Blue Sky Energy
Blue Sky Energy designs and builds charge controllers for small to medium sized off-grid solar power applications, such as RVs, boats, and other off-grid, solar-powered devices and installations requiring <1Kw of power.
The original Blue Sky Energy was founded in 1998 to make controllers for the solar lighting and RV markets. In 2006, Alex (their current CTO) founded Genasun, to make controllers for the off-grid and marine markets. In 2014, Alex formed Sunforge LLC to purchase Blue Sky Energy from its founders and combine it with Genasun to provide a larger mix of solutions for off-grid systems. The Genasun and Blue Sky Energy product lines were naturally complementary and didn’t really overlap in application potential, so it was a good fit. Since 2014, they have operated as Blue Sky Energy, but have maintained both brands in their respective markets given existing brand recognition and reputation.
Blue Sky came to Spiral Scout to get help designing and building their new app. To start, they were looking for a more cohesive identity to link their two brands. We discussed different ways to do that with them that included creating new logos that were similar but had different brand names or a complete move to a single brand identity. We also discussed with them the voice they wanted to use to speak to users of the product, the style they thought would be most effective and who their typical users were. All of this initial research drove the designs for their mobile app.
Working closely with their internal team, we proposed and designed a solution (an app) that would work alongside a Bluetooth equipped accessory. The accessory allows users of their Blue Sky Energy brand products to monitor the performance of their controller in the field both for programming/settings control and for data collection via the app. The Bluetooth let monitoring take place without needing wireless or internet connections, which are often not available where these products are deployed. The accessory is also equipped with an SD card slot for larger scale data collection. The app needed to be able to relay all this information to the user in a clear and meaningful way. It needed to also be easy to set up these devices for each data collection and monitoring.
We have been actively working with the Blue Sky team to gather additional requirements and feedback from their users. As we get more intel back, we tweak and tinker with the designs to improve the user experience. It's an ongoing and iterative process.