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Behaviour Change for Better Water

Clean Tap for Anglian Water

Our innovation applies ‘nudge theory’ to make a real change in the water quality in customer’s homes via the proper cleaning of the taps used for drinking water. Alongside Anglian Water, we worked to develop kits that could be distributed to their customers to provide a simple approach to cleaning the tap. The kit comprised of a bespoke designed device to fit a wide range of taps. It worked with household bleach and required no special materials. The kit also aimed to maintain adherence to tap cleaning through engaging visual design and printed materials that would engage and remind customers.


  • User Research

  • UX Design

  • UI Design

  • Interactive Prototypes

Thinking differently about water quality

The innovation not only tackles an under-appreciated area of water quality maintenance (the proper maintenance and cleaning of the consumer-end tap) but approaches it using a novel method of engagement between water company and customer.


Rather than simply a technical innovation or a public information campaign, the challenge for this project was the attainment of real behaviour change, requiring both technical and knowledge-based solutions. Even the idea that water companies could have an impact on water quality by impacting on behaviour around the kitchen sink is a new step.

Unique Approach

The project followed an iterative design approach, meaning that both primary and secondary research were interwoven within a design process that aimed to put the user of the intervention (the customer) at the heart of the process. 


Through the iterative design process, we were able to propose, evaluate and refine aspects of the design, creating an evolving solution that connected academic theory on behaviour change with tangible results from real observed interaction with the prototypes.

Our skilled multi-disciplinary team of researchers, graphic designers and engineers helped develop prototypes that married an overall idea with practical parts of the kit. We used a consistent and powerful visual language to connect with and inspire the customer.

Real Impact

​We evaluated the impact of the Clean Tap mailer through pre- and post-deployment surveys. The results show how our design translated theory into results:

  • 92% of people said that they will clean their tap more regularly now they have the Clean Tap pack.

  • The answer “no knowledge of tap hygiene” reduced from 40% to 0%, while the answer “a lot of knowledge” increased from 13% to 75%.

  • 100% of participants said the Clean Tap pack changed their cleaning habits concerning their taps.

  • 67% of people used the Information Sheet, 75% of people used the Fridge Magnet, 42% of people used the Reminder, 100% of people used the Bleach cap.

  • 83% said that their knowledge and understanding of tap hygiene and its potential to contaminate their drinking water increased.

  • 75% of people said they will continue to use the Clean Tap pack in the future.

Working with Dovetailed was a great experience for
Anglian Water. Being a customer focused business we wanted to involve our customers in the innovation process and solve one of our big challenges, how to stop water quality failures from customers' taps.

As a result of the expertise, the team at Dovetailed could offer, we were able to design a solution that really worked for the customer and made their life as easy as possible. We saw a huge shift in our customers understanding the importance of tap hygiene.

We are already scaling up for wider implementation. The work has been truly innovative and we are very proud of the learning we have produced through our partnership with Dovetailed.

—  (Shop Window) Manager

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