Access H2O

Role: Product Designer


AccessH2O is a non-profit that provides financial assistance to families who are unable to fully pay their water utility bills. Applicant information and documents must be coordinated between the organization and water utility companies. Email was the primary method used to communicate customer information and the status of an application. There was so central location where all this information was stored so the workflow to process applications became very confusing and cumbersome.


This project was a part of Bits of Good, a student organization that creates web-based solutions for local non-profits in Atlanta. As a product designer, I worked together with the project's product manager and engineering manager to lead a team of developers in building the product. 

Research Goals & Questions



Participants & Research Method



We conducted user interviews with both the director of the non-profit and staff members from utility companies. Speaking with the director of AccessH2O helped us to define core requirements of the web-app as well as pain points in their workflow. 

We also talked with staff from utility companies to hear about frustrations from their perspective.

Key Findings

1. No existing central location to keep track of applicants and their information

All information and inquiries for customer information was communicated through email. This often led to long email chains or missing pieces of information. The statuses of applicants were also kept as a spreadsheet that was prone to disorganization. 

2. Both users need to track each application and its status in the review process

AccessH2O works with cities across the United States. They must be able to keep track of applicants from all of those sites. Each utility company want to see the applicants in their zone that are working with AccessH2O. 

3. Utility companies need to submit various pieces of information and documents for each applicant

An important consideration was how to manage all the necessary personal information and documentation of the applicants. There was a need to both intake all the information (without allowing omission of a certain piece) as well as display the information for review.

Solution & Mockups

User Flow

Dashboard to see all applicants and their status with sort and filter

The central page of the web-app is a dashboard with a view of all the applicants. It allows users to sort and filter applicants by helpful factors like application status, city and date.

Applicant information form + review

This page is the primary form where utility companies can input the necessary information and documents required by AccessH2O.  The results of the form are then available as a review of each applicant. 

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