The concept for the Lead Users Workshops in the city of Plovdiv focused on three major groups of users: Lead Users (private), Early Majority (private), and Public Users and Prosumers (public). They were jointly organized by Franhofer, EVN and EAP representatives, and were carried out on April 23-24, 2014.
The first Lead User Workshop was visited by 8 lead users, i.e. people who are knowledgeable and experienced in the field of heating and modern technologies. They listened to an iUrban introduction presentation, and shared their energy profile through a group exercise. The input information facilitated a discussion over the advantages of having iURBAN software for monitoring one’s home energy as well as the possible improvements of the energy services provided by the local energy supplier. The lead users would suggest a number of functionalities towards the use cases and would argue of their potential to be developed further and presented to the wide public.
During the second day workshop, eight Early Starters were invited, i.e. people who are not involved much in heating issues and are not ICT-oriented. They were again shown to the iURBAN introduction presentation and had to present through a group exercise their energy profile. Their discussion focused much more on the advantages and disadvantages of the energy service provided, and took iUrban as an example of hardware and software technology that would eventually undo all the faults of the current energy system. The early majority would suggest improvement in the iURBAN use cases and some new functionalities.
The third stage of the iURBAN lead user workshops in the city of Plovdiv was presented through a series of interviews (23-28.04.2014) with public energy users and prosumers – 1 mayoralty, 2 prosumer kindergartens, and 2 PV prosumers. The interviews were carried out by representatives of EVN and EAP, and focused on the introduction of iURBAN and user expectations related to it. A significant step ahead during the interviews was a structure discussion over use cases and functionalities that the users would like to have in the iURBAN software. There outputs are valuable to the project as they shape the iURBAN software to the demands and necessities of the users.