How can we improve the experience of people with busy schedules in keeping track of and celebrating important dates and milestones of their loved ones by making it quick and more efficient?
Having meaningful relationships is a fundamental human need. People want to feel connected, supported, and valued by others. Their desire to maintain these close relationships inspires the need to remember and celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or other special occasions involving their loved ones.
However, maintaining these relationships is not easy in today’s fast-paced and demanding world. People have to juggle multiple roles and responsibilities. That’s why people look for solutions that keep pace with their busy lives and ensure their relationships stay strong and healthy. They need solutions that can fit into their busy schedules and make communication and celebration easier and more enjoyable.
At first, I assumed that this problem was already solved by many existing tools and that it was not worth exploring. However, as I dug deeper, I discovered that the challenge was still real and had an adverse effect on many relationships. Though digital tools have facilitated communication, they have also created a problem of information overload, which can make people forgetful and miss out on meaningful celebrations.
The need for a tool to tackle these complex challenges goes beyond mere convenience. It’s about the broader impact on emotional health and the quality of relationships. A solution that makes celebrating important dates and milestones easier and more enjoyable is crucial. It’s about easing the stress of busy lifestyles, promoting mental well-being, and strengthening the bonds of personal relationships.
User Pain Points
I conducted a survey where I got 13 responses and conducted two (2) interviews via Zoom to dig deeper into the process and pain points.
It is human nature to forget things, but the emotional stress that arises from forgetting key dates of loved ones can be overwhelming. That’s why people make use of various tools to help them remember this important information.
100 % of respondents believe that it is important to track key dates and milestones of their loved ones,
46.2% of respondents use calendar apps
23.1% of respondents use mobile notes
30.2% of respondents say they rely on their memory
100% of the respondents use at least two methods to keep track.
50% of respondents said that these methods can be ineffective sometimes. Some of the reasons are:
- not enough reminders or sound notification
- forgetting to label events
- The stress of checking from time to time
100% of respondents said they get positive emotional responses internally and from their loved ones when celebrating important dates.
The key insight I got was that Calendar apps are the most popular tools for tracking these dates. However, sometimes they can be ineffective as they might not get enough reminders from the apps and would still need to rely on other methods like reminder apps, mobile notes, physical journals and, in some cases, their memory to keep track of the dates.
Another important insight is that keeping track of these dates is as important as extending gestures of remembering and/or celebration to the recipient.
Landing on the Solution
From the user research insights, there's a need for a tool dedicated to storing and managing family dates and celebrations to ease the burden of multiple methods. Unlike the calendar apps used for general scheduling and planning, this tool will be specific to the need for planning or managing close personal connections.
Explanation of Solution
Making input easy and quick:
The tool will use existing platforms to gather information to streamline the process of writing the dates and details. The tool will leverage Facebook and Google Calendar and search for birthday dates and wedding Anniversaries to present to users to select from.
If the details are not on these platforms, there is an option for Voice command to add event details.
The voice input is an important feature because not only is it a time saver but also for accessibility and inclusivity.
Constant but subtle reminder options that would serve as a countdown to help users plan ahead. Push icon notifications for low-priority events and/or app icon colour change by order of proximity and high priority of upcoming events.
Green - A month away, Yellow -A week away, Red - A day.
These features can be adjusted by the user.
Provide suggestions on how to celebrate these dates to take away the stress of crafting messages from scratch, thinking of gift ideas, and date night inspiration.
The technology to build this tool is a question that needs to be addressed. While the obvious option is to build it as a mobile app, there is a need to think of a web version like a widget or Chrome extension. Because people with busy schedules spend time as much time on computers as they spend on smartphones.
Other features that can be considered are Voice reminders and shared calendars - where family members share a list of important dates. This will enhance bonding and encourage collaboration among family members.
Product Manager Learnings:
In just four weeks, I've gained valuable insights into the intricacies of building products that people will love and use. I focused on developing a comprehensive understanding of the product development process, particularly from a product manager's perspective. Delving into the finer details has been a refreshing reminder and a crucial step forward in my career.
As a product designer, a crucial takeaway from this project was the significance of prioritizing and understanding the problem before crafting solutions. When faced with a problem space that might already have existing solutions, it is imperative to thoroughly analyze them to enhance the user experience through thoughtful improvements.
Furthermore, prioritizing the user fosters humility and a service-oriented mindset. As a PM and designer, maintaining humility in understanding people's actual needs is paramount for effective service delivery.