Principle No. 1

Design for how people actually behave

At Opower, our focus is different than most product companies: we strive to influence people's daily actions outside of our product. To do this, we’ve become experts in the science of behavior change. We incorporate behavioral science techniques such as normative comparison, social proof, loss language, defaults, and user commitment into our product designs.

Principle No. 2

Assume people don’t care

We must accept the burden of relevance – “boring until proven otherwise.” Studies show that people only spend 9 minutes per year thinking about their energy use, so we’re starting at a disadvantage. We respect people’s limited time, so we use familiar mental models, clear language, and visual cues to help people quickly process our messages.

Principle No. 3

Always lead to action

To achieve measurable energy savings, people must change their behavior. We take the time to understand our users so that our savings tips are actionable and can integrate into their lives. Users should always have a clear next step to take.

Principle No. 4

Aim for lasting relationships, not one-night stands

People receive Opower reports and products from their utility company. It is important to respect that relationship, and help improve it over time. As we learn more about people while they use our products, we adapt to their circumstances by providing appropriate encouragement and rewards.

Principle No. 5

Build for everyone… who receives a utility bill

At Opower, we strive to find the right message and deliver it through the appropriate channel to make sure everyone, everywhere, has the information they need to be energy efficient regardless of their age, income, language, energy knowledge, or access to technology.

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