Lansing Board of Water & Light
The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) has been part of Lansing’s landscape for more than a century. Thousands of businesses and residents depend on BWL for access to safe, reliable, and affordable utility services. Over the years, the breadth of BWL’s services have evolved to accommodate new needs and embrace new technology, but one principle has remained the same — to provide hometown people with hometown power.
Our team worked with BWL to redesign their public-facing website. We created a better user experience for their customers and a more effective communication platform for their internal staff.
Making Content Manageable
Building a Communication Platform
Putting Community First
It became clear early on in the project that community was going to be an important theme to this website. BWL is committed to serving its customers in more ways than one. They fund a variety of programs and resources to encourage sustainable energy practices, educate the community about electrical safety, and help families and business owners save money on their utilities. They also sponsor a number of beloved annual events in the Lansing area.
BWL wanted their new website design to reflect their commitment to community. The homepage communicates this message with friendly colors and typography, impactful imagery, and a large community events section. This warm, welcoming design is carried through the entire website.
We created a new sitemap to support the immediate needs of BWL customers, placing a higher priority on the information that matter most to them. This new navigation structure guides customers through the site to help them locate information with minimal clicks. We conducted user tests with actual customers to make sure users could easily locate key information. Our team analyzed their feedback and made modifications to further strengthen the site's information architecture.
Creating an Emergency Strategy
BWL needed an effective way to communicate critical information to customers in the event of a power outage. Their website analytics revealed dramatic traffic spikes during outage events, indicating a strong need for an emergency strategy. We recommended creating a separate dark site which BWL could easily activate during power outages or other emergency situations. The dark site serves as a replacement homepage to communicate the most critical information to customers, such as outage updates.
In addition, we built a separate alert system that allows BWL to share less severe outage updates on the homepage, such as a localized outage effecting a handful of customers. Administrators can choose whether an alert is normal or high priority, which will determine its placement and prominence on the website.
The new website also has a dedicated Outage Center, which can be accessed from the top menu. This is where customers will find all active alerts, a link to the outage map and mobile app, emergency preparedness information, and more.