A key part of the ACCEPT project is developing tools and services WITH energy communities, as opposed to FOR energy communities. To ensure this user-centred approach is taken for the development of these tools and services, it is essential to have a comprehensive consumer engagement and design validation roadmap.
The consumer engagement and design validation roadmap is comprised of two main elements, consumer engagement, which focuses on the needs of pilot site communities, citizens and stakeholders and design validation, which focuses on gathering feedback on the ACCEPT project solutions and services, such as persona development, user testing or business model assessment.
With regards to the consumer engagement element, activities are included which accommodate the unique community needs within each pilot region. Site visits provide an opportunity to gather information to build an understanding of the environment, culture and society and interact with community members in each pilot region. The insights and observations are analysed through a Barriers, Needs and Opportunities model to identify key topics of interest which are vital for the planning of a pilot-specific engagement roadmap.
Regarding the design validation element, two key engagement activity plans have been defined related to the tools and services: Persona development and Citizen-APP user testing.
The persona development research allows for the identification of profiles based on real users within a community, which can be validated and used as a guide for developers of the Citizen-APP. Concerning the technical development of the C-APP, a framework for the development of the C-APP which includes internal (project partners) and external (community end users) assessment is provided.