VERSE

A browser extension - mobile app system which tracks your browsing activity and provides on-demand advice to improve your focus.   

Brief  /  Create a digital tool that improve the productivity of independent workers who manage their own schedule.


Role  /  This is an independent project. I led the entire process from research, strategy, to prototyping. 

Timeline  /  10 weeks

Tools  /  Sketch, XD, Illustrator

PROBLEM

Distractions cost us valuable productivity minutes.

 

It is especially a problem among self-managing workers that is not held accountable by workplace. 

40s

An average information worker switch tasks every 40 seconds 

Source: Hyperfocus (Chris Bailey)

50%

Of extra time is needed to complete our work

when we are distracted

Source: Hyperfocus (Chris Bailey)

69%

Of U.S. workers report being distracted during work 

Source: Udemy Survey

How might we empower independent creatives to become self-aware of their digital working habits?

SOLUTION
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Verse provides answers, not numbers.  

In verse's settings, user selects what they want to learn about their browsing habits.

 

The relevant insights would be clearly mapped out in the dashboard. 

Verse is here when you need it, where you need it. 

Verse tracks your activity in both your phone and browser.

 

When you are behaving in a way that will negatively affect your progress, verse will recommend an action to solve the problem. 

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Verse grows with you.  

Very much like a personal assistant, verse becomes more and more efficient and precise as you spend more time together. 

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HOW IS VERSE MADE?

Due to the time constraint of the project, I deviated from the double diamond design thinking process. And took on a strategic approach to converge insights into solution efficiently.

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Feature design principle

How do we support growth in self awareness?

02. DEVISE PRODUCT STRATEGIES

Differentiation strategy

What is the market gap in the productivity industry?

4 action framework
 
Personal Informatics models
Personal Informatics models

Stage based Personal Informatics model

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Elisabeth T. Kersten-van Dijk, Joyce H.D.M. Westerink, Femke Beute & Wijnand A. IJsselsteijn (2017) Personal Informatics, Self-Insight, and Behavior Change: A Critical Review of Current Literature, Human–Computer Interaction

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Self-tracking is a proven way improve self-awareness.

So I decided to ideate around building a personal informatics system for productivity.

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Personal informatics model
From information to answers
 
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One problem with self-tracking is that user often do not know what to do with the data.

So it is important to be very intentional in giving actionable suggestions to the users as well. 

Insights

Journey mapping

03. PROTOTYPING AND TESTING

Defining the content structure of verse

Ideation

I came up with 3 concepts based on the strategic frameworks.

And finally I went for verse because it's platform is the most accessible to my target group. 

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Wireframing and User testing

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Screenshot 2019-10-04 at 4.32.43 AM

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Screenshot 2019-10-04 at 4.45.14 AM

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Branding

Conceptual data model
User task flow
Moodboard
Moodboard

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Screenshot 2019-09-12 at 3.49.58 PM

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Feasibility testing

After I moved into a high-fidelity prototype, I presented the concept to two data scientists and asked for their feedback on the feasibility of the product. 

You need to collect a lot of data before the advice given would be accurate. And I wonder would users stick around for that long.

Self-reported data could be inaccurate. You should better define the metric for productivity.

Your product gives customised feedback. And having individual machine learning algorithms could be very expensive. 

Everything you said is possible, but I have reservations about the cost and accuracy involved. 

Next steps

​​Narrow down the use case to better quantify productivity

Conduct user-testing for a longer time frame

Research on the desirability of the product (how much would a user pay for it)

The root cause of distractions and procrastination is being unaware of their emotions and habits. 

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The three major factors affecting productivity.

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When we are not passionate about the task, we rely on accountability and good process management to be productive.

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Insights

Journey mapping

01. IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM

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Synthesis

Research

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10 Interviews
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2 Cultural probes
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6 Interruption studies

"I couldn't do this anymore, I realized how much I get distracted during work."

- T (25)

"When I feel uneasy about a task, it is hard to get started." - A (32)

"Productivity means that the task is completed not only on time, but with quality." - J (26)

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WHAT I LEARNED

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This project has humbled me as a designer. Eager to move forward with my concept, I underestimated certain engineering and cost constraints.


A simple solution would be conducting the feasibility analysis before moving into high fidelity prototype. 

Throughout the research process,  I was also exposed to fundamental behavioural change principles through this project, such as contextual cues and positive reinforcement.

 

This has deepen my understanding of the psychological aspect of interaction design. 

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