Data.Gov is an HR management website, which assists users to easily create and restore company employees' information. Also, in this design challenge, I consider that visually prioritizing tasks and document management functions.
UX researcher & UI Designer
Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe XD
The goal is to design a mobile sending motivation quotes and help user can freely express their inner thoughts to do introspection with user-friendly accessibility. Further, it can successfully assist users’ self-discipline and to achieve their personal goals.
Let's think about how to approach this problem. How the mobile can application motivate users? 🤔
There are a couple of different methods to assist people self-discipline and spark their motivation, and I chose to create a motivation mobile application with the planner and sending quote features, which support users to be able to write down their thoughts/deadlines/goals on mobile anywhere. Plus, hypothesizing that typing a journey or expressing ideas on mobile would be more flexible for users rather than grabbing a piece of paper and a pen to physically write them word by word.
After making the raw direction, let's make a couple of assumptions and then iterate research later to prove if they are accurate!
Assume that users who would like to use this motivated application are with high self-discipline. The target users of MotivateMe will be who desires to be performed in a better way in life.
Assume that users would appreciate a planner feature for self-improvement. A planner feature can drive them to achieve personal goals more clearly.
Assume that users will appreciate receiving motivational quotes and prefer to customize own taste of quotes, and they can either like or dislike every single one. Liking or disliking a quote will assist the algorithm to calculate what types of quotes the user would be more interested in.
Assume that users would leave a comment to the quote that resonates which can support them to do introspection or self-discipline. The comment feature may help users to relieve pressure and express inner thoughts deeply.
Assume that users would like to review their previous favorite quotes. and well-organized categories. The design should categorize those favorite quotes well, and users are able to easily search for the specific one.
The poupose of this research 🤔
The listing assumption with uncovered questions, I needed to interview users to know what they are actually thinking and behaviors. For example, I assume that users who prefer receiving motivation quotes, tend to have habits of writing planner. I need to clarify if my assumption is valid and ensure the direction is right for designing the mobile application further. I quickly interview a couple of people I know who do a personal schedule. Asking questions like, “please walk through how you do planner habit”, “what is your way to get motivated when you don’t feel like doing anything,'' or “how do you think reading inspiring quotes to motivate self? ” I was able to nail down user behavior, needs, and goals to synthesize them into user types below.
What do I find out in this research? 😮
After the quick interview, I categorize three types of “planner”: The memorizer, The practical doer, and the mix recorder.
“I don't do either mobile or paper planner that much to help myself remember the deadline. I just grab the most convenient way for me at the moment to memorize the to-do list and finish them.”
These memorizers only do planners when they are extremely busy with life, and most of the time their brains will memorize the priorities rather than spending extra time to type them out. They perform efficiently in life, and if they need to remember the important stuff, they tend to choose the most convenient way to do it based on the moment. In short, they need a simple and clear wireframe to let them easily naturally take notes. Simplicity, ease, and efficiency are the first elements they need.
Memorizers will choose the best to remind themselves. For instance, when they are sitting at a desk, grabbing a piece of paper and write down initial stuff what they need to complete will be the first choice for them to do the planner. On the other scene, While walking on the street, something important comes out unexpectedly, memorizers would pull out their phone from pocket and type them on mobile note application. What is the most convenient will be their first choice.
THE PRACTICAL DOERS
“I write the deadlines in my calendar to help me visually prioritize what I need to do first. I refer to it a lot throughout the day. pretty much writing in my calendar gives me an urgency to do it. I can just tackle them in order. When I'm not feeling like it I won't do it. I motivate myself by setting smaller tasks to complete when I want to tackle it.”
Practical doers also perform efficiently in their life, yet they more frequently write planners to remind themselves compared to memorizers. They also believe listing the deadline on a mobile device is faster and timesaving rather than a paper calendar. They love to tackle those deadlines in order, which gives them a sense of being motivated. To conclude, they want to visually prioritize their schedule and list things in order, so they need the wireframe easily to be able to organize priority order and do editing for any deadline updates.
The interviewer, practical doer, mentioned grabbing his planner from the backpack and flip it on the right page sometimes is a pain, and he rather just typing draft deadlines on devices for visually prioritizing schedule.
THE MIX RECORDERS
“I use paper planners and apps. Usually, I'll put down my daily schedule on mobile calendar. On the other hand, the details of the schedule and personal deep thoughts would be written down on paper planner.”
The mix recorders use both mobile and paper planners, and each of them has a slightly different purpose. Handwriting on paper planner assists them to think deeper, more creative and clarify their mind. On the other hand, typing daily planner for them on a mobile device is more like a quick reminder for them. However, sometimes, they made comments on their digital planner to check out what they have done in a day. The mix recorders may need a digital planner which they can flexible either add a comment or creating a simple planner depends on the task they are working on.
Mix recorders mention that they enjoy both versions of planners, the digital and the traditional. Either quickly typing on mobile or writing details with hand on paper, both of them are helpful to process their minds and clarify the plans.
I also quickly viewed other planner mobile applications and physical planners that interviewers have mentioned during interviews:
Notes App from iPhone, Things 3 App, and Notes App from android phone, and paper passion planner.
What do I learn from the competitive review? 😮
This processing helps me to understand more competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, then it gives me a better sense of how to start designing the wireframe for different categories of users.
I made a general list of the processing of how users make planners. Also, keep it in mind how this app keeps motivating and efficient to them. I point out a couple of requirements for visually prioritizing a planner and walked through a user flow of it.
Design a mobile application that inspires people with a planner and sending quotes features to and actually does the motivation works to encourage them to achieve personal goals. Further, it can successfully assist users’ self-discipline and to achieve their personal goals.
After going through the research and user flow?
I began to see where each type of users converged and diverged in their path to do a planner. Initial ideas began to form based on these needs:
IDEA 1: COMBINATION OF MINIMALIST QUOTE AND PLANNER FEATURE
The memorizers need a quick and simple way to create a planner. They may need minimalist wireframe design of the planner and able to see all of the deadlines once they haven’t completed yet. A listing style of planner feature, which presenting deadline in priority orders, does keep things simple for users. A simple quote and planner would be essential.
Combination of quote and planner feature
IDEA 2: DETAIL FEATURE
The mix recorders need a flexible planner, which they are able to add detail anytime they want. The detail feature will assist those mix recorders to remember details of the to-do list.
IDEA 3: MOVING PRIORITY FEATURE
Since the practical doers value so much to visually prioritize their own deadlines, a feature being able to move deadlines around easily would be their needs. So they don't have to delete and restart another planner to change the order.
Planner'detail feature & switch order feature
IDEA 4: DEFAULT SETTING, UNCOMPLETED TASKS
The memorizers and practical doers would write a planner when they need to remember important tasks for their convenience. It means they do it when they need instead of doing it every day. The time for the planner feature should be flexible and those uncompleted tasks should automatically be saved for the next day. So, they don't need to restart a planner to keep track of completing their deadlines on time.
IDEA 5: COMMENT FEATURE
To continue the idea of detail features, mix recorders like to express their thoughts on paper to clear their minds. Some interviewees also mentioned that they randomly read a quote that they resonate with, and then they would like to write once a while. They may need a feature of writing down their thoughts on the quote inspired them to assist self-discipline.
Quote's comment feature
What do I have learned from the project?
After the quick interview, the result of users’ feedback against my original assumption that sending quotes will motivate people, and reset the goal of this mobile application later on. It turned out I focused on understanding the planner behavior in this researching to drive users’ self-discipline. (Before approaching the series of questions about planner habit, I asked users what drives them to complete tasks? The deadline and a sense of emergency do the work to drive their self-discipline.) During the interview process, I was surprised that in general people prefer to quickly record deadlines on mobile rather than writing them down on paper planner due to convenience. Based on user feedback and assumptions. This wireframe focuses more on the planner feature. I tended to design the wireframe with minimalist style and ignored the complicated schedule timeline. The primary style of these wireframes keeps looking straightforward with a single editing button.
Traditional versus digital planner?
If writing processing is a way to clarify thoughts in mind and typing deadline on mobile is a way to remember - the writing behavior falls into a mental model of “thinking”, and the typing behavior falls into a mental model of “memorizing” Users in thinking mood needs to clarify information in detail and organize them with orders. On the other hand, users in memorizing mood need a medium to assist them by reminding them. It makes sense why users prefer their mobile planner to be simple and quick.