Aqua Alta

A navigation service for inhabitants in flooding Venice


The Problem

Floods in Venice due to high tide

High tide is a phenomenon that consists in particularly intense tide peaks that happen periodically in the Venetian Lagoon and which cause flooding in different parts of the urban area, specifically Venice. It frequently manifests between October and March, and with specific weather conditions where the wind blows and obstructs the normal water de-flux outside the lagoon. The phenomenon is worsening due to the constantly rising of the sea level, resulting in more exceptional floods.


2 weeks | June. 2018


Abhishek Kumar
Micol Galeotti

Yuxi Liu



The Solution

Navigation app for Venice inhabitants to optimize their mobility in the flooded city

In occasions of high tide, despite the flood and its inconvenience, the life in the city must be able to run smoothly as on normal days. Aqua Alta is a navigation app that aims to reach that goal. It is designed to help the inhabitants of Venice, especially new residents who are not familiar with the city or the phenomenon, to optimize their mobility around the city in those times of the year.


Research Insight

The need for multilayered information

Our desk research indicated the complexity of the floods situation in Venice due to the geographical, architectural, and social circumstances. In our interviews with local inhabitants, we gained insights of the fundamental need, which goes beyond a simple navigation app. Multilayered information, including flood condition, tide forecasting, route planning, etc. Our task, therefore, was to design a solution in which different information is logically integrated and clearly visualized. 

Information Architecture

A solid foundation for a clean and focused design

In order to make the app easy to understand and navigate, a clean and focused information architecture is needed. Based on the insights we gained from the research, we created the information architecture, which became the foundation of our design. We also created user flows for tasks such as saving a route.


Outlining visual hierarchy

We developed different wireframes to outline and test out visual hierarchy. Through this rapid prototyping, we were able to iterate on detailed elements, layout, transitions and interactions. 



Consistent visual language

To have a consistent visual language across all the interfaces, we carefully selected the color scheme and typography. The color scheme reflected on the theme and functionality of the app. The use of the typography addressed the readability.

The Final Design

Elegant and effective

In the main screen there is a clear and direct visualization of the main and most important information needed, the current level of flooding in the user’s location and its trend, the time of forecasted peak and the maximum level. With a simple interaction, it is also possible to see the forecast of the next 6 hours of weather and tide specific for that location. Furthermore, the app integrates a navigation system, which will suggest the best route, with different means of transport, according to the flooding conditions of the city, at the moment of commute.