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11/14/2006

Electrabel, powered by Ajax

Author: Brice Le Blévennec

The World Usability Day is held on this Tuesday. A good reason to talk about the new self-registration process we conceived for Electrabel.be. On an increasingly competitive market (electric liberalization is in the air…), Electrabel needs to improve its one-to-one relation with its customers through online services (billing check-up, electrical consumption evolution…). Raising the numbers of subscribers to this channel means delivering a better experience as the user is required to perform the “boring” task of filling in registration forms. That’s the job Electrabel hired us for.

We overhauled the global validation process with the Ajax method and segmented it in three phases: personal information, billing information and login/password creation. The core principle: you’re allowed to access the next step only if your submitted data’s are proven correct (e-mail, customer number, invoice number…). Thanks to Ajax magic, the page is never reloaded: the form is “clever” and reacts in real-time to user’s input. Ajax is also hidden in the login/password creation: a gauge indicates your “password quality”, based on the length and the characters you selected (figures, punctuation marks etc.).

After Vacature and (an analysis for) Goodyear, this is our third Ajax case with business-critical purpose.

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