Niksa Korper Zemva
UX design, Strategy and Research


Supporting women in their daily hydration activities

IoT hydration project 

I was working on this project during my employment with the Bellabeat Inc. In line with the strategic goals of the Bellabeat wellness app that was already on the market for 3 years, the company management decided that the next development activities should address the commonly perceived challenge for women - hydration and healthy water intake.

The goal was to integrate hardware and software through:

    1. Spring glass bottle with a sensor- new hardware
    2.  New hydration feature within the existing Bellabeat app

  • My job was to design a hydration feature 
  • The feature was designed and developed from scratch with an in-house product team
  • Apart from me and another UX designer, our team consisted of UI designer and a product manager. 
  • Since we already solved the UX challenges of IoT connectivity, the main focus for the hydration feature was exploring the best way to support users' hydration related needs
More about Bellabeat products and Spring bottle find here.

Bellabeat app can be downloaded here.

Research and exploration

Competitor analysis

At the time, there were few hydration apps on the market.

  • We have chosen to analyse 6 relevant apps
    • Waterlogged, iHydrate, My water, Daily Water, Water Log, H20Pal

  • 5 were on iOS platform and 1 on both iOS and Android
  • Average store rating was 4+
  • 3 apps had integration with 3rd parties (HealthKit, Jawbone, FitnessPal)
  • Visualised data presentation trough daily, weekly and monthly display

Findings from competitor analysis, combined with desk research revealed topics that needed further exploration trough user interviews

Remote user interview via Skype
Remote user interview via Skype

User interviews (remote)

Users interviewed were selected from Bellabeat's user base. Users were all female since this is Bellabeat's primary target segment. A short survey regarding hydration was deployed in order to find suitable users, that were also willing to participate in the remote interviews.

Main topics / goals of user interviews

  • Insights on water intake behaviour
  • Insights on water intake habits
  • Knowledge about water drinking benefits
  • Awareness of present technology on the market
  • Users vision on the product (bottle /app)

interview participants
years old average user age
minutes interview duration
Affinity mapping session in a full swing
Affinity mapping session in a full swing

Affinity mapping session

I analysed the data gathered though user interviews together with a team colleague in a 3h long session

Affinity mapping helped to determine 2 kinds of water consumer:

  • Healthy water consumer 
  • Unhealthy water consumer

2 personas were created based on this results.

Smart  hydration


Based on the interviews and affinity mapping we defined 2 personas. 

  • Healthy water consumer
    • already tracks water input
    • drinks 8-10 glasses a day
    • is preoccupied with the adequate water intake daily
    • is aware of adequate water intake benefits
  •  Unhealthy water consumer
    • identifies with busy lifestyle
    • drinks less water than recommended
    • used to track water intake, but finds it too difficult
    • knows about bad consequences of not drinking enough water
    • thinks 8 glasses of water per day is hard to achieve 

Ideation sessions
Team members Matea (UI) & Stefan (UX) during the ideation session
Team members Matea (UI) & Stefan (UX) during the ideation session

Ideation session takeaways

We defined two types of features based on our personas to support their hydration needs and challenges they faced in their daily hydration tracking:

1) Features facilitating behaviour

  • personalised goal setting
  • advanced reminders

2) Features reinforcing behaviour

  • advanced reminders
  • feedback on progress

Wireframes & UI
Introducing benefits of Tailored goal feature for iOS platform
Introducing benefits of Tailored goal feature for iOS platform

Hi fi Wireframes

At this stage my focus was on designing wireframes for Personalised goal setting feature (later named Tailored goal feature)

  • style guide was already in place so it was possible to go directly to Hi fi wireframes stage
  • I used Sketch software
  • wireframes created at this stage were used to get feedback from development and hardware engineering teams
  • constant communication across design and development team helped to flush out what was possible and feasible to produce in limited time frame
  • I was responsible for writing text copies

I designed 3 key screens to support Tailored goal feature:

  1. Tailored goal benefits screen
  2. Goal input screen
  3. Hydration goal result screen

A total of 15 screens supported this feature

Takeaways from this project

  • Findings from the research phase can sometimes be difficult to share across the team no matter the team size (in this case it was a small team); this results in confusion and "wasted" time.
  • It is crucial to find an effective way to deliver and present results to everyone involved in the project
  • During the design phase it is important to include developers & hardware engineers as early as possible to validate the feasibility of design

"I love the Spring, it challenged me to drink more water. Most importantly it opened my eyes to the lack of water and my need to drink more. I love the spring".
Kat (Maryland) - Spring user (24/8/2018)