Case Study: Design a water bottle for Prime Digital Academy's full-stack students 

Heuristic Evaluation

Using this water bottle, I performed an informal usability inspection that assessed baseline usability strengths and weaknesses. 

I organized this data by Jakob Neilsen's 1994 Heuristics to identify prominent violations and identify priorities.

Fly-On-The-Wall Observations

To gain a better qualitative understanding of my user, Prime full-stack students, I performed fly-on-the-wall observations. This style of design ethnography allowed me to observe students while they weren't aware of me. They weren't performing or making self-concious decisions based on my presence, which allowed me to better understand their habits, environment, interactions and artifacts.

Design Concepts

I used these observations to inform my design decisions as I created some design concepts. These design concepts were user centered, drawing on the information I had gathered about where they were, what they were doing and who they were. 

After team critique I edited my design to fit full-stack student needs and created a low fidelity prototype. 

Rapid Prototyping


  • Metal siding to simulate stainless steel 
  • Black Tape to simulate rubber grip
  • Foam bottom to simulate soft, "no clang" bottom

User Testing

To test this prototype I prepared for usability testing. I presented the CONSOLE.GLUG to Prime full-stack students and observed their interactions with the product, asked them questions and took detailed notes while they used think-aloud protocol.

It was also important for me to identify the following goals to provide direction for my questions and observations. 

Usability Script

I wrote a usability testing script to remain consistent and avoid experiment validity.

I like the square feeling. It is easy to grip. It’s a little heavy, but with the lid off it’s very liftable.
The dimensions are good. I really like the wide mouth.
It’s a little big but fits nice in my hand.
Console.glug. Ha. Clever.
With the wide base I don’t think it would tip easily.
Aesthetically fits into scene at prime.


With this user feedback, I identified qualities of the water bottle that should be kept and aspects that could be improved upon.

After pitching my water bottle to hypothetical stakeholders, I developed a plan moving forward. I need to identify what my process would be and what design methods I would use to implement this process.