Project Details

Brief / Problem

The Leak Sensor was launched in 2017 on a trial basis and removed in 2019 due to a negative NPS. The main reasons for this were: customers were receiving too many alerts from the Hive app or were confused about the alerts and different severity levels. Some also had negative associations with the product as it would only tell them about things that were bad.

Call centre agents were also dealing with increased customer calls, often replicating steps that could be surfaced in the app. I set out to work on easing the product installation and troubleshooting flows which in return, would allow the customer to better self-serve. At the same time, the business wanted to increase customer confidence and positive engagement via a new water usage tracking feature.

Role & tools

  • ・Product Design (UI/UX)
  • ・Prototyping
  • ・Sketch
  • ・Protopie
  • ・Miro
  • ・Jira

Above: various screen iterations and Leak device


Liasing with the product owner and research team to gather historical insights and previous research material on the product, I was able to get an overall understanding of the product goals and technical aspects, and get a deeper understanding of the various customer demographics and how they interacted with the app experience for the product.

Above: understanding the main target user groups, the "Eco Conscious" and "Alert Focussed"

I worked on improving the current troubleshooting and installation journeys, finding ways of easily guiding customers through a complex device installation process but also enabling them to solve potential water leaks in their properties by themselves and take some of the pressure of our call centres. I introduced Miro to the team as an innovative way to ease collaboration on this with a variety of stakeholders, to map out the entirety of the UX flows and help them gain a holistic view of the scope of work needed for their respective teams.

Above: empowering collaboration in Miro

With the aim of increasing customer engagement, I made suggestions to expand the current proposition with a new Water Usage Insights feature, that would allow customers to gain some context around a potential leak by having a historical view of their water usage, but also allow them to adjust and reduce their water usage habits accordingly. Ultimately, this would also have a positive ripple effect on customers' carbon footprints and help shift the negative perception around the product.

Baring in mind our “TED” (Thoughtful, Elegant, Delightful) design ethos and Honey design system, I worked on the initial design explorations right up to setting up interactive prototypes that were subsequently used in user testing labs (remote due to Covid).

With the help of the research team we put together a testing script for user testing sessions, and went through a few rounds with various Hive customers, from which I gained some valuable insights that helped me iterate my solutions, whilst actively seeking the approval / input of the product and design teams.


Below are some sample screens of the re-imagined customer onboarding flow.

Above: welcome screen

Above: powering up the sensor

Above: tips for attaching

Water usage

Below are some sample screens of the new water usage feature MVP.

Above: feature announcement modal

Above: weekly view

Above: gratification

Above: daily view, scrolled

Above: weekly view, scrolled

Above: micro-animations


From the user labs we conducted with my latest iterations, 5/6 participants told us they would interact with the app more, after being made aware of the new water usage feature and improvements to the troubleshooting and installation flows I had implemented and confirmed that would help them adjust their behaviours accordingly and therefore reduce their bills. This was even more interesting as some of the participants didn't even have a water meter, and might not benefit from seeing their water usage history in the same obvious way as metered customers.

Some of the suggestions and tooling I introduced were really well received throughout the business, such as the use of Protopie to add some animation and life to the experience and add customer gratification elements (i.e: plant animation above). Some of these elements were then reused for the more iconic products at Hive, such as for Hive's Smart Thermostat app experience. Following the buzz generated by this, other designers in my team started using Protopie for their own work and I was pleased to be able to support them when needed. The introduction of Miro also generated a lot of buy-in within the product and design teams which was great to see.

Next steps

Most changes have now been implemented by the developers, and as we carry on doing some more testing with real customer data we have identified some edges cases to cover for as next steps. Some participants flagged up that they would like to be able to compare their usage with similar households to gain more context around water usage, something that I would like to pick up further down the roadmap.

Above: new feature in-app announcement!

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