[ Water Management App ] – (2018)

Target Group: Age 25- 35 Californians

App Platform: Ipad pro 12.9in

Duration: Three days from May 1 to May 3, 2019

Role: Product/UI/UX Designer

01 Define Challenge


The state of California frequently faces a long period of droughts, where the rainfall is not sufficient for the state demand and depletes the reservoirs in this multi-year drought period.  been facing one of the most severe droughts on record. The Government has declared a drought State of Emergency and has directed everyone to take all necessary measures to conserve water and prepare for water shortages.

By research, the nation in early June with a new policy on residential water use: Californians will be limited to 55 gallons per person per day for their indoor water needs.


Design an iPad application asked by the State Water Board households that can help the Water Board in their goal of reducing overall water consumption.


  • Users can view their monthly bills and make payments
  • Find innovative ways to encourage users in reducing water usage through the use of the application

02 Competitive Analysis

Base on my research, there is a study conducted by Google and Ipsos MediaCT on custom research to uncover insights about mobile app user behavior, including app discovery, acquisition, usage, and abandonment. An online survey was conducted of 8,470 smartphone users ages 18–64 who had used smartphone apps in the seven days prior to the survey as well as apps from various categories (entertainment, finance, gaming, local, retail, social, tech, or travel).

Screen Shot 2019-05-31 at 3.28.12 PM.png


  • Social and Games apps have the most daily use
  • Simplifying life and ease of use boost app usage
  • App abandonment is mainly fueled by the loss of interest
  • 38% of app users will download the app when it’s required to complete a purchase, half of which would uninstall it after purchase is complete

03 Research Methods

Qualitative Research is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. It provides insights into the problem and helps to develop ideas or hypotheses for potential quantitative research. I use qualitative research because I need to gather as much as specific problems and user experiences to develop my concept effectively. And I also choose quantitative research because my main use would be a huge group.

Qualitative Research FindingsIndividual Interview

  • He has mentioned people usually ignore the water leak
  • Water leak usually waste about 5% of total indoor water usage
  • There is not a method can help people be awareness of water conservation and the importance of water all the time
  • Employees like to watch movies or play games on Mobile/Tablet every night after work

Quantitative Research FindingsOnline Surveys

42 Californians’ responses, online questionnaire

  • Age 25 – 35 participants prefer online payment to pay for a bill
  • Most of my participants have no idea about indoor limit use of water
  • More than half of my participants do not know the water usage in their household
  • Social Networking, Lifestyle, and Game are the top three categories that people using day-to-day

04 Persona & Scenario

According to the qualitative and quantitative researches, two personas were built in a different scenario to come up with possible design needs from different users’ perspectives to support the design solutions.


05 Concept & Solution

My goal is to design an app to make users life easier that they can view their monthly bills and make payments on the app. At the same time, help users raising awareness of water conservation and the importance of water. Therefore, I need to develop an ongoing relationship with users, also engaging and retaining users.

The personas and scenarios give the user needs to come up problem solution as well. In the case study, through the scenarios that relate with a few different personas, there are three concepts and solutions for this project has come up.

Screen Shot 2019-05-31 at 3.33.29 PM.png

Concept One — View Water Usage

Purpose: Help users manage water use better

Many householders usually will not notice about indoor water usage that include (Sink, Laundry, Shower, Toilet, Bath, Dishwash, Garden, Hose, or Leak). So in my concept three, I would like to have the function allows user to view their specific water usage daily and it also provides user to save more water.

Screen Shot 2019-05-31 at 3.33.46 PM.png

Concept Two — Virtual Pond Game

Purpose: Push users to save more water

Design a virtual pond of mariculture, user can use gallons that they saved instead of the traditional game coin to develop their pond. The inspiration comes from the aquarium and farm game. Users can use gallons that they saved to extend their pond or purchase features ( sea creatures, sea-plant, etc).

Base on my research, many users like to download the app to make a purchase, but half of them would uninstall it after purchase is complete. My goal is to try to find a way to engage user use it day-to-day. Therefore, in my design, there are more than more new features in the pond that user can make a purchase by their gallons.

Screen Shot 2019-05-31 at 3.33.54 PM.png

Concept Three — Social Interaction

Purpose: Build a relation between users and allow the user to share their moments

Concept two is another part of Virtual pond game. Add social interaction in the pond game, user can add people as their friend and visit other user’s pond in the game to see. User can also share their achievements at the moment.

According to competitive analysis and research, social networking and game are two of the top three app category which can engage people to use day by day. Also, social features are critical to engaging and retaining users in any game, and especially in a new game. If there is a feature that interacting users in the pond management, it will make social sharing convenient. The user wants people in their social networks to know, such as gaming high scores or achievements they are proud of.

Social SharingNike+ running app, for example, is one such app that allows users to share new milestones achieved, records broken, and calories burnt. There’s an emotional value attached to such apps, and users want to immediately share their “feats” with their friends.Screen Shot 2019-05-31 at 3.36.54 PM.png

06 Wireframe

login copy home copy Water usage Copy

Billing Daily Water usage Copy pond copypond02 copy pond02 copy 2 pond04 CopyProfile

07 User Flow

Screen Shot 2019-05-03 at 2.19.03 PM.png

08 Mockup


09 Usability Testing

Method: Unmonitored Remote Usability Testing

I use usability testing to validate my designs and make sure I made the right design decisions. I choose the unmonitored remote usability testing because I am currently located in Ohio but my target group is Age 25-35 Californians.

Usability Testing Process

  • Plan the usability test
  • Create scenarios & task on the task sheet
  • Recruit participants
  • Send task sheet, user flow, and mockups to participate
  • Ask participants make video record when they testing my design solution
  • Observe and analysis the usability testing data by videos
  • Improve design solutions


Feedback and Data Analysis

I asked three Californians been my participants. According to usability testing, I received many feedbacks and saw problems while user using the App below. Therefore, I revised and improved a few functions design to achieve the usability of my design solutions.

Screen Shot 2019-05-31 at 3.46.39 PM.png

  • There is no need too much information showing on the setting and profile page
  • User spend much time to create pond name if there is only been edit at the initial stage
  • User has no idea what does the app contain once user saw the plain water drop brand logo
  • Two participants think it is good if the water limit showing up automatically once they choose numbers of  household
  • On water usage page, the user does not know how to check daily water usage if there is no navigation
  • User feel not comfortable if the Reminder showing all the time on the social page

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