Case Study
Drop is a digital water meter that encourages the conservation of water by informing people of their usage habits.
Drought in California
The 2011–2017 California drought persisted from December 2011 to March 2017, culminating during my junior year at CCA. It consisted of the driest period in California's recorded history (until the current drought). I looked to behavioral science and cutting edge technology to see if I could nudge people in a more sustainable direction. This is the context I began the project in.
What I Did
  • I conducted both primary and secondary research
  • Used innovative ideation method and made 30 concept sheets
  • designed a wireflow & clickable prototype to test with potential users
  • Brand Direction & Unboxing experience
  • Low Fidelity App Prototype
  • 3D Printed physical prototype of Drop sensor
  • Directed, produced and edited two different length concept videos.
To fully understand the problem space, I conducted two first person interviews and read extensive secondary research. I understood that:
  • People are unaware of some of the most hurtful ways they waste water inside their homes.
  • For most households, the monthly bill is the only aspect of water use that is quantifiable.
Innovative Technology
Through my extensive reading of scientific papers I came across an incredible technology known as Ultra-sonic flow metering. You can use ultra sonic wavelengths to essentially see through a metal pipe that gives you a ‘flow signature’ . Using machine learning combined with other contextual variables like time of day, or number of people home, you can determine what appliance is being used and perhaps even the context. 
Opportunity Area
"There is an opportunity to empower people to waste less water by alerting them to wasteful habits inside their homes"
Ideation & Concept Generation
Using Cheatstorming, an innovative rapid idea generation technique developed at Carnegie Mellon University, I developed 30 diverse concept sheets around my opportunity statement.
Crafting the Experience
Onboarding Flow
I created app wire flows, then converted them into a clickable prototype. After user testing, I was able to find clear discrepancies within my onboarding sequence. An issue that became clear after testing with potential users was the process of locating the main water pipe for the installation of the sensor.
Physical Prototype
I wanted the prototype to look and function like a real product. I contracted the help of my friend Tim Barry, who is an Industrial Designer. We worked together closely to push the level of craft to a higher fidelity.
Crafting a high fidelity digital prototype
Due to the fact that I was going to film an actor using the app prototype a simple prototyping tool like Sketch or Keynote wasn't going to cut it. I used the program Principle to animate the entire onboarding flow complete with micro-interactions.
Visual Identity
I began to bring my vision to life. I chose blue to elicit water and calmness. I utilized the font Brandon Grotesque, however if I were to re-do the project now I would choose a different font due to its incredible popularity in corporate America. 
Packaging & Unboxing Experience
The packaging design and unboxing experience was designed with simplicity in mind. I wanted the packaging to evoke a sense of calm while also including the tongue and cheek wordplay of 'every drop counts'.
Wrap Up
Final Video
The final deliverable for this project was a 3-4 minute video that shows the unboxing experience in practice.