Co-design with and for citizens


AURORA has been committed to a comprehensive process of co-design for developing its “Energy Tracker” mobile application, leveraging several usability and user experience tests, co-creation events, and expectation surveys. This approach involved future app users upstream in the development process.

Why co-creation?

Employing a co-creation process from the very beginning in a project such as AURORA is critical to ensure its success as a citizen science project. It helps to ensure that the AURORA Energy Tracker aligns with its users’ actual needs and expectations and cultivates a sense of ownership and active involvement among its users. By feeling a personal connection to the tool and perceiving their input as valuable, users are more likely to embrace and utilise it. This relationship between the project and its users is crucial for success, making co-creation a cornerstone of the AURORA project.

How did we do it?

The AURORA project’s approach to citizen involvement was multifaceted and thorough, emphasising active engagement and co-design. Central to this approach were the “Innovation Cafés,” hosted in the five project demo sites, where potential users were directly engaged and asked to provide input on the concept of the AURORA Energy Tracker app.

These events were complemented by detailed survey interviews conducted among potential users, helping to assess their needs, expectations, and concerns. In total, 262 responses were gathered, which formed the basis for the mobile app’s development roadmap. The project team focused on integrating the most desired features and addressing the main concerns.

An internal beta-testing phase then enabled partners and stakeholders to provide feedback on the app’s functionality and user interface, even during the early stages of development. The feedback gathered enabled the development team to meet user expectations and keep priorities aligned with the project’s goals.

Even beyond the official release of the app, the project is continuing to gather feedback from users, both through events promoting the app and through a feedback form integrated directly into the app. This ongoing discourse enables the AURORA team to make informed decisions about new features and updates, ultimately leading to a more user-friendly and impactful tool.

The Outcome

The AURORA app has been shaped by early community engagement. This user-centred approach has been instrumental to the success of AURORA and its mission to empower citizens to take control of their energy usage and make a positive impact on the environment.

As we move forward, the engagement of citizens in improving the app continues to remain central to AURORA’s efforts to create a tool that is both user-friendly and impactful. We are excited to see the continued impact of the AURORA Energy Tracker and how it can help to improve energy awareness and behaviour.

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