Trusted Web Experts
Union Rural Electric Cooperative (URE) is an electric and natural gas distribution cooperative that operates as a not-for-profit organization. Unlike other businesses, URE’s profits are not sent to investors in distant parts of the world. Instead, they are distributed among members based on their usage. URE prides themselves on their commitment to their members.
Bridging the Digital Divide
The digital lives of Americans with lower and higher incomes are immensely different. About 4 in 10 adults with lower incomes do not have broadband services (43%) or a desktop or laptop computers (41%). In comparison, Americans with higher household incomes are more likely to have multiple devices with access to the internet. With fewer options for online access, Americans with lower incomes rely heavily on smartphones.
Most members visit URE’s website to login and pay a bill, start or stop services, browse job postings, search the service territory, or get outage, rebate, or contact information. A member or customer using a smartphone may be left having to pinch and zoom or scroll right to left in order to see all of the page content. Without a mobile-first website design, these tasks can leave families with lower incomes more likely to face obstacles while navigating a website. To bridge this digital divide, URE redesigned their website to cater to those with limited access to the internet.
Responsive and adaptable website design ultimately decreases the disparity in online access.
Mobile-first web design reinforces URE’s commitment to accessibility. By adapting to new technologies, URE puts their members at the forefront of their design process. Read more about how URE’s newly-designed website is turning heads and making a true impact as featured in Ohio Cooperative Living Magazine.
ChallengesIn 2022, mobile phones generate about 60% of all website traffic. The rise in the percentage of mobile web traffic has placed greater emphasis on the need for positive user experiences. Now, more than ever, mobile-first design is becoming the industry standard. URE needed to adapt to a mobile-first world.
SolutionsPowerful’s mobile-first approach adapts to emerging technologies that continue to shape the industry. Powerful's team of trusted web experts prioritize the mobile user, designing URE's site from the ground up (from a smaller phone screen to a larger desktop screen). To avoid pinching and zooming, URE's websites is designed to adapt the content to any screen size.
ResultsAs a result of mobile-first design, these responsive webpages ensure a seamless layout with readable content regardless of the browser used or the orientation of the device (portrait/landscape). Other best practices include buttons and links that are clearly accessible, actionable elements that are easily identifiable, and important information placed before page scroll.
Our experience with Powerful was top-notch. From the initial presentation to competed site. They understand the cooperative business model and our members. The entire URE web team was impressed with Powerful and their patience with us. We took this opportunity to totally re-imagine our logistical process for our members. Our final product is something we are very proud of.
URE's dedication to providing a great member experience was evident throughout their website redesign process. As their partner in this endeavor, I witnessed firsthand the investment and efforts they took to repurpose hundreds of pages of PDF files into searchable, translatable, accessible, and responsive content. The intentionality of their approach was a testament to their commitment to delivering a modern, humanized website that meets the needs of their members. It was truly a pleasure to work with a team so dedicated to serving their community.