STORY

California continues to struggle with expanding effects of a four-year drought. Although measures to reduce water usage have helped, increasing demands on water resources persist. An opportunity exists to modify our behavior at the faucet. 

Nest Flow explores a system of wireless water flow sensors for the home to give real-time feedback on water consumption.

 

OVERVIEW

Role: Team Lead, UX and UI Design

Team: Daryl Harris, Maggie Soun, Allison Alcoba

Tools: Pen and Paper, Sketch, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Marvel, Keynote

Time: 2 weeks


In LA, we all know about our MPH & MPG

Speedometer.jpg
 

Without speedometers and fuel gauges, we would be driving around somewhat blind. Uncertain of our speed, unsure of how much energy we are using or how much we have left. Yet, this is how we are consuming water.


How many of us know about our water GPM?

 
 

We have been driving water consumption without any real awareness of how much we are really using. The water meter is outside, out of view and out of mind.  


Flow is an interactive sensor that actively guides people to use less water.

 
 

Flow sensors process realtime water usage into a simple dynamic infographic. Keeping the water flow rate below the white line is the target. It teaches people water flow awareness by active example.

 


RESEARCH

Our team researched the drought situation in California along with water consumption statistics to gain an understanding of the range and depth of challenges currently being faced. We reviewed current solutions being applied to help reduce the strain on water resources. Next we began studying the dynamic relationship between people and water use at home to uncover opportunities to bring about meaningful change. This involved interviewing, observing and surveying local residents in the Los Angeles area to gain insights into their lifestyles and awareness of water resource issues. 

 

The extraordinary drought situation currently gripping California is compounded by an unsustainable combination of industrial and social behaviors with water usage. 

 

USER SURVEY FINDINGS

Water Consumption Awareness

Majority of people saw themselves having moderate to high levels of awareness on water conservation.

Water Consumption Behavior

In contrast, people also indicated less consideration in the way they regularly use water at home.

Willingness to use technology

Respondents expressed positive view on using a device or app to help reduce their water usage.


PERSONA

After interviewing Los Angeles area residents on water consumption awareness, usage patterns and their outlook on the need for near future solutions we identified a target user persona.

She is conscious of the need to make a shift in how her family uses water and wants to make a positive difference. As a married mother of two, product simplicity and ease of use are paramount to fitting into her family's lifestyle.


SCIENCE OF BEHAVIOR

The Fogg Behavior Model states 3 key elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur.

Motivation + Ability + Trigger

In order to bring about a meaningful shift in our water consumption behavior, creating a solution that effectively merges these key elements in a way that engages people in a positive manner became the primary target. 


MVP LIST FOR SENSOR & APP

  1. Utilize interactive information to shift people's water usage behaviors to consistent conservation.
  2. Easy to understand realtime data of water flow for each outlet at home, indoors and outdoors.
  3. Inform user actions without interfering with water use experience. 
  4. Teach by positive reinforcement. Communicate not condemn.
  5. Track and incentivize user progress through tangible rewards.

SENSOR USER FLOW

Instant-on flow feedback. Displaying eco flow rate. Check symbol active.

Water nearing maximum flow target. White water line appears.

Water flow above target. White line flashes. Minus symbol prompts user to turn down water flow.

Sensor displays total water consumed after each use along with usage time.


HOUSEHOLD VIEW

Flow sensors placed by each water outlet utilize telemetry from a WiFi enabled water meter. 


MOBILE APP

Compliments sensor system with detailed information on household water usage. Live telemetry and data tracked over time. Track user progress for improved water conservation behaviors and get rewards. Instant notifications of water system problems.

HOME PAGE

Four categories to track home water usage

LIVE FLOW

Mirrors active sensor displays plus additional detail on water flow data.

ALERTS

If a leak is detected, users are alerted in app and by mobile notification.

CALENDAR

See water consumption patterns over time.

DETAIL BY ROOM

See live data of active water usage from each sensor by room and appliance.

REWARDS

Based on meeting or below usage target line. Goals equate to water bill discounts.


DEVELOPMENT SKETCHES

Sensor

Explored ideas on how to inform and educate users at the faucet with minimal interface and interference with experience of using water. Goal was to modify behavior in a real-time scenario with a simple dynamic infographic.

Mobile App

Ideation on communicating household water usage information on mobile devices. Final solution evolved into a mirror view of sensors with additional info and usage log for users to track their progress and rewards.