College students have flexible and unpredictable schedules, which make them tricky to manage their time and tasks. While there are a lot of apps, students still struggle to translate the applications’ notifications, digital rewards, into their actual actions.
Students can create their session to make themselves visible on the map, this can give them the time analysis as well as digital social accountability on the map. Location sharing is designed to be easy to manage; Users can turn on/off their visibility on the map. When the user changes their location, the app automatically prompts a notification and disabled their presence in the map.
When seeking a study buddy in real-time, students can find a right person with several parameters: location on the map, profile information with their school/interests. With automatically fetched course names from Canvas API or manual search, users can filter the users on the map/list view.
Peermap makes get-to-know process for users more smooth, through instant messaging. Users can initiate the conversation within their session for setting meetups; when the session is over, all messages get reset.
What are hindrances that students encounter in working on their tasks?
How many minutes are people willing to commit to temporarily working on a task?
Analyzing seven competitors who provide task management services, we found that they help users’ concentration by mostly blocking digital distractions, visualizing and notifying priorities, and time analysis. We still find few services who is proven to effectively stimulate actual user action.
We also conducted 3-day online text diary study with 15 graduate students. Each diary has the prompts of 1) tasks they have been doing for the last 10 minutes, 2) how they made the decision of doing the task, 3) the degree of satisfaction of working on the task. We collected 81 diary entries and the data collected were analyzed in the Excel spreadsheet based on time of entry, word usage, and types of tasks. The study showed that students are willing to over-work to meet their work commitments.
On the surface, the students seemed well managing their tasks. The follow-up interviews with total eight diary study participants (6 females and 2 males, mean age = 25) revealed that people while they are good at planning their goals, breaks as well as social situations during the work were where students saw as a ‘productive procrastination’; they disrupt their work without notice, but students welcome this distraction without guilt.
Students manage well their plans in terms of goal-setting and prioritization; Some write them down on post-its, but most keep them in their heads. However, they struggle to get back to work after the break. Interview data revealed feelings of guilt come from not being able to fight distractions and having a 20-minute meal break easily turn into a 1-hour break and failing to return to work.
Students reward themselves for small achievements, socialization is one of the most common rewards. One participant reported using a reward system to help keep her on track whereby she would give herself a point every time she spent more time on a break.
With the project requirements in mind, our team gathered and began brainstorming different elements that we could implement into the solution. We individually brainstormed different ideas on post-its for each requirement for approximately seven minutes then came together as a team and clustered similar ideas together in order to identify common themes.
We went through one-month of design iteration and each week we performed different evaluation methods to listen user feedback and implement as a prototype:
One of the biggest questions of our research was around the social parameter requirements of student users. Our initial assumption was that users have a central concern around the privacy, but through the usability testings, we found that most users were open to meet new friends from the application to meet new friends and get help.
Many users wanted the practicality of the application; They wanted to meet person they can get help or information about the courses. Our final design includes both class-based and interest-based search for the profile.
When we face disruption on any design decision, we always go for mini usability testings to try out the application and see how the users interact with the application. Surveys and usability testings have been our compass to make important UX decisions. If the responses from users were different from our design, we immediately implemented to the design and re-tested.