Outer images provided by Simpa Networks
Pilot testing new concepts ‘in the field’ may sound like a simple process of putting them there, watching what happens, and maybe gleaning user feedback… but there is many hidden considerations that will determine how useful your pilot data actually is. Applying human centered design (HCD) principles to a pilot to shape the approach, methods and protocol can provide you with a high quality set of data, rich with unexpected insights and new consideration, that can then be fed back into the design process to refine your concept. These methods may take a little more time, effort and patience, but are essential if you want the deep, lateral information needed to innovate your way to success.
Catapult Design created a Pilot Methodology Kit for Simpa Networks by infusing HCD principles into contemporary data collection methods, and through gleaning the wisdom of people who have experience of pilot successes and failures. They are piloting their system of radically affordable solar power for private homes and micro-enterprises in Karnataka, India, with the aim of discovering the nuances, stories, and hidden considerations within peoples energy relationships. This project also led to the creation of the Pilot Planning Words of Wisdom document which you will be able to find in our Publications section shortly (mid/late May).
Client: Simpa Networks, India
Simpa Networks is a start-up technology company with a bold mission: To make modern energy simple, affordable, and accessible for everyone.
They sell high quality solar energy systems on a progressive purchase basis to underserved customers in emerging markets through a network of authorized dealers. Consumers take home a system for a low down payment, then purchase energy service (kWh) in small user-defined increments using a mobile phone. Each payment also accumulates towards the final purchase price and once fully paid, the system unlocks permanently and delivers free solar energy (taken from Simpa Networks). Their plan is to sell millions of these systems by 2020.