and technical requirements if the idea of a renovation comes up.
If you are doing some research about heaters and heating technologies, you are going to enter into a forest of different information sources. Heater manufacturers, installation companies, and state-run institutions are delivering much information about the origin of the building's heat. Additional environmental reforms are also speeding up changes in this sector.
Just as the craft of the heating engineers grew, different stakeholders must be processed during your customer journey to a new heater. A process that differs from country to country or even from city to city. In total, replacing your heater is a complex process in which you need much information, permissions, and finally: much time.
People & Audience
Easy question, easy answer, and a painful realization. Who needs a heater? Nearly everyone in the northern hemisphere experiencing cold seasons. How to reach this diverse target group? Difficult.
Nevertheless, it is essential to understand the potential users of a new service design. That's why we decided to work with a specific Persona using the "A Day In The Life" method to better put ourselves in a person's shoes. As a result of our first Design Sprint at Topheizung, we identified a possible solution in the field of the heater's record. Our Persona: Marco, 28 years old and engineer for heaters.
To validate our software experience, we decided to create three different target groups: Agency, Self-Doer, and Enterprise. Concentrating on the agencies which should help us to spread chatbots as a new communication channel for their clients should help us to reach a broad group of people to test and improve our software.
Team & Role
Thinking about our team and roles at Topheizung make me always smile. There were no fixed responsibilities or static tasks for long periods. Our team has initially been organized into a digital department and an engineering department, bringing the best of two worlds together. It always was our ambition to improve the heater’s installation with real experiences.
Collaborating with Patrik and Mara gave me the possibility to grow as UX Designer and to challenge different strategic goals for our Startup. Which needs really exist in the customer flow, and how urgent are they? As CEO, Patrik leads us to exceptional achievements and always was open for a profound discussion of our future and Topheizung’s further development – something very precious while working in a Startup with uncertain funding.
As a UX Designer, I built different prototypes und application concepts on how the service design for the heater’s replacement could be improved and accelerated.
Executing a Design Sprint together with the whole team brought experiences of engineering, marketing, and technology together to face different perspectives of our customer’s pains. Building a lean Design System from scratch and working with reusable components was an excellent foundation for our concepts.
I also had the possibility to assist our engineering team Nimon and Cornel on their field visits, raising data, and insights of the heater’s records process and which information is necessary to create the first offer.
Combining research, knowledge raised by interviews with our experts, and leading best practices of other transformed craft sectors resulted in a comprehensive concept for the future of the heating engineering.
Designing at Topheizung was a challenge that motivated me to achieve more and to bring real value to a group of people experiencing the same issues for decades. Always being flexible, open for changes in the company’s strategy, and heading to lean solutions that would be enough to impress investors.
It was beneficial to build a lean Design System based on Frontify with the necessary information of colors, types, and shapes. The goal: speeding up the design workflow for different projects, and creating a consistent experience.
As a single designer, it was freely possible to use any design tool and economize thoughts about remote-friendly team resources.
Take a look at the following design studies I was building with the insights of our team and the problems we discovered in agile workshops.
We digitalize heating renovation and bring end customers and heating engineers together. We are the leading mediator of heating renovation in Switzerland and, along with our customers, make an active contribution to the energy turnaround.