An app that helps you accomplish a daily goal by providing ongoing conversations about your work.
It's a individual thesis project, so I worked on everything
September 2015 - May 2016
Many people struggle with procrastination. They put off their work until the very last minute, and consequently face stress, panic, regret, and eventually fatigue. Most of them assume that this issue is caused by a lack of good time management. And current solutions like general to-do list apps and project management tools help us only once we start. However, there are also complex psychological issues deep within our minds that keep us from simply starting.
How can technology help users to get things done when they are in the middle of procrastinating?
To create simple and engaging way to coach users stay focused and get daily task done. The solution should tackle both time management and psychological issues.
Inaccurate estimation of the time frame
People have a tendency to take more than they can handle when they are making the plan. However, they would feel bad about themselves when they didn't execute it or didn't finish the plan well. Those negative feedback gives them excuses to procrastinate more.
Time management + psychological problems
Many people consider procrastination as a issue of time management. They often believe that time is up against them and they have to outsmart it somehow. But procrastination is not just a matter of how you manage your time. Rather, it’s a complex psychological problem - avoidance, with deep roots in our mind.
To-do list apps and project management tools can't do any
People use to-do list apps or project management tools to help them organize time and work. However, When we don't want to work, those tools can't do anything to help us stop procrastinating.
user behavior study
The habit loop
 The procrastination loop
 The working mode loop
Intervene of the procrastination habit loop
To change the procrastination habit, the craving of finishing the goals must be triggered, so that people will start working and get close to the goals bit by bit.
Why it's called mo?
The name "mo" is originated from the movie "Wall-E". There's a robot called mo and he always cleaned dirty spots immediately when he saw it. I like his personality a lot. I hope people who procrastinate can do their work without hesitating or putting off, just like what mo does :)
One goal, one day
Every day, mo encourages you to focus on only one goal.
Check in with you periodically
mo always checks in to know what you've done once an hour, and reports the current status to you.
Send punishment message when you keep procrastinating
mo is a "tough-love" coach. It always pushes you to start working as early as possible.
Coach you on focusing
When you feel stuck or less motivated, you can ask suggestions from mo. mo has knowledge of how to get focused.
Learn your habit from the conversation
mo leans your habit and uses embedding deep-learning program to analyze context and remember conversations.
previous Ideas & iterations
My idea evolved 3 times from these design solutions: Smart Planning, TimeFly and GoodDay. During each time, I created mid-fidelity prototype and tested it with some people to get some learnings.
1. Smart Planning
An app that generates daily plan based on users' to-do and priority set. It also learns users' habit and gives suggestions when they may have wrong estimation of tasks.
After testing the function with several people, I found it's helpful for them to see priority clearly, but there's too much input... And even though I ask them to only plan for today, they can't finish every task when they set more to-dos than they can handle.
An app that visualizes how you spend your time after you set a goal for today. It sends notifications together with regular messages by a virtual coach which matches to your need. I also imagine the app will know users' activities on smartphone. For example, it will alert you when you spend too much time on Facebook. At the same time, it can pair with a web browser plug-in which also monitor users' online activities.
I didn't go far with this idea because this one seems too invasive. And if the user procrastinates a lot, which means the app will report negative feedback of him/her. No one is gonna use it to see how bad they are. Besides, the coach is not a clear or obvious design in this app.
An app that allows users to engage with a virtual smart coach when they are procrastinating. Users can choose the coach's personality according to how much they want to be pushed or get encouraged.
This one needs to be improved in some aspects. First, the goal of conversation is unclear for users. Second, the activity record is not that necessary. Then, I should work on interface design more to make users want to engage with the coach.
The video is in editing, so it's coming soon!