The consultancy won a pitch in September 2012 and was asked to design a simplified bill that was clearer to understand ‘as part of Npower’s drive to become more customer focused,’ according to Lippincott senior associate George Bigden.
Lippincott’s research-based approach saw it consult with Npower’s staff and its customers. The customers who fell into two broad categories: ‘skimmers’ and ‘checkers’ says Bigden.
A simplified front page ‘shows essentials at a glance’ while everything else is split into seven sections which consecutively deal with customer information and price followed by energy details, tariff, ‘How your energy adds up’, ‘What you’ve paid’, ‘Energy explained’ and a help section.
The Energy explained section gives examples of the different kinds of activity that equate to one kilowatt of energy usage and features a set of illustrative icons.
‘Guiding the design was the idea of ‘putting customers in control’ – friendly icons, bold colour coded sections, and everyday, familiar language to replace the clutter of industry jargon that was used before,’ says Bigden.
The icons, colours, and clear sections serve to aid customer conversations at Npower call centres – particularly the the orange part – as well as making it easy for customers to see and understand how much they are using and spending; ‘Like the house icons which tell you “You’re using less/more each day compared to last year,”’ says Bigden.
He adds, ‘Overall, our design and language approach was ‘radical simplicity’. The greatest challenge in the design process was fighting for white space, and we worked hard with Npower team to balance regulatory requirements, with the integrity of a design that put’s customers first.’