The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP) is a non-profit corporation comprised of cities and other political subdivisions. Through the strength of numbers, TCAP negotiates better electricity-buying deals than would be available to any member acting alone. With more than 160 political subdivision members purchasing approximately 1.4 billion kWh annually, TCAP is the largest organization of its kind in the state.
Following a 2011 strategic planning session, the decision was made to really push TCAP’s public image as a thought leader and topic authority to the forefront. For that to happen, the organization needed a strong digital platform that would portray them with the right tone, could be flexible enough to shift as technology and the market changed, was browser and device agnostic, and was rooted in good data.
TCAP already had a website that we felt was fine for communicating the organization’s unique member benefits, but did little to tout TCAP’s subject matter expertise. So we started from the ground up, scrapped all preconceived notions, all user experience, content, and navigation paradigms, and went to the white board.
We opted to leverage a responsive web framework, called Foundation, which gives us a lot of flexibility in layout, while ensuring an elegant transition from desktop to tablet, to mobile, to almost any device. It also ensures that all browsers are as modernized as possible by resetting many of the rules to make them conform to the same standard.
The design is strong, bold, but clean and simple. We believe that all websites should immediately answer three core questions for each visitor:
The new home page of the TCAP site answers those three questions in spades. For the potential organizational member, messaging extolling the benefits of membership is forefront. For the industry insider—legislators and their staff, the media, and the industry itself—TCAP’s thought leadership articles, opinion papers and research papers are within easy reach. For the average consumer, just looking to learn a bit more about Texas electricity, simple-to-understand explanations of how the market works, how they can save money on their electricity, and what their legislature is doing to help them takes prime location.
During a legislative session, the website transforms to keep visitors up to date on legislative issues of importance to TCAP, encourages the public to voice their opinions, and explains what certain decisions in legislation mean and how they will affect cities and consumers alike.
Google Analytics has been heavily employed, and a regular schedule of analysis, recommendations, and implications of web traffic behavior used to make functional, content and navigational changes to the site constantly. From search viability, to user experience, to content mapping, everything is up for grabs in our analysis-first approach to keeping TCAP at the top of the Texas Deregulated Electricity Market Thought Leadership ladder.
Great care was taken to make it easy to navigate from page-to-page, by logically grouping content and asking the question on every page, “what is the most logical next step?” At launch, we made educated guesses, and then relied heavily on behavioral analytics to refine those navigation paths.
Through the efforts of TCAP’s subject matter experts, executive staff, and Aria’s constant tweaking, TCAP has become the go-to authority in their market. TCAP is often asked to testify before the Texas legislature on the market, and is the first resource for news and media, often cited as THE authority on the matter.
The reports TCAP authors and Aria produces are cited in newspapers around the State, in legislative sessions, and referenced in other research papers.
Many metrics with which success is measured, especially in website engagement, are surface-level (and useless) at best. For TCAP’s mission to succeed, we set out clear performance measurement goals, and have tracked against those religiously, and can attribute many of the successes we’ve seen to that measurement and the decisions we’ve been able to make leveraging them.
For Aria and TCAP, this is just part one. We’ve got a legislative session we’re ramping up for, many tweaks to make improving the user experience, stickiness, and total value of this already great website.
When you have a chance, pop over to tcaptx.com, take a look around, and say hi for us.