Exploratory Research & Workshop Planning




PPL Electric Utilities latest initiative was to increase customer satisfaction through new products and existing UX/CX growth. PPL assembled their first mobile app team to drive this product from a blank canvas to launch. The first big question was, “What are we building?”

PPL needed a product vision.

team & Tools

Being a purely remote team, we relied heavily on Zoom, Teams, and Azure DevOps for our communication. As a senior UX designer, I worked closely with career PPL UX designer and expert Allison Martin. For the bulk of our collaborative artifact creation we used virtual whiteboarding software Miro. Remote explorative research was conducted using a variety of tools such as Zoom, UserTesting.com and Optimal Workshop.


Our earliest exploratory research involved a competitive SWOT / landscape analysis of existing utility apps. Having documented the features and services our competition offered, we stepped into creating protocol for customer and stakeholder interviews. Allison and I took turns as interviewer and note taker, building empathy for our customers and an understanding of business requirements from the product stakeholders. Data synthesized from these interviews lead to our creation of data-driven personas, insights and customer stories.


The artifacts we created in our exploratory research laid the foundation for our Vision Workshop, a virtual, 3 hour, collaborative session with 20+ product team members (stakeholders, directors, leads, etc). We developed 4 hands-on activities team members would participate in, designed specifically for concept generation, building empathy, and evaluating ideas based on customer expectations.


The product’s core vision, based on an understanding of our customers, was defined by the entire product team at the end of the Vision Workshop. Our team also now had an extensive list of mobile product ideas, features, and solutions, generated by everyone attending the workshop. Not only was there alignment on the product vision, but a sense of camaraderie was built in the process.

The next phase of this project would be creating an MVP (minimal viable product), where we take all concepts generated through the vision workshop and evaluate them against the product vision.