Water conservation

The challenge

How can we help people to become aware of their water usage and empower them to make changes to their daily water consumption routines?

The context

As part of the Product Design and Studio Design classes in Spring 2018, we were given a challenge to solve in Smart Environments.


Luke Buenaventura
Hector Cruz
Douglas Dean

My role

Design research
Interaction design

I created the device AWA.


Keynote, Sketch, Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop, Autodesk Fusion 360

Design research

Generative research results

We conducted interviews, observations and secondary researches:

Today Showering and bathing are the largest indoor uses (27%) of water domestically.

Most people use curtailment(eg. turning water off while soaping up in shower) as a way to conserve water rather than investing in efficiency improvements and technology.

Users could be trained to use technology through workshops.


All of the precedents we researched and analyzed provide information about water consumption however very few give control to the people.

User personas and scenarios

Juliette Rovel

26 years old
Community Manager

Rob Manakchan

54 years old
Sales Rep. & Contractor
Married, 2 kids

Samuel Horsten

39 years old
Supermarket Clerk

Scenario 1 - Juliette

Juliette is coming home from work and is wondering whether or not she should water the plants

She decides to water them

30 min later, it is pouring rain

Scenario 2 - Rob

Rob’s son is taking a shower

While his wife is doing the dishes

30 min later, Rob realizes that his son is still in the shower

Scenario 3 - Samuel

Samuel just received the water bill

Samuel and his wife are arguing about the high water bill

As a consequence they find themselves on a low budget until the end of the month

Early prototypes

AWA (Main Hub) – focused on digital rounded screen and feel of water

AQUASENS (Greywater Indicator) – focused on a flattened droplet shape for a status display

BLOORB (Garden Drop) – focused on omnidirectional shape for sensors

WATA (Shower Sensor) – focused on actual direction of screen, and  adaptablility to the showerhead

Main takeaway

Consistent form

Communicating the drop shape better throughout the different objects

Same material

Use a material that is consistent with all the objects

Proposed solutions


AWA displays water usage throughout the house.

User can control amount of water used with the use of different settings.


WATA has sensor that reduces amount of water being used.

Sensor connects to main hub, digitally displaying shower time, amount of water and temperature.


BLOORB displays moisture levels throughout the environment from the air and soil.

This sensor sends weather information to AWA and informs users about climate through light rings.


The AQUASENS display provides users with live feedback while doing tasks at the sink.

It measures the rate of flow, duration and the amount of greywater saved.

Everything is reported via Bluetooth from the faucet flow sensor and the under-sink greywater capture system.

Heuristic evaluation


Communicate water usage visually.

Use conversational language to show usage of water.

User testing

Preference Test





Would you like to be able to compare your water usage with others in the network?

Would you like to see who in your household is using too much water?

Final user scenario

Later in the evening…