Fall 2018 (3 months)
UX Designer & Visual Designer
UX research, Competitive analysis, Wireframing, Sketching, Personas, Storyboard, Prototyping,
The real issue is when people procrastinate badly
Procrastination is defined as the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished.
According to data of 2017, procrastination affects more than 20% of the population, which has quadrupled in the last 30 years. Surveys of students showed that 85%-95% are facing the problem associated with procrastination. Also, procrastination could result in financial problem, wasting time, poor health, and losing opportunities.
However, the reality is procrastination is a normal part of modern life. People all have more tasks waiting for them than they could possibly do at once. The real issue is when people procrastinate badly - for example, when we wait to study for a difficult exam until last few hours.
How might we help students with procrastination to be more productive and motivated
pip, a mobile application that helps passive procrastinators to form a good habit of active procrastinators by creating tasks, getting notifications, keeping notes of their thoughts with a chatbot. With pip, you can actually channel a bad habit into something that actually makes your life easier.
PRODUCT AT GLANCE
Don't stop procrastinating. Just get better at it.
pip, where magic happens. With pip, you can channel your procrastination into a productive habit. With pip, you can reach the balance between being relaxed and holding yourself accountable.
pip, help you delay like a pro
Pre-set work time slot
Easily take control of your notifications.
You can set your bedtime during the onboarding process. This will be the time slot for the prompt messages randomly show up to remind you. You can later change your work time slot in setting.
Create a task just for yourself.
Create the task and set the deadline you want it to be done. Basic settings include:
Bad consequence if you procrastinate on the task
Get prompt randomly
Be more aware of your working progress.
You will get the notifications randomly from pip during your pre-set work time slot. You can:
Choose to accept the invitation to input something about your task
Snooze to a certain time you set and get the prompt message later again
Ignore the message, and you will see the bad consequence for procrastinating on the task. After that, you can choose to cancel or confirm the ignore.
A safe place for your work
A smarter way to keep your thoughts.
Spend a few minutes to talk about your task with pip each time just like chatting with an old friend.
Input format include:
Your work will be stored and wherever you go, your work follow. You can use them as a reference whenever you need.
Iterate for better experience
We conducted end-to-end research and design process, from getting in touch with our real users to validating design decisions by testing prototypes. Our design evolved along several rounds of iteration at different design stages.
Framing the problem
We conducted literature research to better understand procrastination and narrow down the scope of our target users based on current situation and behaviors of procrastination. We choose graduate students who want to relieve their procrastination to be our target users for following three main reasons:
The age group of 14 - 29 procrastinate the most among all
Graduate students tend to procrastinate more than undergraduate
For research convenience
We conducted several rounds of interviews with a total of 8 graduate students to identify their pain points and discover current solutions. To better compare the causes of procrastination and the behavior between procrastinators and non-procrastinators, we found 4 interviewees for each of them. It turned out that their reasons of procrastination stemmed from three aspects:
And there are three primary types of current solutions:
Time management tool
We also released a survey among university students to better understand current situations, causes and behavior of procrastination.
182 responses in total
73.03% of participants are belong to18 - 29 age group
61.18% of participants are graduate students
84.21% of participants' procrastination severity are greater than 3 (0 = Not at all, 5 = Very severe)
We discovered two tasks that graduate students procrastinate the most:
And four factors that can prevent graduate students from procrastination:
We analysed multiple existing solutions, including Google Tasks, iOS 12 Screen Time, and Flat Tomato, to explore the current solution that users can utilize to relieve procrastination.
Brainstorming creative solutions
Two personas was created based on the initial research and testings with sketches. Those two personas represent users’ goals and pain points which helped us to prioritize different user needs and guide our future design.
Narrow down the focus
Along the ideation phase, we constantly held short user interviews with wireframes at hand to validate the design concept and also keep conducting literature research. We found that procrastinators can be divided into two type: passive procrastinator and active procrastinator.
People who are paralyzed by their indecision to act and fail to complete tasks on time. Passive procrastinators usually have the problem making decisions when they are overwhelmed by multiple tasks, or can't get motivated.
People who make deliberate decisions to procrastinate because they want to have more time to research or investigate. Active procrastinators prefer to make decisions with the maximum information and they are a "positive" type of procrastinator.
We also found notifications (prompt messages, reminders, or feedback communicated to people multiple times over the duration of an intervention) could be an effective way to motivate people to change their behaviors. However, the regular notifications don't doing well based on user feedbacks.
Synthesizing the findings, we decided to narrow down the focus on helping passive procrastinators to become active procrastinators by channeling their procrastinations into productive habits. We want to encourage passive procrastinators to think about their ongoing tasks more often and don't wait until the last minute to do the work. In that case, by the time they sit down to actually do the work, they already done a big chunk of the work.
Based on this, we then decided overarching design rationale for the following design process.
Support motivation to finish tasks with deadline, playfulness and bad consequences
Provide notifications in a more useful and interactive way
Help passive procrastinators channel their procrastinations into productive habits
Stop rushing and reduce pressure before deadline
ITERATION AND REFINEMENT
Reasoning for design decisions
Based on our design rationale, we evaluated our previous task flows and landed on the final flows by collecting user feedbacks.
We then refined our storyboard to frame the context of our target users.
Prototyping with different fidelity
Before crafting the high-fidelity prototype, we used low-fidelity prototype to evaluate the flow and interactions.
We then created hi-fi digital prototypes with Sketch, Invision, Framer and Principle to yield more realistic experience. From high-level features to small design elements, we tested and refined our design iteratively to achieve a final design that is easy-to-use and caters to the needs of the target users. You can find the interactive prototype here. Below are the final user flow and high-fidelity prototypes.
Iterating for better user experience
Testing with users along the design process enabled us to identify spaces for improvement and refine our design for better experience and usability that caters uses’ real needs. Some changes include:
Design change 1
Less interactions, faster navigation
A scrolling time picker was added to help users go through the time setting process smoother and clearer. We choose the scrolling time picker because users do not have to scroll too far into the past/future in this context and this is more intuitive for them to use.
Design change 2
Simplify dashboard experience
The initial design doesn't distinguish well between all the ongoing tasks and tasks need to take action on the day.
To avoid confusing users, Past tasks was removed from the dashboard. Today tasks are tasks that users need to take action of the day, and All tasks are all the ongoing unfinished tasks.
Design change 3
Maximize user experience
The Drag and Drop interaction of initial design is not user-friendly for mobile application and users tend to not read those choices very carefully.
List was added to improve the readability and discoverability. In order to cater to the user habits, the gesture of swipe left to delete was also added.
A project never ends after the due date
I had so much fun creating pip and I am proud of it. However, I do believe a project never ends after the due date, there is still much more to be done to make pip even better:
Improve the color contrast between background and text.
More usability tests and iterate on the design repeatedly to improve the user flow and interactive experiences.