Case Study: Pittsburgh Utility Speeds Up App Development with User-Centered Style Guide

New Style Guide Built with Bootstrap is a Game Changer for Development Teams

Duquesne Light Company (DLC) is a leader in the transmission and distribution of electric energy, serving more than half a million customers in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Following a large IT transformation and corporate rebranding initiative, the company found itself without a technical style guide and brand standards for
internal applications.

DLC enlisted the UI/UX design team at OpenArc, a technology consulting firm specializing in software development and IT staffing, to create a technical style guide and toolkit using the Company’s existing brand style guide and specifications. Now developers, designers, and marketers within DLC have a living document that outlines all the digital design patterns they must work from, streamlining the development process by enabling the team to build applications more quickly and efficiently. By having OpenArc establish design patterns and a toolkit that includes a set of components in Bootstrap 4, the team at DLC has the foundation to provide consistent experience within and across applications. The visual design and interaction feedback considers the needs of visually impaired users and the component code contains ARIA tags to present content through screen readers. A project team now can focus more of its efforts on Human-Centered Design methods to understand the unique needs of end users and align them with the needs of the business.

The roadmap for DLC includes replatforming legacy applications and rolling out new external facing applications. The style guide will evolve as new needs arise, and new UX patterns emerge. The company predicts that the implementation of the style guide will significantly reduce the overall number of development sprints and that team members will be able to produce new apps quicker than they have ever been able to do before.

The technical style guide is already being well-received by DLC’s corporate communications group and the software development teams. “We’re preserving our brand while cranking out applications at a record pace and saving a lot of time,” said Malavite.

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Source: Case Study – “Pittsburgh Utility Speeds Up App Development with User-Centered Style Guide.” Published September 19, 2019, an Image Retrieved September 19, 2019.

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