Streamlining payments and statements on members' online Bulb Accounts

Hey Community,

Our design team has streamlined the payments and statements screen on members’ online Bulb Accounts.

We’re making the payments and statements look a bit more like a bank statement now. We hope this will make it clearer and more intuitive. We now show the Bulb balance at the top of the page, again in the hopes of increasing clarity. As before, payments are positive because they increase members’ Bulb balance. We also now show pending payments, which should resolve some confusion about account balance when a payment is pending. As before, monthly usage shows up as negative because usage reduces members’ Bulb balance.

To change payment details, members can click the ‘Payment settings’ button. This flow subtly reorganises a member’s online account’s structure. Instead of having ‘payments and statements’ completely separate from ‘change payment details’, they’re now in the same bucket. As part of this streamlining, once a member clicks ‘Payment settings’, we combine payment date, amount, and details into one screen. We also give inline feedback on whether the payment amount covers members’ predicted usage.

A few notes on these screenshots:

  • They use a fake account, hence the nonsensical address.
  • We’re still testing the designs, so they may change. My goal is to start giving heads up on product changes to the Community before or as we deploy them.

Last but not least, from Monday onward, we’re going to use the phrase ‘Bulb Account’ instead of ‘MyBulb’. User testing shows this is easier to understand. Also, we feel more comfortable extending the phrase ‘Bulb Account’ to voice assistant contexts, i.e. allowing people to manage their ‘Bulb Account’ from Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, etc.

  • A housekeeping note on this is that we’ll change the URLs of the Bulb Account pages accordingly. The my.bulb.co.uk URLs will still be live; they’ll redirect to the analogous Bulb Account URL.

We are excited about these changes. We predict they will reduce confusion and help members better understand the impact of their usage and payments on their Bulb account balance. We also find the layout more intuitive.

What does everyone here think of the new layouts and designs?

At a glance, they look like a big improvement.

A compacted version of the Payments and Statements page would be ideal for the app too :wink:

Bulb Account makes more sense to me but I have slight concern that with all of the smart bulbs now available and switchable via voice assistants, there may be the potential for some confusion here.

@mowcius that’s a good point about the smart lightbulbs. It makes me laugh to think of someone trying to access their Bulb Account through Alexa but accidentally turning on their bedroom lamp. There’s something intrinsically funny about voice assistants in general, I think.

@everyone one other interesting change on payments I didn’t mention: people can now change their payments to anything between £5 and 300% of our recommended monthly amount. This is a lot more flexibility than our old rule (up or down by 10% of current payment).

@mowcius that's a good point about the smart lightbulbs. It makes me laugh to think of someone trying to access their Bulb Account through Alexa but accidentally turning on their bedroom lamp. There's something intrinsically funny about voice assistants in general, I think.
I can't imagine what someone might want to do with their Bulb Account through Alexa. Maybe requesting your balance but that seems pretty unnecessary (like most voice assistants :tongue:). Trying to provide meter readings through a voice assistant also sounds like a recipe for disaster.

When smart meters all come in, asking your smart home assistant how much energy you’ve using or have used might be a thing, but that presumably wouldn’t go through the Bulb Account anyway.

@mowcius what about people who use voice assistants for accessibility reasons, though?

@mowcius what about people who use voice assistants for accessibility reasons, though?
Fair comment. Personally I don't want one, or most other smart or IoT products (despite having installed them plenty in people's houses) but I can see why people might want them and how they can be extremely useful at times.

@“Andrew at Bulb”

The Payments and Statements example is a definite improvement. You said the design may change and I’d agree with this as it still isn’t very easy on the eye. Having a revised balance under each item makes it more difficult to read and I don’t think the numbers are particularly useful in any way. I’d also suggest (in my opinion), that it would be better in chronological order.

In addition, the layout of the example doesn’t incorporate producing a current balance when the customer has ongoing referral income. I’d tag on referral income at the end after the last statement date.

My suggestion would be something like this, with the same ability to download statements:

Balance from Statement of 13th January

Payment on 14th January

Referral Bonuses 14th January to 13th February

  • Rachell Scott 15th January
  • Joe Bloggs 17th January

Monthly Usage 14th January to 13th February

Balance from Statement of 13th February

Payment on 14th February

Referral Bonuses 14th February to present day

  • David Jones 17th February

Current Balance at present day

deleted: double post

@everyone one other interesting change on payments I didn't mention:

Just out of curiosity, I clicked on @everyone, and disappeared into a white hole. :o

@198kHz me too LOL

@198kHz, off-topic but why Opera? Force of habit from a bygone era or a specific modern reason?

@norman7115 can you sketch out what you mean? I’m having trouble visualising it.

@"Andrew at Bulb"

The Payments and Statements example is a definite improvement. You said the design may change and I’d agree with this as it still isn’t very easy on the eye. Having a revised balance under each item makes it more difficult to read and I don’t think the numbers are particularly useful in any way. I’d also suggest (in my opinion), that it would be better in chronological order.

In addition, the layout of the example doesn’t incorporate producing a current balance when the customer has ongoing referral income. I’d tag on referral income at the end after the last statement date.

My suggestion would be something like this, with the same ability to download statements:

Balance from Statement of 13th January

Payment on 14th January

Referral Bonuses 14th January to 13th February

  • Rachell Scott 15th January
  • Joe Bloggs 17th January

Monthly Usage 14th January to 13th February

Balance from Statement of 13th February

Payment on 14th February

Referral Bonuses 14th February to present day

  • David Jones 17th February

Current Balance at present day

@“Andrew at Bulb”

See the attached Andrew. Same as before but with the figures used in your example, plus an imaginary referral income which happens between last statement date and present day and is shown to tie the position back to the current account balance. 5th March being the moving “present day” date. This to me is far more concise and meaningful. See what you think.

@everyone one other interesting change on payments I didn't mention: people can now change their payments to anything between £5 and 300% of our recommended monthly amount. This is a lot more flexibility than our old rule (up or down by 10% of current payment).

Is this now live? I seem can only change my payment amount by ±15% from current amount?

@198kHz, off-topic but why Opera? Force of habit from a bygone era or a specific modern reason?

Discussion continued at https://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/3733/techy-questions#latest

Is this now live? I seem can only change my payment amount by ±15% from current amount?
You should be able to lower the amount, save it, then go back and change the amount again. Repeat as required.

You may have to refresh the page in between each payment amount adjustment (there used to be a bug that required this, not sure if there still is).

@"Andrew at Bulb"

See the attached Andrew. Same as before but with the figures used in your example, plus an imaginary referral income which happens between last statement date and present day and is shown to tie the position back to the current account balance. 5th March being the moving “present day” date. This to me is far more concise and meaningful. See what you think.

Ah, thank you. Would it be fair to say the main difference is that the account balance shows up after each statement?

@stevedav1dson we’re deploying the change this week. Sorry for the lack of clarity on dates here. Let us know what you want your payment to be, and we’ll set it to that figure.

@mowcius that hack doesn’t work so well anymore. Hopefully won’t be necessary, soon.

Ah, thank you. Would it be fair to say the main difference is that the account balance shows up after each statement?

Yes, that’s one part of it. My suggestion has 2 aspects to it. Firstly, it clearly shows the movement from one statement to the next.

i.e. previous statement balance + payment + referrals - usage = new statement balance

These are the important numbers, you don’t need any more than that. The way the current example shows balances after each element is confusing and unnecessary. Most of the balance numbers don’t mean anything. I also think chronological order is important. You read a webpage from the top down, as you would a paper utility bill, so starting with the current balance and working backwards is counter-intuitive and confusing.

Secondly, I was suggesting a running balance to update the account position from the previous statement to the present day balance. Showing statement balance after referrals, usage and payments is fine but for those with ongoing referral income this might be beneficial. So say my statement was last week and the balance was -£50. I’ve also had 3 referrals since that last statement, so my account is now +£100. It would be good to see these. Otherwise I’ve no way of getting from a statement balance to my current balance. Showing referral names and amounts since the last statement would plug that gap.