Updates to the Bulb Open Roadmap (19th September 2017)

Hi folks,

I’ve just updated the Roadmap to include the new projects that we’re working on this sprint. The key changes that you’re likely to notice are:

Changes to logins
A couple weeks ago, we made a change to our login process to cut passwords out of it. We did this because members who join us through a third party never get the chance to create a password, so it can be confusing if we ask for a password.

However, since then we’ve had a lot of feedback from members that this isn’t ideal for everyone else. And, with hindsight, we agree. So we’re bringing back password login entry to sit alongside email only entry.

We also have some other improvements planned including:

  • Remembering safe browsers
  • Apps so you don’t need to login on the site
  • Magic login links in meter read emails, so you don’t need to do anything at all to log in

Redesigning the Community
We set up this community 2 years ago and we love it. But it hasn’t aged well. And there are a few things that were never implemented perfectly that we haven’t had a chance to fix. Until now. We’re going to redesign the Community to improve a bunch of things, including but definitely not limited to making the community homepage show actual content, a better search engine, making it easier to post as a new member, as well as a bunch of other questionable decisions and oversights that have developed over the last couple of years.

I’ve opened a Community consultation as this is obviously going to have a big impact on everyone here. Please let us know what you think. I’m very excited for this one.

Custom Comms platform
Another one that I personally find very exciting. We’re building a new platform that will allow much greater flexibility and speed of creation of emails. Our current system works great at the moment but has some limitations in what we can do with it. For example, with this new platform, we’ll be able to single out members who join us with a smart meter from another supplier so we can send them personalised instructions on what will happen with it now and how to read it. This is also a prerequisite for both putting magic login links in standard emails like the meter read one and allowing members to change their display name in the community and referrals.

Ability to change email address in my.bulb.co.uk
We’re adding the ability for members to update their email address themselves online. All part of our master plan to keep adding features to make it easier to manage your energy.

Make Direct Debit the default payment option on join.bulb.co.uk
We frequently hear from people who want to join Bulb through our website but want to pay by Direct Debit instead of a debit card for a variety of reasons. On the other hand, we very rarely hear from members who join Bulb on a third party website (which all already set up payments by Direct Debit by default) wanting to change to debit card. With this and feedback we’ve had from members, makes us think that having Direct Debit as the default option for everyone is the way to go.

It also has a few other benefits, generally, members with a Direct Debit don’t need to contact us as often, so they’re easier. And they’re slightly cheaper for us, so in the long run, we’ll be able to pass more savings on to members.

We still think there are some great benefits to using a debit card (we can’t make you overdrawn if you don’t have enough funds, for example), so we’ll keep it as an option for those who want it if they ring in.

Other bits
Beyond these, there are things in the background that our tech team are working on including a few changes for our Energy Specialists to help them solve problems faster when you call in and automating some tasks that we currently do manually.

Hope you find these useful. If there is anything that you’d like me to expand on me, please let me know. And as always, please keep your ideas coming.

Thanks,
Will