Making proper hydration a game.

Hygh is an Internet of Things product that motivates people to drink more water. It consists of 2 parts. One is a wearable sensor which detects user’s water intake and the other one is an app which uses a virtual plant as a metaphor to raise people’s awareness of drinking water.


Design Research, Visual Design, Branding,

Experience Design, User Interface Design

Project Type



Haakon Faste




4 weeks


Sketch, Illustrator, Keynote, Premiere

The Objective

The objective of the project was to craft an Out of Box Experience (OOBE) for a new service device that leads users to useful actions that advance the experience/narrative, create a consistent overall experience, facilitate behavior modification and result in specific emotions.

The general recommended water intake for women is approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of water each day, and men an average of approximately 3.7 liters (125 ounces daily) of water. *


Are we drinking enough water?

What are people's current behavior and thoughts about hydration?

I interviewed 8 people and asked 3 of them to drink from a certain bottle(450ml), and log in the fluid they drink in the time span of 2 days.

"Does coffee and milk tea count as water? I drink a lot of beverages every day."


Interior Design Student

"I know it's good to drink more water, but I always forget to drink. I sometimes just don’t get thirsty."


Software Engineer

"I never really pay attention to how much water I drink..."

Approx. 2.5L/day


College Student

Approx. 1.9L/day

Approx. 2.2L/day

What stops people from drinking enough water?

Lack of motivation

People don’t have enough motivation to drink water, even if they know about the benefit of hydration.

Difficulty in measuring water intake

​Progress isn't obvious

It's hard for people to measure how much water they actually drink. People drink different kinds of beverages from different containers.

The benefit of drinking water shows gradually and usually takes a lot of time. People can’t see the changes in their appearance right away.

How might we...

motivate people to drink enough water every day?

help people measure their water intake?

show people the progress of drinking water?

Concept Ideation


I wanted to solve the problem in a relaxing and playful way. Inspired by electronic pets and people's high awareness of them, I created a virtual plant which responds by changing its appearance according to the user's hydration level.

I also want to use social features and achievements as motivators of behavior change.


Monitor water intake from different water sources

 I landed on the idea of designing a wearable device. It is a bracelet that senses body hydration levels with a sensor which is attached to the skin. By analyzing the sweat and the PH of the user's skin, it can tell if the user is dehydrated*. It also syncs the data with a smartphone via Bluetooth.


Plant growing game

Testing & Iteration

I made a Minimal Viable Prototype and tested it with users, then I realized there are some areas that need improvement:

User Flow Diagram

Based on the feedback I received from the user testing, I revised the user flow diagram.

Lo-fi Wireframes

The goal of the UI design is to have a good visual hierarchy and keep the interface simple and clear, and minimize the user's learning curve.

Branding Design

Choose the plant you love


I provided a wide range of choices because I believe that people will be more willing to take care of their virtual plants when they really like it.

Take care of your plant

To keep their plants lively, people are motivated to drink enough water every day. Lack of water will make the plant wither.

Seeing the Progress

The virtual plant will grow in stages when it is watered properly every day. It motivates the users to keep a constant drinking pattern.

High Fidelity Mockups

Drinking Report

The Hygh app keeps track of the data and generates graphs automatically. It helps users to see their intake change over time.


Users can see and interact with their friends' virtual plants on the patio. Social features encourage people to be more aware of their virtual plants.

Next Steps

 For the further development of Hygh, I want to:


  • Pursue a behavioral study in order to validate that virtual avatars can affect people's behavioral change.

  • Add more social features to the app, explore new ways to interact with friends, make Hygh more friendly and playable.

  • Focus more on the wearable design and figure out what feedback it should provide to the user.



©2019 Yang Hong.