CEO @ Oasis
The Oasis test in use. Two orange bags indicates water that is not contaminated. © 2018 Oasis
Oasis needed a simple logo and primary color to represent their brand and its dedication to clean water.
The Oasis water test is packaged inside a tube, which doubly functions as part of the test. The tube needed an outer design that identified the product and instructed users on how to use it.
Inside the tube, the bags used for the test need to include warnings to avoid improper and potentially dangerous use. They also needed instructions for interpreting test results and improving water safety.
The logo was designed using a simple, clean aesthetic, with a water droplet replacing the 'O' in "Oasis". The blue-green color was chosen to inspire thoughts of fresh, clean water.
The primary tool I used for the outer instructions were illustrations. Despite including written directions, the visuals needed to tell a full story on their own. Through countless iterations with the client, we landed on a simple set of five illustrations describing how to operate the test.
Having access to a water test isn't enough, users need to be able to understand what the results mean. The test is simple — after filling the bags with water, they change color, indicating if the water is safe. I created a set of four illustrations explaining what the various bag colors mean.
In the case of contaminated water, affected uses have certain strategies they can use to keep their water safe. Primarily, they can boil their water, keep it covered, and wash their hands often. On the back side of the interpreting card, these illustrations help users control the cleanliness of their water.
The Oasis water test works by allowing E. coli to reproduce in large numbers, making the presence of even one bacterium cause a positive test result. However, this means that the test needs to be operated with extreme care. Illustrations printed on the test bags warn users against practices that could cause danger or inaccurate results.
In January 2017, researchers deployed 3,000 Oasis tests in Kanpur, India, a region affected by severe poverty and lack of resources. They provided no intervention support aside from the suggestions listed inside the test.
After only one month with Oasis, mean E. coli counts in Kanpur dropped by an astonishing 40%.
Researchers observed positive behavioral outcomes as well, seeing improvements in covered storage usage and hand soap availability.
Oasis is being used by researchers in a study seeking to improve slum residents' access to clean water.
"We chose to use the Oasis test because it came highly recommended from fellow researchers and because it was well-packaged and easy to use. Our survey enumerators who had no prior experience with water quality testing were trained in the use of the test and have been able to use the test easily."
— Dr. Anjali Thomas Bohlken, Georgia Tech
Students at the Atlanta Girl's School used Oasis to learn about water quality hands-on, learning about Oasis' story from CEO Arjun Bir.
"The instructions were clear and my students were able to interpret the results effortlessly. Additionally, the color change was exciting for students to witness and increased buy-in and interest in the results. I am so glad we were able to bring the Oasis Tests to my students."
— Melissa Hankinson, Science Department Chair
Sparking behavior change in Kanpur © 2018 Oasis
— Arjun Bir, CEO @ Oasis