UX/UI Case Study — Build. (Screen detox)
This was a personal challenge taken up and completed within a time frame of 2 weeks.
‘Build.’ aims to help users use screen less by gamifying the entire concept and help users build a habit of using phone less. The primary goal was to help users reduce dependence on mobile and to design an app that helps you use your screens less.
There exist a lot of apps to help users focus and keep a track of time about how they use phone. But they lack to create a motivation among users to use phone less and eventually become redundant app sitting in some corner of phone.
Research and Design
I started out with researching the existing apps and studying their features. This was done by downloading most popular apps on android, using them, testing all the features and making a competitive analysis of existing products.
After using an app, exploring the features, I read reviews posted on playstore and tried to figure out any pain points out of them. I read a total of 125 reviews, 25 for each product. Here I was able to discover a pain point that wasn’t in hypothesis but was mentioned in 34% (count 42) of reviews read.
The apps are not able to distinguish between productive and non productive apps, making productive time seem as being wasted.
I performed a survey among of 20 users who were using these apps, where I asked them to rate usability of the prominent features and purpose of use along with a question to test if they needed motivation apart from using these apps to use screen less. A staggering 75% or 15 users said they needed an extra nudge to keep phone away. This verified the assumption was correct. I then created a user persona to refer whenever i needed to look back. I also found that none (0) of the surveyed people ever used extensive report tracking feature.
Keeping up with the main goal to motivate users, after some discarded ideas, I came up with a concept of gamifying the process of using phone less. The less user uses his/her phone, the more he gains from it. I was inspired by ideas from Nir Eyal’s book which stated a forming a habit in a product comprised of a trigger followed by an action, then variable reward and investment.
Forming a habit in a product comprised of a trigger followed by an action, then variable reward and investment.
I narrowed down upon a concept of gamifying in which an external trigger could make user keep the phone away in anticipation of a variable reward to solve the problem.
After I completed conceptualizing the game, I started contemplating about the app. I made an information architecture and sketched low fidelity wireframes about the app.
Focus mode is one of the ways to gain special rewards. A total no phone state with or without notifications, in which a maximum of 10 apps can be whitelisted for use during this time. Another way to earn special rewards is by going social and connecting with friends and focusing together!
In the reports section, I divided apps into productive and non productive apps. This along with solving the second problem of users where they were unable to distinguish between productive and non productive time, the solution will also be easy to implement. The information pertaining to the productiveness of an app is directly taken from google playstore. If an app has productive label on in in playstore, it is considered as productive. Along with this, user also has a choice to completely ignore the count of productive apps, which can be done from over-usage section in the app with a toggle button.
Complete clickable prototype can be found in the link below.
Interruption to find an habit is designed by giving a normal notification to be used in case a user is on phone continuously for more than half an hour not using an productive app. This would reappear every 15 minutes if the user is still using the screen, non-productively.
I asked 3 people to play with interactive prototype while observing them. I found that they would easily ignore the interruption in form of a notification. Thus a second type of interruption, keeping the first one limited for certain use-cases, was designed to be used to help users break out from habituated distractions in their phone.
The second type of interruption that was designed is a full screen overlay and is used in case of reminders that the time for a specific app has exceeded as set by user. The same interruption would also appear in case of unlock count exceeding the set count and when a user tries to access an app which has been set to not be overused.
What I Learned
In this personal project I kept myself time bound and was able to complete the project in a sprint. I learnt the importance of time and how to manage it.
During this project I also gained valuable feedback in user testing and learned that every design can be iterated upon no matter how perfect we assume the design to be.
I learned how to handle challenges when stuck, discover new problems and finding solutions is a process and evolves over time.
Thanks a lot for the scroll! Drop a feedback or ask any questions, I’ll be happy to reply.