The Impact of Visual Communication and User Experience on Residential Water Consumption
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The amount and availability of freshwater on the planet earth is threatened each day by factors such as rapid population growth, industrial contamination, and residential misuse. The need for greater technologies and programs aimed at water use education and conservation are now more important than ever. Without ample freshwater or the tools to help save it, the human way of life stands to suffer immeasurable consequences. This thesis research examines some of the key issues facing earth‘s water supplies, while exploring the human habits of water consumption. Focused on resource consumption in typical American households, this research discusses technologies designed to promote energy conservation at home. The goal is to uncover the elements that make those technologies successful so that they can be applied to a device designed to promote smarter water consumption at home. A 3-month study to examine the impact of visual communication and user experience on residential water consumption was conducted in support of this thesis. An Apple iPod Touch® application named Water Watch was developed specifically for this research. The function of the app was to provide its users with their daily water consumption in several different visual formats. Five households participated in the study and the results revealed that the availability of more frequent water consumption information led to a decrease in overall water usage.