Not all user groups have the same needs
We continue to develop products for charge point operators who will operate large volume charging services.
Why are we upgrading our User Interface?
When we initially started developing the eMabler Charge Point Management System (CPMS) the goal has been to be open on our APIs and consider the system to be an integration platform. We did also recognize the need for Charge Point Operators to see the status of their devices as well as configure and manage their networks, services and users. For this purpose, we saw that a User Interface is needed.
The initial User Interface was implemented on top of our APIs and we managed to complement our customers with their needs. Now as we have been running the platform with our customers. We have both seen ourselves and gotten feedback from our customers, about usability improvements and functionalities benefitting Charge Point Operators, Site Managers and Drivers.
We also see a need to integrate new systems with EV charging services and therefore the process of taking new APIs into use will be improved. Also, predictive statistics e.g. for cloud Dynamic Load Management have been taken into consideration.
Our first User Interface version was designed to utilize a navigation model where our menu is located on top of the page horizontally. Then on the left side of the page, we would display the grouping structure vertically. This easily leads the user to confusion as the menu navigation requires both horizontal movements and then also vertical ones.
Now we are fixing the overall layout of our User Interface. We are removing the top horizontal navigation menu and placing all major navigation elements vertically on the left side of the screen. Then the main content area has more space and the user is not confused about the movement from the top horizontal navigation to the vertical one anymore.
The user interface takes into consideration different users of the chargers. There are many different types of users and their needs and usability must be considered. The most common users are operators, installers, site managers and drivers. Both the user interface and eMabler APIs support different user profiles.
We have also gotten feedback from our customers about the naming of different elements on our User Interface. We are introducing a new way of showing data on our User Interface by changing the following:
- Charger Groups will be called Sites
- Users will be called Drivers
- Operators name we will keep as it is
- We are also introducing a new navigation element called All Chargers
- We are also grouping different navigations based on Operator roles
In addition to the new navigation elements, we are also improving the searchability of data on our system. For this, we focus on providing searchable tables where we present chargers, users and operators.
One common feature request from our customers was that they need to see faults rather than chargers functioning correctly. This is extremely valid for eMabler’s customers as they normally have a lot of chargers connected to our platform. Operator work is based on fixing faults, that can be due to connection loss of the device or actual malfunctioning device.
In our new User Interface, we are going to address this by introducing dashboards to focus on errors and faults rather than just providing graphics where you can see total consumption or transaction amounts.
If you’d like to know more don’t hesitate to contact me.
About the author:
Ville is a Co-founder and CTO of eMabler. He has been working with EV chargers / EV charging and the IEC committee. Additionally, Ville has +15 years of experience in software development, integrations and managing large scale IT systems.
Based in Helsinki, Finland. We believe that eMobility is the way forward, having worked in the industry for over a decade and we see a great boom in eMobility. We’ve also seen many platform providers develop closed ecosystems and realized that there’s a need for a more flexible solution that focuses on end-user experience.
That's why we decided to build an open platform that lets you integrate your EV charging data into any existing systems, please contact us.