Coryndon Luxmoore


The Challenge

  • Year
    • 2001-2003
  • Industry
    • Energy
  • Technology Platform
    • Custom Java Swing Applet
  • Deliverables
    • Brand & competitive assessment
    • Field interviews & observation
    • Evaluation of legacy applications
    • Business design
    • Interaction architecture
    • Paper and HTML prototypes
    • Screen design & layout
    • Detailed screen specifications
    • Onshore development support
    • Offshore development support
  • Design Team Members
    • Prakash Kini
    • Joseph Benson
    • Lisa Dutra
    • Coryndon Luxmoore
    • Dennis Natale
    • Cobus Theunissen
The New York Independent Systems Operator (NYISO) is a non-profit organization that manages the New York electric power grid and markets. Formed out of the New York Power Pool in 1997 the organization is tasked with ensuring the overall system reliability while ensuring a vibrant and competitive electricity market. The NYISO processed $5.4 billon worth of electricity transactions in 2001. The NYISO was seeking ways to make it easier for customers to do business with NYISO and to position the organization as an industry leader. Since this new organization was formed out of a legacy group they faced both the challenge of addressing existing customer perceptions of the legacy organization and the challenges associated with creating and growing a new organization. A critical component of this was enhancing how NYISO supported their customers business with online communication and transaction tools.

The Process

The first step was to gain a clear understanding of the current customer perceptions of NYISO and how they interacted with the existing online market systems. The team engaged in a ten week effort to understand the NYISO customers and their interactions with the organization with a focus on how the online systems supported these activities.
Old NYISO Scheduling application View Bids Screen

Old NYISO Scheduling application View Bids Screen

We conducted a wide range of data gathering and assessment activities with a focus on in-field interviews and user observation. After identifying the key primary and secondary customers of the NYISO the team traveled the state of New York observing each of these users completing their critical business tasks. The observations of the users interacting with the NYISO systems were combined with a heuristic, technical, and competitive assessment of the online systems. This data was distilled into a user needs framework and brand platform that could be used by the business to prioritize IT initiatives by importance to the end user and how those initiatives would help achieve the goal of being perceived as an industry leader. Based on this foundation the Open Scheduling System project was conceived to create a single open standard for transmitting and updating the schedules of the market participant. The current system required users to enter their electricity schedules in up to three different ISO’s scheduling applications. This required a huge amount of repetitive data entry and made it difficult to see the status of complex transactions across systems. A critical component of this effort was to create an interface that enhanced the current New York scheduling application and allowed users to enter their schedules into an additional market. Using the previous research to inform the development of a set of interaction principles to guide the scheduling application’s interface design. Having defined the overall interaction principles I began developing paper prototypes of screens. These prototypes were tested with users and reviewed by business and user experts to ensure that they supported the key user tasks and the various markets’ business rules. I then began the process of developing more detailed screen layouts that incorporated the newly updated NYISO online look and feel. The detailed layouts were linked together into a HTML prototype and I continued the testing and review process. After a large number of iterations that progressively integrated user and business feedback the process of screen documentation and development was begun. The Sapient development team in Bangalore India handled the bulk of the Java Swing interface development. I worked directly with the team to support them with the understanding of the business rules, interface behaviors, and to address any issues with the design during implementation.

The Results

This effort created a way for the NYISO to add the needs of their end users into the process of prioritizing IT initiatives. Allowing for the organization to ensure that these initiatives were in line with the newly defined NYISO brand and their strategic goals. The design and launch of the dynamic Open Scheduling System interface and standards created a positive dialog for NYISO with their end users by demonstrating the organization’s support for their needs. View a full static prototype