The problem
In collaboration with HOFOR, the water supplier of Copenhagen, we found it interesting to explore how people consume water and which practices or mindset potentially lead to overconsumption. We approached the problem in an explorative manner with an open and curious mindset, and along the way took off-set in existing literature within environmental psychology, sustainable human interaction design and persuasive technology.
The team
This thesis was conducted in collaboration with one other student from the IT-University. My role in this project were especially focused on the user-centered design process and the user experience of the product, while my thesis partner contributed within great knowledge within interaction design as well as business perspectives. 
We used the classic design thinking model as an off-set for our process, and chose methods along the way that would fulfil our purpose for each phase. 
Seven participants participated through the complete process, while additionally five only participated in the interviews. 
Target group
We explored three potential target groups for this thesis: young people in their first home, established young people who lives alone, and established young couples. Each group had interesting aspects, but we saw that having more people in a household meant an optimization of processes and a difficulty for us in measuring water consumption per individual. Further, HOFOR expressed that they had already worked with young people in their first home.
Therefore, we chose to focus on young people between 20-30 years old, who was living alone or with a roommate. We wanted to explore this specific target group, as many processes in the daily life might be less optimized than if you live more people together.
Our research consisted of cultural probes and in-depth interviews. The method of cultural probes were chosen, as water consumption is often done in private, and therefore had to observe, but also hard for people to recall as it is such a big part of everyday tasks. We therefore provided seven of our participants with a probe kit, and asked them to track certain activities such as baths, coffee and washing dishes as well as engage in creative tasks about their understanding of water consumption. 
The probes were used as foundation for in-depth interviews with the seven participants, which further explored their awareness and attitude towards water consumption. Additionally 5 interviews were conducted with other participants to see if and how the probes affected people's awareness and attitude. 
The analysis started with an open coding, as we wanted the data and challenges of the participants to lead the way of the design process. This was a highly complex process, and we therefore decided to systemize it by using the 'download your learning' method from IDEO by going through one interview at a time and extracting key insights. 
This lead us to nine key insights about the challenges of managing private water consumption. Based on these insights, we created a range of How Might We-questions, and chose the four that we found most generative for design. 
We considered how to make consumption data more shared, trigger awareness before routines, making waste obvious and create a better understanding of  the magnitude and consequences of water consumption? 
With off-set in the HMW-questions, we started a brainstorming session to generate as many ideas as possible. We took one question at a time and brainstormed on it for 30 minutes, took a break and went on to the next question. As we had done this, we started grouping similar ideas across the HMW-questions to see how some ideas might grasp more than one challenge. We discussed the ideas and choose six different ideas to sketch. From here, we narrowed it down to three ideas, which we explored further through the Crazy 8's sketching method. 
Prototype and test
As we had narrowed our idea pool down to three, we decided to prototype all three of them through simple prototypes, mostly of paper. The three prototypes were tested on three of our participants to qualify our choice of concept. 
The choice feel on a device, which presents the user with a daily amount of water and 
change as water is consumed during the day. However, we felt that this device still had many possibilities in form of shape and interactions, which we therefore decided to sketch, prototype and test with another set of participants.
This test lead us to our final concept - a lamp, which represent the daily water consumption, and an app, which opens up for additional information, challenges and customizations.
Building the final concept
As the lamp should have limited functionality and no interactions, we choose to focus on the development of the app instead. Therefore, we set out with defining which functionalities it should have, and started wireframing by hand. We created the wireframes in a fairly high fidelity, as we wanted to use them for testing before creating the interactive prototype. 
The interactive prototype was then built in Invision and can be found here: View prototype

The final product of this thesis was an interactive prototype of the app and a visualization of the lamp. These had the sole purpose of communicating the concept, its functionalities and its potential for creating awareness and lowering water consumption in private homes. 

What I learned
This project gave me a deeper understanding of collaboration in pairs, management of large projects, selection of the right methods for what you want to explore, and the value of testing and developing concepts in collaboration with users. 
It also taught me about a lot about sustainability and human behavior. Sustainability issues are highly complex, as humans are creatures of habit and often go for convenience, because our mental energy is needed in so many other aspects of our day. Further, the consequences of our unsustainable actions are so far out into the future. Therefore, we need to design efforts towards sustainability in a way that creates awareness of concrete actions and display the consequences in a closer and more relatable way. 

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