Vrijopnaam contacted us with the standard request for a new website. But first impressions can be deceiving: the improved calculation module they wanted us to make required 100% custom code. That's more like it!
Who is Vrijopnaam?
In short: they want everybody to be able to use solar power. Good for the environment, good for the customers. The calculation module is a tool to show potential customers how much money solar power can save them. This is a user-friendly design at its best: the step-by-step approach literally takes you by the hand. It guides you smoothly through the entire procedure. All it takes from you is 10 minutes of your time. Vrijopnaam did the thinking, we did the rest. To be honest, we are quite proud of the end result.
Vrijopnaam is anything but your standard energy provider. Although they do sell "just energy", they offer all their customers the opportunity to buy their own solar panels. Even if you don't own a roof yourself, because you live in an apartment building, or rent a place to live. Simply pick the solar park you like, choose how many solar panels you want to buy, and there you go: you are now solar-powered!
Already have solar panels but no more roof and still not enough power? You can buy some additional ones to cover your needs. In fact, the only time Vrijopnaam can't help you out is when you have solar panels on your roof to cover your energy bill completely.
Hold on a second. Four different scenarios already, before the calculation even started! And it didn't stop right there: almost every step turned out to have different scenarios, choices, follow-up questions, and outcomes. Holy cow, try translating that into wireframes.
Fortunately, we didn't have to. Vrijopnaam already took care of it, because, you know, they do know their own company best, and they were aware of the complexity. So they figured out the entire customer journey and provided us with a huge flowchart that could easily cover an entire wall. All we had to do was build it. All we had to do. Right.
Custom functionality: one brick at a time
Just to give you an impression of what custom work is like: compare it to building a house from scratch. Instead of bricks, we use a code language, in this case PHP. We build each step, one brick at a time, one layer of bricks on top of another, one room at a time.
Now imagine you have built several rooms, and then find out floor heating is essential. You can't get that in without demolishing all the floors. It is exactly the same when using custom code: a change of plans often means you have to start all over again. It does happen. A new provider enters the scene or the government sets new rules. Anything can all of sudden require an extra step. It has to be squeezed in.
It's all in the details
It was very important for Vrijopnaam that their customers could actually see the amount change. Moreover, the customers should also be able to open a popup screen showing them exactly how the calculation had been made, at any time during the process.
From a sales perspective, this is perfectly understandable: you want your customer to see what difference each choice makes. They should be able to go back and forth between all the steps and change their input until they are 100% happy.
Just like anything that seems logical and simple, behind your screen, it is often immensely complicated. Or like one colleague said: "a giant jigsaw puzzle with innumerable if else". What he meant to say: if the customer goes back a step and chooses something else (the information in the calculation) should come from a different folder. And that's what we needed to tell the calculator, for every single possible scenario.
Let's add some more complexity: the partner programme. If you happen to be a customer of one of the partners the moment you sign up, you'll get a special deal. With, of course, a different deal for each partner. And did we mention the rates already? Every night, the rates are checked and adapted automatically. Because both the amount of sunlight and energy consumption may vary from day to day.
You probably get the point by now, so let's move on.
How user-friendly can you go?
Vrijopnaam goes to a great length to serve their customers in the best possible way. Of course they understand that you might not know exactly how much energy and/or gas (yes, they provide gas as well) you are using. No need to look it up, just answer a few more questions and they will make an estimation for you.
To sum it all up: not many websites will give you the chance to consider your options in such detail, providing you with the actual costs at the current rates. And not many companies are willing to invest that much time and money to provide their customers with the most accurate information possible.
Why do we love custom work?
From a technical perspective: it is the most difficult, challenging, fun thing to do. If our developers can sink their teeth into complicated stuff like this, you have happy Two Kingers.
It gets even better when we have a special click with our client. Vrijopnaam was not just looking for a company that could deliver what they asked for, they wanted a sparring partner. Someone who would ask why they wanted something. Who would analyse the information and give advice. And above all, they were looking for a partner that would take pride in creating something beautiful.
Vrijopnaam is definitely a commercial company. But they also aim to make the future a little bit better along the way. It is no coincidence that Two Kings has a lot of customers with "something extra": cultural, sustainability, in the public domain, or about human rights. Why? Because the people who work for those companies and institutions are involved. They believe in what they do, in their product, their mission. And they are willing to go the extra mile to achieve their goals and serve their customers in the best possible way.
Just like we do.
What we did:
- Custom made calculation module
Questions? Give us a call:
070 345 76 28
Or take a look at our work and go to www.vrijopnaam.nl
Do you want something special for your customers as well?
Would you like to work with a websdesign company that can provide you with custom work as well as professional advice? Fill in the form below and our developers will happily take a look at your puzzle!