Space Out

RESEARCH | USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN | VISUAL DESIGN

A productivity app that helps students be productive during a rut when they’re pressed on time.

OVERVIEW

As college students who have personally fallen victim to the overwhelming feelings of depression and anxiety at one or more points in our college careers, we wanted to take a stab at creating a well thought out and empathetic experience design in this topic. 

 

We’re not trying to pose a solution in solving depression and anxiety. Mental health is such a wide spectrum and feelings in that sphere vary from person to person. One solution that works for one student may not look appetizing to another. 

 

Therefore, we want to help students take the first step in completing tasks that seem overwhelming during this period in their lives. 

 

How might we create a tool to help university students who are experiencing low motivation, to best organize and pace themselves in their daily tasks? 

PROBLEM  —

College students who suffer from depression or low periods have a harder time getting things done, affecting their academic performance and overall productivity.

SOLUTION  —

An app that offers students the tools to organize themselves but also take a break when they need it.

CALM

Friendly & personable

Clean and aesthetic UI

More than one feature

Has different meditation 

categories for different problem areas

Includes Music 

Have to unlock premium in order to access more

HEADSPACE

Only focuses on meditation

Has different courses of meditations

The categories to meditate on and listen to are all guided

Categories are intriguing

Personable and friendly with user

Minimal UI with pastel colors

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS 

TO DO LIST

This feature aims to help students take the first step in creating their first task of the day. 

MEDITATION

This portion offers guided meditations as well as self-meditations. A lot of our survey participants expressed wanting to learn how to breathe on their own so our feature makes sure to provide that.

FOCUS

This feature partakes in the pomodoro study technique- 25 minutes on the clock. This focuses on productivity in a way of motivating the user to stay on to see the universe they create by not switching to other applications.

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE

PRODUCT SOLUTIONS ↓

Based on my observations on different applications that do the same job as Circ as well as user interview/survey results, I consolidated the current problems into three main points 

CONCLUSION

Time is of the essence.

Research is everything.

Don’t get distracted in the visual, focus on the audience's goals and tasks

Be open to criticism!

Iterate, Iterate, Iterate

HIGH FIDELITY WIREFRAMES

NURSING MAJOR | 19 YEARS OLD | DOMINICAN UNIVERSITY

LAURA

Laura has been suffering from a “seasonal slump.” She notices that she hasn’t been getting in her assignments, and waited last minute to get everything on her plate turned in. 

 

She even has trouble writing her first step of her tasks because of how overwhelmed she is. She tends to get overly stressed and has trouble focusing on the task at hand. 

 

Uses Space Out: 

Though Space Out doesn’t solve her seasonal slump, she was able to use the breathing portion to spend some time to breathe and cry on her own before heading to the To do feature and doesn’t feel intimidated with only having to write one task down, and goes to the focus mode to start her first assignment with no distractions. 

SURVEY INSIGHTS

For our research, we sent out two survey questionnaires that focused on productivity and emotional wellbeing. Our results fruitioned to a sample size of 55 participants around different universities in the United States.

OVERWHELMED WITH MANAGING THEIR DAILY SCHEDULE

ANXIOUS AND DESPAIR OVER NOT KNOWING HOW TO HANDLE EMOTIONS

FRUSTRATED WITH DISTRACTIONS AND PROCRASTINATION

EMOTIONAL FEEDBACK AND CONCERNS ↓

As a continuation to the questions we asked in our survey questionnaire, to our surprise, most of the answers were extremely similar. Though worded differently, depending on the person who answered, majority of our participants felt the same way with an outlier of 1 or 2 per question. These are the following connections from the emotional responses:

PERSONA

QUESTIONS

We wanted to grab insight on emotions college students faced as well as their productivity habits and motivations. Most of the questions that we asked were open ended questions so that our participants can freely articulate their responses and delve into their feelings when answering. 

Some questions we asked that helped us formulate our ideas: 

 

HOW DOES COLLEGE MAKE YOU FEEL?

IF THERE WAS ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR COLLEGE EXPERIENCE THAT YOU WOULD CHANGE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

IF YOU WERE PLACED IN A STRESSFUL SITUATION, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

DO YOU GET DISTRACTED? IF SO, CAN YOU TELL US  HOW?

RUN US THROUGH YOUR DAY.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO STAY MOTIVATED?

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT TIME IN YOUR DAILY LIFE?

01 TO DO LIST

The first page when a user will click on the to-do icon on the navigation bar is a simple UI that allows the user to start by inputting one task a day. 

 

Based on user research, users had a hard time “just starting their task list.”

 

Space Out helps users with that dilemma by showing that there is no pressure in creating a whole list at once and seeing it come into fruition, but instead just getting one task in at a time

Space Out gives the fluidity of an up and down swipe motion for the list for a clean animation and has the goal of adding a task with simple goals to come with it:

Name, optional description, when to place that task and when to be notified.

02 MEDITATION

Space out Meditation feature includes an option for users to choose whether or not they’d like a guided meditation or breathe alone for more options. 

 

When prompting breathing alone, user chooses which time (3, 5 or 10). Then clicking start to begin. Buttons are easily clickable due to larger size & thin font creates minimalism.

 

We realized we needed a way to inform users about their chosen time and confirming to leave room for error. 

 

The ring around the breathe signifies the user the amount of time he/she/they have left- another signifier to let the user know of where they are at in the meditation.

The breathing session ends with a friendly planet (theme of Space Out) and an uplifting saying to encourage them of their accomplishment regardless of the time they spent.

01 POMODORO STUDY

Focus feature starts with a reminder message that user cannot use his/her/their phone during the time of focus or else they will lose their creation. The algorithm is dataful in this way because the app does not need to disable the user’s phone in clicking out of the app. Instead, the user is prompted  by motivation to keep concentrating to see the end product of the creation of their own universe at the end of the time they choose.

After let’s go is prompted, user will choose which time they would like. 25 minutes as a start is suggested due to pomodoro study technique, but user can choose whichever time they would like using the up/down buttons.

Each end screen changes everytime focus feature is prompted so user will not get bored or expect the same artwork they saw in the past.

The end screen when time is accomplished is a lighthearted and friendly message with a cute planet to encourage the user of their accomplishment. User can also leave the screen through the navigation bar which now appears as well as the back arrow.

USABILITY TEST 01

TASK

Space Out lets users create a to-do list with a minimal atmosphere of the start to create one task at a time when clicking on the feature.  Add your first task. Take a look at the to-do-list screen and then add another task.

 

NOTES

Overall was not too complicated since she was able to figure out how to use the list. 

The check and the crossing when activity was completed  appealed to the user.

 

TAKEAWAYS

Although it was aesthetically pleasing, the list could be improved by allowing users to organize in their own manner, such as by importance and not necessarily “time” schedule.  

USABILITY TEST 02

TASK

Space Out has a focus feature that limits users to other features on his or her phone with the motivation of creating a “universe” after the given time of concentration. You set the time for 25 minutes to study. Go through it and end it early, then go back to the home page.

 

NOTES 

The transitioning is not as smooth as it could be.

The language for the reminder message is repetitive.

But the confirmation messages are “fire.” 

 

TAKEAWAYS 

This feature is seamless in the idea of having a focus feature with a motivation of getting to see the end product, but it can be improved with better language and transitioning.

USABILITY TEST 03

TASK 

Space Out lets users choose between guided meditations and self meditations to adhere to user preference at the time they need to meditate. Take a self meditation and set to 5 minutes.

 

NOTES 

The task took less than 20 seconds to be completed.

The app asked the user if they would like a self meditation or guided meditation twice. 

 

The current Space Out layout is simple and still quick to understand. Still, there is room for improvement since the app gives the option for a guided or self meditation twice when it could just be asked once.