© 2018-2019 Chelsea Guo

Project Type

Team project

Time

Fall 2018 (3 months)

Role

UX Designer & Visual Designer

Skills

UX research, Competitive analysis, Wireframing, Sketching, Personas, Storyboard, Prototyping,

User Testing

 

BACKGROUND

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.

CHALLENGE

How might we help students with procrastination to be more productive and motivated

PIP

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.

Create Task 
Get Prompt 
Chat Bot 
Check Notes 

SOLUTION OVERVIEW

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 task
Create a task just for yourself.
 
Create the task and set the deadline you want it to be done. Basic settings include: 
  • Task name
  • Deadline
  • Reminder frequency
  • Snooze setting
  • 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:
  • Text
  • Voice
  • Photos
Your work will be stored and wherever you go, your work follow. You can use them as a reference whenever you need. 
 

DESIGN PROCESS

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

RESEARCH

TO synthesize the data collected and find out the common themes, we did the affinity diagram to frame the essential needs:

Literature research

 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 

User interviews

 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: 
 Lacking motivation 
 Distractions 
 Task difficulty 
 And there are three primary types of current solutions:  
 Time management tool 
 Self-monitor 
 Supervise 

Survey

 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: 
 32% 
Documentation work 
 30% 
School assignment 
And four factors that can prevent graduate students from procrastination: 
Deadline 
Playfulness 
Collaboration 
Bad consequences 

Competitive analysis

 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.  
 

IDEATION

Brainstorming creative solutions

Personas

 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. 
 

SCOPING

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.  
Passive 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. 
 
Active procrastinator:
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

User flow

 Based on our design rationale, we evaluated our previous task flows and landed on the final flows by collecting user feedbacks.
 

Refined storyboard

 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.
 
Artboard.png
 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. 
 
Sign in / Sign up 
Cover.png
Sign up.png
Sign up_filled.png
Onboarding 
Onboarding 1.png
Onboarding 2.png
Onboarding 3.png
Pre-set work time slot 
Name.png
Name_filled.png
Name_filled Copy.png
Name_filled Copy 2.png
Name_filled Copy 3.png
Name_filled Copy 4.png
Creat a task 
Dashboard.png
Create Task_1.png
Create Task_1 Copy 5.png
Create Task_1 Copy 4.png
Create Task_1 Copy 6.png
Create Task_2.png
Create Task_2 Copy.png
Create Task_2 Copy.png
Create Task_2 Copy 2.png
Create Task_2 Copy 3.png
Create Task_2 Copy 4.png
Create Task_2 Copy 5.png
Create Task_2 Copy 6.png
Dashboard Copy 2.png
Dashboard and menu 
Dashboard Copy 3.png
Dashboard Copy 4.png
Dashboard Copy 6.png
Dashboard Copy 5.png
Prompt 
Lock Screen.png
Notification.png
Notification - Expanded - Headspace.png
snooze.png
Ignore.png
Input notes and check previous notes 
Notes Copy.png
menu expand.png
mark as complete.png
Clicked history.png
History.png
History edit.png
History image.png

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.

 

NEXT STEPS

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.