Concept screens 

 

Savr app            case study

Skills used

Competitive/ comparative analysis, User interviews, Affinity map, Use case, User flow

 

Tools used

Omnigraffle, Illustrator, Axure, Excel, coffee, pencil and paper, whiteboard


 

My Role

Collaboration was key to move fast.

Collaboration was key to move fast.

As the project lead I set the schedule and kept the team on track. As a team, we worked together on all phases of the project including research, planning and design. I personally was responsible for creating the style guide for continuity. I then did quality control in the end to ensure everything flowed seamlessly.

 

 
Seattle Public Utilities

Seattle Public Utilities

The Opportunity

If Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) customers were made aware in real time of their water usage, SPU believes that it would alter customer behavior in favor of water conservation. They already has basic metering in place and has committed to ensure all households have smart meters within the next few years. The overall goal is to decrease residential water usage through increasing awareness of personal water usage.

 
It was clear that the environment was important to SPU users.

It was clear that the environment was important to SPU users.

The approach

We first wanted to find out what would motivate people more to conserve water. Our findings concluded that the environment and budget were both high on the list. Most people said that having real time feedback on usage would influence how they used water. Our approach was two pronged: We wanted to give users instant feedback and we wanted to give  users ideas on ways they can conserve water. 

 

The affinity map gave great qualitative data

The Steps

We did a competitive/ comparative analysis to see how other apps worked. It was not easy to gain access to these apps without first registering through your local utility provider. We assessed the list of features for the apps shown from their websites, even though we were not able to use them or see them in action. As a team, we interviewed people who paid either directly or indirectly for utilities in order to find out what motivates them. We took the interview data and pushed it into an affinity map and the results showed that preserving the environment and saving money were almost equal in motivation. With that data we created a persona that was a renter who recently moved to Seattle from California where water is a huge issue.

 

 
Sketches in the Design Studio phase

Sketches in the Design Studio phase

The Struggles

With only a two-week sprint to get everything done and wanting the team to be involved in every step, we were immediately crunched for time. This compressed our ability to fully explore all avenues and decide on how best to penetrate the market with this application. One thought to explore is to market the product to landlords since over 50% of people in Seattle rent.

 

 

Next Steps

While we were able to make a prototype that most people understood and were excited about, there were many opportunities for improvements. For one, the graphs and numeric representations could be cleaned up and have a toggle that was easier to be understood. I feel that we can include the neighborhood and city data within the basic app structure without adding a “+” symbol or a dropdown. The goals page I think can be streamlined into an interface that is easier to interact with. With a fully developed app it would be interesting to do a longitudinal study to see how long users would stick with the goals list. Lastly, we would want to look at creating a separate app for landlords to see what impact this would have on water conservation.