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Designing for our users: Integrating user experience design into Flood Modeller

By Robert Donegan, Principal User Experience Designer at Jacobs

User Experience (UX) is the essence of every interaction between a brand and its users, encompassing usability, accessibility, and emotional design. These elements form the foundation of truly memorable tools that feel intuitive and effortless to use. With the ongoing support of the Flood Modeller team, I've embarked on a journey to refine and enhance the user experience of our product suite.

Working closely with our modelling community, we've endeavoured to address their ongoing challenges. As a product team, we strive to deeply understand and empathise with the issues faced by our industry, whether it's project turnaround times, client demands, career development, new technology, or other aspects crucial to achieving our industry's goals.

The insights provided by our users have been both inspiring and humbling. Their determination to find solutions and workarounds is truly remarkable, and I am continually impressed by their ingenuity and experience.

Custom product iconography
Custom product iconography

Notable User Experience Improvements in Flood Modeller

Despite officially joining the Flood Modeller team just under a year ago, I have made significant contributions to our initiatives. Witnessing the progress of major projects has been especially gratifying.

The development of new functionality, such as Hydrology+, has been years in the making. By combining the industry experience of our technical users with the expertise of our development teams, we've achieved tangible results, addressing longstanding frustrations among hydrologists with poorly conceptualised tools and processes. We are confident that we have streamlined some of the most time-consuming and frustrating tasks, thanks to the invaluable insights from our users.

In addition to introducing new features, we are also enhancing existing features within the Flood Modeller product. This includes revamping staple features that have long been in demand for updates, as well as refining the usability of tools that previously fell short of meeting our users' needs. One significant example slated for an upgrade in the near future is our combined Bridge Unit capability and interface design. Furthermore, we are making improvements to subtle elements such as accessibility, colour usage, and user flows across various tools relied upon by our users.

I am particularly thrilled about our upcoming plans for our users. As we persist in listening to their needs, we've identified numerous ways we believe we can assist them. We've acknowledged that our users, whether newcomers or experienced, crave opportunities to grow and experiment. They also seek to feel appreciated and supported, while relying on tools that are reliable and secure.

Flood Modeller software interface
Much requested user experience improvements

What can you expect from the Flood Modeller team in the future

In the near future, we will be launching new phases of features, including Hydrology+, which will continue to revolutionise the workflows of users in our industry.

Later this year, we anticipate the release of our highly sought-after replacement for Flood Cloud. This new platform will consolidate our experience, user insights, and technological innovations into a comprehensive modelling ecosystem, offering radical new ways of working, sharing, and collaborating on projects.

Furthermore, we remain committed to offering other outstanding products in our suite, including Aqua DNA, which is making a significant global impact. Stay tuned for a slate of new products on the horizon!

It's an exciting time to be part of the Flood Modeller team, and I consider it a personal privilege to contribute to and shape the tools that our users rely on. I am proud of the achievements of our product team as we work towards realising our community's biggest aspirations in the year ahead!


Picture of Robert Donegan

Robert Donegan is a Principal User Experience Designer in the Flood Modeller team at Jacobs, boasting over 15 years of expertise in the creative and digital realms. With a keen emphasis on visual and user experience design, Robert is committed to enhancing users' lives by leveraging a blend of innovative interface design and technological advancements for enduring impact.


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