Sunworks is a solar installation company headquartered out of Roseville, California. One of the ways they spread the gospel of solar power is to enlist customers in a program where they refer friends, family, colleagues and even organizations like schools and churches to Sunworks. If they choose to follow-through with a solar installation, the referring customer makes a cash premium off their install and any immediate referrals their referral makes. They can even donate the money to a participating charity if they want to. All in all its a fun way to promote green energy, foster cooperation, and make extra cash!
Mapping it out
Making sense of it all took several meetings and a round or two of visual flow charts. Once we had the web of referrals and referrals-of-referrals untangled, we assembled a series of interconnected flows to better grasp how the program fits together. We needed a way for customers to suggest solar to their friends and acquaintances in a way that was actionable but not pushy, and we would need a way for them to track the progress of the referral. A way to follow up at different stages of the referral process and a way to stay updated about the status of their referral. They would want to know when they would receive the referral bonus and what to do with it when they got it. Further, we needed to provide an internal tool for Sunworks’ sales reps to track the status of all their referrals from a “God’s eye view” within the same app and same basic user experience.
Using custom illustration to guide the user
We realized that we were throwing a lot at people with the referral program and felt it needed a warmth, a guide as it were. We set about humanizing the app by giving it an illustrated feel. From the moment you launch the app there is a basic splash screen showing a solar future complete with happy family basking in the rays. In the app walkthrough we also illustrated minimalistic storybook characters to help the user choose how they would be using the app. We even created Sammy Solar, a helpful Sunworks employee that lives in the app and pops up from time to time to help guide you and get you started with the referral program. We used a sunny vibrant yet restrained color palate to give the referral program a pleasant field to play out on, reserving bright pops of custom red, orange, and green to denote each referral’s status. This storybook aesthetic cascaded throughout the entirety of the app’s design, creating a real sense of space and place within the world of the app.
“I loved working on this project. Getting to not just design but also illustrate an app gives you an unparalleled control over the user’s experience.”