Eversource is New England's largest energy delivery company with more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Formerly known as Northeast Utilities, the energy provider contracted ZAG Interactive for strategy and technology services to bring its combined service offerings and new unified brand – Eversource – to life. Working under a strict deadline, with multiple internal stakeholders and partner agencies, ZAG successfully executed the strategy and technology needs of the new website.
Strategic planning and site architecture
The former Northeast Utilities challenged ZAG to develop one unified site for its new brand that also catered to the individual needs of its five legacy subsidiaries: Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P), NSTAR, Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH), Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo) and Yankee Gas Services Company (Yankee Gas). Beginning with a series of discovery meetings to understand the project and business needs, ZAG helped develop the strategic and technical requirements while other agencies were leading the charge of the new brand and site design.
Initially working with over 2,000 pages, ZAG’s expert site architecture team combed through all pages and related data, identifying common themes and areas for consolidation. The result was a new, intuitive architecture that could work across the site while leaving plenty of flexibility for individual subsidiary needs. This new architecture also influenced select areas of the design, including a new mega menu navigation approach to facilitate the user experience.
Customized Sitefinity CMS platform
One of the key strategic decisions for the new site was requiring visitors to enter their service area ZIP code on the initial screen in order to view customized content. On the back-end, ZIP codes are aligned with content that is associated with each legacy operating company’s unique offerings. Additionally, the development team utilized personalization in select areas of the site to support this user experience.
Developing for ease of use and surges in site traffic
Once the responsive design and prototype were finalized, ZAG's development team built all site pages in the Sitefinity CMS, including many customized features and integrations. Importantly, ZAG's quality assurance (QA) and development teams worked closely with Eversource representatives to ensure that the site infrastructure would perform flawlessly with a sudden spike of traffic such as during storms/outages. The new Eversource website combines the power and customization of the Sitefinity CMS with a scalable architecture that will serve the new entity well for years to come.