ConnectExpress Movers

Streamlined energy connections for rental properties

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Moving into a new rental property is exciting, but can also be complicated, stressful and tiring.

On top of all that, the process for tenants to connect their electricity and gas is often a real pain in the @#$.

So we decided to fix it.


ConnectExpress Movers is a digital platform that makes energy connections quick, easy and transparent for both tenants and Property Managers.


When tenants sign a new rental lease, the Property Manager typically suggests they opt-in for utility connection services from a Third Party Aggregator whose job is to reduce the hassle involved in connecting electricity, gas and internet etc.

At the same time, the Property Manager receives an incentive payment for the sales referral.

However it doesn't always work out that well for anyone involved...


The key challenge was to design a solution that makes rental property energy connections:

  1. Simple to refer for Property Managers;

  2. Simple to action for Tenants; and

  3. Simple to track for both.

ConnectExpress Movers
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Sole Product Designer
3 Developers
Product Owner

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User interviews
Pencil on paper

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User journeys
User & UI flow maps
Lo-fi / Mid / Hi-fi prototypes
Style guide

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4 months to PoC
+5 months to MVP

Research & planning

This was my first project upon joining the enTech startup Connect Develop.

The problem space had been identified by the Product Owner, but not formally investigated or documented. So my first step was to interview the in-house SME's (Subject Matter Experts) followed by a number of potential users in the target audiences with a combination of on-site visits, inviting some into our office, and phone/video calls.

I compiled the results of this research into the following persona documents which we gathered as a team to discuss, then stuck up on the walls as a constant visual reference.


Cross-persona flow map

Once the personas were defined, I used sticky notes to map the key interaction points across the swimlanes for each persona.

ConnectExpress Movers

Experience journey maps

Full journey maps were then documented for the two primary MVP personas - Nick the Tenant and Sarah the Property Manager. Again, large format poster prints served as a quick visual reference for the entire product team.

The other three journeys were only roughly drafted as their workflows were beyond initial scope.

Process flow maps

Next, I worked with the Product Owner and development team to map how the user journeys might intersect with various existing systems and processes - for both internal (Connect Develop / Alinta Energy) and external partners (eg 1Form, Foxtel and Lets Be Mates internet).

Lifecycle mapping

I also investigated the lifecycle of an energy connection as this was fundamental to a couple of our key value propositions : transparency and immediacy.

It was important not only to relay the current status to both Nick (the tenant) and Sarah (the Property Manager), but also translate business domain-specific terminology into more consumer-friendly phrasing.

Validation with both persona groups helped iterate the terminology into its final form:

ConnectExpress Movers

Scope of work

Our initial hypothesis that both tenants and Property Managers would prefer a mobile-first experience was partially validated. I turns out that Property Managers primarily work in the office with a laptop and large monitor, in addition to running around conducting inspections etc.

Based on this we decided on a mobile-first responsive cloud solution rather than taking the native app route. We also chose to pursue a relatively wide and deep exploration of features then cut down to the core flows for initial MVP release, based on the primary needs of our two key personas.

The intent here was to allow for scaling the experience and not "box ourselves into a corner" by only considering the first iteration upfront.

  • Invite tenant

  • Tenant opt-in (signup flow) - residential offer / single fuel / retailer / distributor

  • Dashboard

    • Count for Invited / In progress / Completed / Failed

    • Details for each

    • Projected earnings for current month

    • Basic profile management

  • Comms

    • Co-branded Text & Email invitations, Followup, Updates

    • Monthly reporting email

  • Post-MVP

    • Live energy plans & compliance via integration with Alinta API

    • Multiple retailer support

    • Multi-fuel

    • Business energy plans

    • 3rd party offers eg payTV, internet, moving services

    • Full payment charting

    • Edit, Re-send & Withdraw

    • PropertyMe integration

    • Self-serve user management

    • Alinta customer service view

    • Keep The Lights On (persistent connection)

    • Full notfification control

    • Connections list icons, search & filtering

    • Unsuccessful applicant re-targeting

Quick sketches

Mid-fidelity design

Some quick lo-fi prototype user testing resulted in validation of the overall flow and basic UI patterns, with some iterations required to improve the onboarding sequence and dashboard status phrasing.

The next step was to build out a complete end-to-end mid-fidelity experience flowmap across multiple personas, showing how the application functions from organisation setup, through Sarah's onboarding, inviting Nick, his opt-in, and all the way to managing connection updates and support access.

Cross-persona UI flow map

ConnectExpress Movers
ConnectExpress Movers
ConnectExpress Movers

Mid-fidelity prototype

Actually it's kind of hybrid low/mid fidelity for some reason. Odd.
Launch prototype (in new tab)

ConnectExpress Movers
High fidelity design


Dating back to 2017, this is really a modular asset library of nested components rather than a fully fledged design system.

ConnectExpress Movers
ConnectExpress Movers

UI flow maps

The persona-specific UI maps below are broken up into task-oriented flows:


  • Onboarding

  • Dashboard blankstates

  • Invite tenant

  • Lead confirmation

  • Graph toggling & payment breakdown

  • Inline connection actions

  • Connection statuses / award badges / historical views

  • Menu / Help / Monthly update email


  • Invitation & offer acceptance (opt-in)

  • Signup

  • Optional plan details sub-flow

  • Optional feedback

ConnectExpress Movers
ConnectExpress Movers
ConnectExpress Movers
ConnectExpress Movers

The platform was used to test various iterative prototypes for different persona flows, plus a number of new features as we worked our way through the product roadmap.

Please note: each prototype launches in a new browser tab as they are no longer hosted as iFrames by Invision. Also, if you find any screens not loading properly - try scrolling up/down, that seems to fix the glitch.

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Full experience

End-to-end cross-persona workflow from Sarah joining and inviting Nick, all the way to connection status management.

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Uniti internet

Post-MVP launch, we added the option for Nick to opt-in for broadband internet from a 3rd party provider.

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Search function

As expected, soon after MVP launch many of our users began requesting a search function...

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Connection statuses

Users reported difficulty in browsing lists of connections so we investigated iconography and colour coding patterns...

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New payment model

After approximately 12 months we needed to communicate a significant change in the incentive payment handling process...

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Sarah - responsive

Device breakpoint mapping for developer reference: small/large mobile -> tall/wide tablet -> small/large desktop.

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Nick- responsive

Device breakpoint mapping for developer reference: small/large mobile -> tall/wide tablet -> small/large desktop.

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Dashboard - iPad

Subset of responsive screens demonstrating Sarah's experience on an iPad / small laptop device.

Tenant signup
Utility & support
Design exploration
Marketing & comms

ConnectExpress Movers was extremely well received by both PropertyManagers and tenants alike, but...

Business priorities shifted away from pursuing new sales channels and so our resources were diverted to other areas such as Connect Assist (new energy connections) and Connect Affinity (large scale enterprise partnerships).

This meant that were weren't able to fully deliver on our roadmap including integration with third party service providers.

Key learnings

  • Tenants loved the simple, clean signup experience and the super relaxed, informal language, plus real-time connection status updates

  • Property Managers are extremely busy and need everything done "now", so prompt payment handling was a key sticking point due to delayed account verification (eg when a customer cancelled after signup, or failed the credit check step)

  • For many use cases, a responsive cloud solution is perfectly adequate and the overheads of native app delivery are unnecessary.

  • User testing platforms are fantastic but require a huge amount of time to take full advantage of. Specific prototypes need to be made just for testing, for each flow, for each persona, and a detailed script of questions needs to be prepared for the survey stage. This can be difficult for a sole designer to handle alongside all the other work.