Tankless – Water tank delivery made easy

Designer Name:  Ramon Shitta

Project Duration:  2.5 months (11 weeks)

  • Research and sketching – 5 weeks
  • Wireframe and prototyping – 3 weeks
  • Testing and refining – 1 week
  • Report writing – 2 weeks

Tools:  Figma, Miro, Paper sketches, Google  forms, Lookback

Role: UX Research & UI Design

Background of the problem

Water is something that we all must use daily but is not easy to procure in Nigeria. Most of the country does not have pipe-borne water, and to cope we have raised water tanks. When you get water, you’re always concerned about its source & quality. In the estate I live in Lagos, there are 100 houses, each having 1 or 2 tanks but they also have to buy bottled & sachet water to run.

Is there an opportunity to make an app that can book a tank of water for the same day or for the future? Currently, booking is a hassle because there is no visibility.  The driver overbooks, doesn’t pick up calls due to phone network issues and delivery can take from 3 hours to 3 days due to unforeseen issues.

That leaves me, the customer frustrated and without running water and unable to brush, shower, and flush toilets.

Research & Analysis

The main question I had was “Is there a way to shorten the time taken to refill a tank of water to a 3 hour maximum?” I wanted to know what experience 5 of my neighbors were having with their tank water delivery service and what problems they are having consistently by first filling out a pre-screening form for a face-to-face interview. Some neighbors were also used as testers for the prototype. Here were some findings:

  • Key finding 1: Despite 4/5 neighbors having unreliable delivery from the vendor they still prefer to have 1 vendor due to water quality concerns.
  • Key finding 2: Despite having connection issues due to the phone network, neighbors still prefer to call the vendor as opposed to sending them a text message because he does not have mobile data.
  • Key finding 3: 5/5 of neighbors agreed that they would prefer if they could get an exact date and time of delivery.

Concepts & Sketches

Processing the interviews was interesting because I started to realize that there were similarities between my complaints and those of the 5 neighbors.

After synthesizing the key findings, I learned that:
  1. There should be feedback with an approximate window of delivery date and time
  2. Other less tedious communication forms should exist to facilitate the process
  3. Payment terms should be agreed on at the beginning of the transaction
  4. An option for a weekly plan should exist as 4/5 users by water once a week
  5. It is hard to get a user to switch water vendors without an assurance of quality
The decision I made:

I will make an android app prototype with 5 screens that would capture the main features: Welcome, Order now, Schedule order, Pay & Recent Orders

Initial High-Fidelity Prototype

With the Initial prototype, I did three sets of user interviews. Based on these notes I was able to make corrections. For making changes I checked disability guidelines for color and indeed realized that some of the decisions I made would make the process harder so I started from there.

User testing

For the pages shown on the right, the feedback below led to the following notes and design iteration:

  • It is not clear what the app is for
  • The green and yellow is very bright
  • How do I get a driver if I have never used the app before?
  • Users clicked on the banner instead of the “order” button
  • Isn’t payment in the wrong place?
User feedback during the test:

“Much better!!! There’s nothing worse than going a weekend without water. The other day I actually had a small get-together and I had to have buckets of well water everywhere it was so embarrassing and smelly. I need this app.”  -Neighbor 3

Solution & Impact Overview

In a city like Lagos, where information and clean water is very difficult to come by, getting it quickly matters. It halts everything from parties to homes.

Unique selling proposition

Tankless makes it easy for tank water to be gotten right away or scheduled for later. You can also repeat orders making it easy to use good drivers from the past or add your current driver if they are not yet using the app. Payments are tabulated once you order and you can see important information about each order. There are prizes as well tied to important dates. and the amount of usage

Additional research

The next phase of research would have to be done on the driver side because I realized that some of the drivers have unreliable internet on their phones which would require some USSD or text-based options.

Revenue potential

For my estate size of about 40,000m^2 with 100 houses and approximately 150 water tanks, If 25% of them buy water weekly through the app that would be about 40 transactions a week. Assuming N4,000 per tank, that is roughly N160,000 ($200) a week for repeat customers. That would scale to N4,000,000 ($5,000) weekly in gross sales through the app.