Daily Switch

Mental breaks for deeper focus

Concept Overview

Research shows that breaks from work-related tasks can improve focus. Activities, such as meditation and exercise, are shown to be particularly effective. The goal of this app is to foster shifts in mindset that aid deep focus by encouraging off-screen activities that refresh and energize users.

Relevant Research

  • “Brief and Rare Mental ‘Breaks’ Keep You Focused” [1]: Research by Alejandro Lleras suggests that taking breaks during long periods of work help sustain attention as it requires “deactivating and reactivating your goals” [2].
  • A number of research studies suggest that meditation and exercise positively impact attention and concentration.

How It Works

Setup

Certain activities, such as meditation, workouts, and listening to podcasts, allow the app to pull relevant content from third-party apps. For example, by connecting to a user’s Headspace account, Daily Switch will automatically begin the next session in their Headspace playlist when they choose to switch to meditation.

Encouraging A Switch

Users select an activity and the length of time they want to spend on it. The length of the break can be left at the default duration or adjusted using the slider.

While a switch is in progress, the screen displays minimal information–time indicator and the activity. Users have the option of enabling a forced phone lockout while a switch is in progress in the settings if they choose.

Future Work

References

[1] Brief and Rare Mental ‘Breaks’ Keep You Focused: Deactivation and Reactivation of Task Goals Pre-empt Vigilance Decrements, Ariga & Lleras

[2] Brief diversions vastly improve focus, researchers find: https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/205427

[3] Does Mindfulness Meditation Enhance Attention? A Randomized Controlled Trial, Semple

Designing For Focus: Cultivating Mindful Digital Practices

A place to house my thoughts and musings as work my way through my graduate thesis in interaction design.

Manya Krishnaswamy

Written by

Product Designer @Intuit, Master’s in IxD @CMU

Designing For Focus: Cultivating Mindful Digital Practices

A place to house my thoughts and musings as work my way through my graduate thesis in interaction design.