Project Beyond the Web

Product development. Client: HvA.

Marieke Hepkema

HvAqua concept

The design challenge

Project Beyond the Web was a group project I participated in during my 2nd year as a CMD student, that sought to answer our main question: How can we, by developing an interactive product as an addition to a Joint the Pipe water tap, stimulate our target audience to refill their water bottles, so that the sale of PET water bottles is reduced in the future? Within our project group (4 people), I was responsible for creating visuals, shooting and editing our video, developing concepts and making a prototype using Arduino. We were basically asked to develop an IoT (internet of things)-product as an addition to water taps that are located on various places at the university's campus, that stimulated people to buy less plastic bottles.

The process

The project consisted of various subjects; content delivery, design research and ubicomp (ubiquitous computing, working with an Arduino set). At the start of the project, we individually learned more about design research and ubiquitous computing, which we applied to the project case. I researched the different user groups and the context of the product. Scroll down to see the persona sketches, and different context maps.

DETAILS map context map persona

We then began brainstorming, which resulted in 3 different concepts. During the ideation phase, I also created a context scenario, to illustrate how concept 1 would work. The initial version utilized NFC-tags and a score board. This function was omitted for the final concept.

context scenario concept 1

First iteration of the final concept.

concept 2

Alternative concept: a smart water bottle cap. Value proposition: Refill your bottle and close it with your personal smart cap and help make our campus more sustainable!

concept 3

Alternative concept: a display for selling sustainable bottles. Value proposition: Informs you about the positive impact of sustainable water bottles in contrast to single-use water bottles!

For our final solution, our team decided that we wanted to visualize the plastic soup that is caused by using plastic bottles, to motivate people who use reusable bottles. I made sketches for the intended final product, called ‘HvAqua’, and made an IoT-prototype that showed how the product should work. The idea was that there should be a basin on top of the water tap, filled with tiny balls that represented the plastic soup. The user would use the tap, which caused 1 ball to be removed from the basin, slowly showing the beautiful ocean at the back of the basin. A projection would show behind the tap, thanking the user for refilling their bottle and prompting them to get a reusable bottle.

What I learned

t was a lot of fun to work on an IoT-product, as this was something new for me. I was lucky enough to work with a nice project team, but in the end I learned that I shouldn’t try to have control over the project as much as I did. I think our final solution wasn’t perfect. It kind of turned out this way because we had to make something that we could actually program using C++. I think it’s very important to use a technology when it fits the concept, instead of adjusting a concept to a technology. This is definitely something I will remember for the future.


I used Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and coded with C++ for this project.

photoshop illustrator Premiere Pro C++