InFocus

Concept

For this assignment, we paired up to create a paired app system that would track brain activity to make the user more aware about their productivity over time. When the application detects a lack of focus, it reminds the user to focus through their wrist wearable. The paired phone application allows the user to view their focus data over time.

Goals

Our goals for this application are:

  1. Remind the user to focus in an unobtrusive way
  2. Allow the user to turn “Focus Mode” on or off
  3. Allow the user to view their focused vs. unfocused time over the course of a day
  4. Allow the user to view their aggregated data over the course of a month

By providing this information to the user, and gently prompting them to regain focus, we hope to help our users to become more aware of the connection between their focus and productivity levels.

Implementation

We began by first discussing and planning out the functionality that we wanted to support and how that would manifest itself in our product.

Initial Brainstorming ideas

Then we sketched out our ideas for the various screens we would need based on the features we decided upon.

Initial Sketches

From there we created a paper prototype of our application.

Final Paper Prototype Screens

We then did a user test of our paper prototype and with positive feedback we moved on to our final higher fidelity prototype.

After making one version, we went back and made revisions to our first version, based on our feedback from the user, and our expectations of good design.

Evaluation

Our first evaluation with our paper prototype produced positive feedback for us. We were able to confirm that the user is able to understand that the data is displayed over time, and that you can view it daily or monthly. The user seemed to understand intuitively how to navigate through the two devices.

We created our first version of our higher fidelity prototype, and did a self-assessment of our design. We made additional visual choices, such as color, spacing, and format. We also changed the wording from ”moments” to simply being a count for unfocused, because it wasn’t clear enough to the user what we meant by that.

Analysis

In all, our prototype suited its base goal of keeping users on task when they became distracted. However, we found through the course of our testing that there were several things which could be improved upon.

Firstly, users were confused about what “moments” were. We modified this in our second iteration, but users were still confused about exactly what the concept meant. In the future, we should evaluate the significance of periods of non-focus and how they can help the user to evaluate their focus patterns. If they are not found to be useful, we may eliminate them altogether and maintain only time as the metric for non-focus.

Secondly, users were confused on the overview of each day in the corresponding date item, which is present along the top in the daily view and in the grid in the monthly view. The numbers in these icons represented moments, which, as discussed above, may not be needed. In future iterations, these icons could instead contain a metric which is more relevant to the user, such as unfocused time. Further testing will reveal which metrics are most important or useful.

Overall, our solution was an insightful exercise in prototyping a technology which may not necessarily exist yet. As such, it was difficult to brief users on the purpose and function of the solution, but once done, the prototype became a highly effective medium for collecting feedback for use in further iterations.