Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative

An Engaging Nonprofit Website that Promotes Smart Energy

Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (formerly known as Smart Grid) is a nonprofit that works to inform the public about grid modernization and smart energy solutions. These topics are often confusing and misunderstood, so a large part of Smart Energy’s mission is to provide accurate information that’s engaging and easy to understand.

Back in 2013, we worked with Smart Energy to build an interactive website for their original Smart Grid initiative. The site got the job done, but over time Smart Energy realized that consumers are more interested in the relationship between energy and their homes instead of the full energy grid system. With this new guiding focus in place, Smart Energy approached us again in 2020 to rework their nonprofit website design so that it would place a greater emphasis on energy in everyday life.

Interactive Design

Right off the bat, Smart Energy’s new website grabs visitors’ attention with a dynamic homepage illustration. The illustration uses Smart Energy’s signature colors and playful style to depict a house outfitted with the latest smart home technology. Site visitors can click on the green labels to open detailed pop-ups about any of the highlighted features.

Below the graphic, site visitors are invited to explore interior pages with bold buttons that list common topics of interest. These clickable items are especially effective because they address the site visitor in terms of potential goals and needs (i.e. “I want to save money,” “I care about the environment,” etc).

Interior pages continue to cater to visitors’ needs while introducing additional interactive elements. We love how the design incorporates prominent infographics, embedded videos, and sidebar content with moving slides.

Consumer-First Content

The site is helpfully divided into sections that dive deep into their respective topics. By grouping related information into these content “hubs,” the nonprofit establishes itself as a resource for all things energy. Coupled with a robust blog and downloadable subject guides, Smart Energy proves that their expertise is wide-ranging and fully backed by research.

But despite the volume of information that the site contains, the content never overwhelms curious site visitors. This is strategic. Many longer articles are driven by easy-to-follow questions – “Why should I care?” “How can I implement these suggestions in my home?” – and link to further reading for engaged visitors. The natural lines of questioning break down complex concepts and the related content enables readers to easily learn even more.

Flexible Technology

As we worked on this project, we were very aware that Smart Energy’s platform would need to be adaptable and easy to update. To address this, we built the site on an intuitive base that allows administrators to add and update content whenever new guidelines and research becomes available.

We’ve enjoyed our partnership with Smart Energy thus far, and look forward to supporting them for many more years to come.