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Water Quality Monitoring

Design Envisioning | User Research | Interactive Prototypes | Usability Testing

My Role

Human Experience Designer

Project for User-Centered Design class at CU Boulder collaborating with classmate Lucy


For this class, we were tasked to solve any user problem which we found valuable. We chose to explore how design thinking could help address the water quality needs in Boulder, Colorado.

Key Accomplishments


  • Performed contextual inquiries to understand how people in Boulder interact with the Boulder creek, as well as understand what resources are currently available to users who use the Boulder creek

  • Performed structured and unstructured interviews with daily users of the Boulder creek, as well as subject matter experts of the Boulder creek, to understand their motivations and goals when interacting with the water


  • Created interactive prototypes for a mobile application for users to understand the water conditions of the creek 

  • Created interactive prototypes for a public touch table display experience to understand the conditions of the Boulder creek and get involved in their community through taking water samples


We used three different research methods to gather data around the Boulder Creek, including:
contextual inquiries, unstructured interviews, and structured interviews.

The map shows where we walked along the Boulder Creek with 4 different stars indicating locations of unstructured interviews. Also pictured are informational signs we found while walking.



Our goal after conducting research was to develop a public display of real time water-related data to match public informational needs at the Boulder Creek for those who use waterways for recreational activities. This public display will integrate data from existing sources, as well as data provided by the public via a citizen science activity.

Design Decisions

After gaining more insight on our user's needs, we came up the following key design recommendations for our prototyping:

  1. Design to support the information needs of fishers

  2. Design to support the information needs of families and the public

  3. Design to support engagement between the public and the environment

  4. Design to support knowledge transfer between scientists and the public

  5. Design public displays to integrate with the existing built environment



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