Our drinking water, and what’s in it, is federally regulated. 120WaterAudit is a water program management company that uses software, kits, and services to manage and execute water quality programs that improve public health outcomes. Inspired by the Flint Michigan water crisis, they are a team of crusaders fighting for safer drinking water to protect public health.
The company started with consumer water testing kits, but pivoted from this B2C model to take a B2B focus on water quality in school systems. Today, 120WaterAudit predominantly focuses on city water program management to maintain water safety and address emergent issues like water availability, scarcity, and aging infrastructure.
120WaterAudit knew they could best impact the community and grow their business by working with public water systems and the program managers who run them. But in order to properly service public water systems, they needed to create a software that spoke to program managers’ specific needs.
120WaterAudit’s leadership team knew the importance of bringing user experience driven technology to the antiquated, paper-and-spreadsheet-driven industry of water quality management. In order to differentiate themselves from competitors, they needed user-focused designs that would streamline internal processes for program managers, and make them more efficient at their jobs.
We partnered with the 120WaterAudit team to create a clickable prototype to show prospects during sales demos. Program managers predominantly lived in spreadsheets, and weren’t accustomed to advanced software. Our mission was to help 120WaterAudit position themselves as thought leaders, and provide them with digital tools to work and sell more effectively.
120WaterAudit’s team had an initial set of screens they knew they wanted, and we married speed with quality to get them designed for the sales team. While the screens were being used in sales demos, the development team was hard at work bringing those screens to life. And while sales used the click-through demo to sell, we were busy delivering designs for new features that development continued building out to enhance the product’s functionality.
Demo data – the sample information shown in a design mockup – was critically important because it was the narrative the sales team would use in the field. The 120WaterAudit platform is one for analysis, insights, and action, all based on the data streaming into the tool. Because of this, we scrutinized each demo design to ensure the data was telling a realistic and relatable story. We customized the data in each design to the prospects they were meeting, and made sure the numbers were accurate and concise. If the data was a misrepresentation of the prospect or the needs of the end user, it would challenge 120WaterAudit’s industry expertise, and distract from the solution they were selling.
And all along the way, we worked closely with the 120WaterAudit team and the development team to ensure the product was being built to meet user needs and expectations. As the sales team went out and gathered customer feedback, we integrated that feedback straight into our designs to ensure that the product didn’t just look good, it also solved real problems. We also worked closely with the development team to make sure they understood exactly how to built out those designs.
Our impact was felt initially through 120WaterAudit’s speed to market. If 120WaterAudit had tried to produce these designs internally, it would have been a far more significant time investment, which in turn would inhibit the sales process. Our work equipped the sales team quickly and efficiently so they could close deals right alongside the development of the solution itself.
The user experience itself was also a significant impact of our engagement: It was a consistent “wow factor” in sales presentations and conferences. In the water management industry where UX expectations weren’t being met as well as other industries, this set 120WaterAudit apart and boosted their sales.
The design and product improvements we partnered to create also resulted in more effective sales conversations. Through a more effective visual representation of 120WaterAudit’s product, they were able to communicate the value of the product and get better feedback on how to serve their customers. And with this customer feedback alongside agile product design, we enabled the development team to bring 120WaterAudit’s product vision to life.
- To avoid confusion or distraction, make sure the data in your mockups is specific and accurate to the industry you are designing for.
- A concept design can have many implications besides enabling your development team; it helps prospects see your vision in an accessible way.
- Do not undervalue simple click-through demos. A high-fidelity, static demo is just as effective as a live product demo, with the added benefit of maintaining control throughout the entire demo, and not worrying about malfunctions.