Promoting effective task management habits.

NOTCH

Effective task management is a necessity for intense daily schedules and objectives. However, many college students fall short in their daily task habits. This design focuses on helping students practice positive task management habits and reduce the guilt associated with falling short on tasks.

Task management is an essential for intense daily schedules and objectives. However, many college students struggle immensely with both keeping track of their daily tasks as well as the organization of their schedules. Notch focuses on helping users create a more positive approach to task management, through step-based task planning and an amiable approach to the emotions of its users.

* This is a redesign of a past project I did. Want to see the OG? Click me

ROLE

Concept, Visual, UX/UI

DURATION

12 weeks, 2020

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00  ─  PURPOSE

Students drown their tasks in the idea of impossibility, limiting their own success.

The intense environment of college naturally demands some form of task management. However, this can become too overwhelming to keep up with, resulting in guilt if one does not complete all of their tasks.

It never feels good to not get all your to-do's done, but this feeling can be compounded by a lack of structured thought around task management as a whole. I chose to explore a remedy to this problem by designing Notch, an application providing a fresh viewpoint on task management and an understanding that nobody is perfect - nor should their applications expect them to be.

01  ─  EXPERIENCE PILLARS

PROJECT GOALS

Shifting user thinking

Instead of "pushing through", users should break down tasks and view them as manageable steps to completion.

Distinguishing levels of priority

Establish and reinforce the separation of larger tasks from smaller, more medial to-do's.

Humanizing application responses

Reduce user guilt and frustration with an amiable approach to fixing user errors.

02  ─  MY SOLUTION

Students drown their tasks in the idea of impossibility, limiting their own success.

A home for all your tasks.

Notch assists users in redefining the way they think about task management, moving it from an overwhelming whole to a manageable step-based solution. Additionally, the multiple levels of the application allow a user to keep track of their tasks, todo's, reflections, and more.

Steps

The most important part of the application, taking one's tasks from start to finish through manageable steps.

Thinkspace

Like a balcony between steps and reflections, allowing a user to track things that are worthwhile but not overly important.

Reflections

Like sitting on the roof and looking to the skies above, a relaxing place for personal reflections and important learnings.

Home

Steps

One's steps for the day are presented in a digestible format that resembles the modern to-do list. Progress bars give users a quick glimpse of their progress through a satisfying and positive visual.

Additionally, multiple views allow a user to view and understand their upcoming tasks on varying levels, from the singular day, to month, to all their tasks as a whole.

Steps-1

Creating a task

Task creation is purposely in-depth, reinforcing the idea that only the largest of things should be afforded their own space. Mandatory fields such as start / due date and the steps to completion allow a user to fully think through how they will complete their goal in their mind.

Once a task is created, a user is prompted to immediately split its steps along the timeline, creating an actionable and structured completion plan to follow.

Thinkspace

The thinkspace exists for a user to populate with things that, although important, are not as crucial as their tasks. A user can easily create small to-do lists, create and keep track of their habits, or set small reminders for the future. Interactions and visual design are intentionally simple, stripping down the complexity of the Steps section to create a space that is simple and entirely manageable.

Reflections

The Reflections space allows a user to share their thoughts in a no-pressure environment for only themselves to record and see. Periodically, Notch loads in learning modules that a user can read through, allowing them to better themselves entirely on their own time.

Reflections

Guilt free missed steps

Nobody is perfect, and Notch doesn't expect that. If a user misses a day, the next time they log in the application allows them to easily look through and complete any steps they may have already done. From there, a user can easily reroute any missed steps back into their completion plan. 

A fresh start

Although Notch works best when consistently used, it's understandable that someone may go for an extended period of time without using it. On launch, the application allows a user to complete any tasks that hit their due date while they were gone.

Additionally, to reinforce the thought that sometimes a restart is needed, Notch allows a user to wipe their tasks and start over again. It's not the end, it's just a new beginning! 

With a flick of the wrist

Task management exists outside of just a mobile phone, so naturally Notch should as well. On their Apple Watch, a user can easily complete steps and view their schedule without even needing to open the application. 

Widgets on widgets on widgets

With Apple's growing widget integration, it's crucial for an application to maintain its usefulness outside of just the application. By offering a myriad of widget options, a user can customize their home screen to see what they want from Notch at all times.

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03  ─  RESEARCH

Students drown their tasks in the idea of impossibility, limiting their own success.

Understanding who I am designing for through a quantitative and qualitative research approach.

I conducted a user survey of 41 people across all grade levels, as well as in-depth interviews with 5 people, including current/past students as well as professional social-workers.

73%

Are struggling with simplicity

Users consistently find themselves struggling with their tasks, even with perceived simple ones such as doing laundry or cleaning their room.

71%

Are stressed due to their schedules

Users showed willingness to pursue healthier remedies to this, but the majority of responses listed trying to “push through” their anxieties.

90%

Are afraid of failing their tasks

With the tendency to overlook small steps of progress, and users end up feeling guilty even when they may have made notable progress.

76%

Are using a task management system

Users acknowledged that a form of structure from the task management application did help them keep track of their daily schedules.

Rethinking the experience.

I first attempted this project during my junior year of college, but looking at it two years later it was very clear to me that my initial solution really was not hitting the mark. Although my first designs were a good starting point, I saw the opportunity to expand and improve upon my original attempt, as well as show to myself the improvements I've made as a designer.

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updatedhome-1

Simplified home page

I removed the unnecessary clutter of the original home screen and simplified it down, better displaying what it is meant to be showing: one's steps!

Purposeful friction

If the purpose of Notch is to help users shift their thinking about task management, then the interaction and experience design need to help further that notion. I tweaked the information architecture so that each section is afforded it's own space, pulling in friction in the design that helps to evolve the experience and thinking.

Navigation-Opened

Tighter UI design

The updated UI design is much cleaner and more straightforward, with longer workflows pulled in where necessary.

tighterui
integration

Increased integration abilities

From widgets to the Apple Watch, I furthered the designs ability to integrate into a user's already busy schedule. Applications should exist in tandem with one's life, not in the way of it.

FINAL DESIGNS

CONCLUSION

Students drown their tasks in the idea of impossibility, limiting their own success.

Redesigning and evolving my original designs was a great exercise and challenge.

Revisiting Notch two years later presented a unique challenge that helped me not only continue to grow as a designer, but was a nice realization of where I came from and how much I have improved. Although happy with the results, I would love to further explore how Notch can integrate into evolving technology such as voice, and I would love to continue to expand the application's capabilities in regards to its UX thinking!

TIME FOR ONE MORE?

Jumpstarting mornings on a positive note.

joey

SORRY, NO MORE TO SEE

But here's more about me! I'm a user experience designer who isn't afraid of the hustle, but is terrified of the Goliath Birdeater Spider. I'm an early 2000's pop lover, and I make a mean buffalo chicken dip. Wanna talk? Get in touch!

SORRY, NO MORE TO SEE

But here's more about me! I'm a user experience designer who isn't afraid of the hustle, but is terrified of the Goliath Birdeater Spider. I'm an early 2000's pop lover, and I make a mean buffalo chicken dip. Wanna talk? Get in touch!