Charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EV) is growing by leaps and bounds. Software services supporting that infrastructure are in increased demand from businesses like retail and transit. Whether it is a supermarket providing EV charging to its customers or a public transport organisation running electric buses: software is key.
This case study is about three separate B2B SaaS platforms in the EV charging domain that were incorporated into one single company. Three platforms with different interfaces originating in different company cultures faced the inevitable business objective: integration to lower costs and increase customer satisfaction. The trajectory was clear. The journey just started.
The initial phase of integration can be characterised by cultural bridging. Not just the cultures in the originating countries but also the company cultures with different views on product management, software development and user experience design. Somewhere between waterfall, agile and lean methodologies common ground was found to start building on.
The now global UX team resisted the push for consistency as the single goal for integration and put coherence forward as the balanced counterpart. ‘Just Enough Design Up Front’ was adopted as the core design methodology. Through IA techniques like ontological mapping and creating controlled vocabularies the right way forward between consistency and coherence was uncovered. Consistency for the essential parts – menu structures, terminology, brand – and coherence for the connecting flows, stitching together contexts.
This approach empowered product teams to explore, experiment and experience shared success. One of the successes along the journey is a unified design system that is currently developed by the global UX team in collaboration with front-end developers and product managers. The case study concludes with a sneak peek into the future of the integrated EV charging infrastructure platform.