In daily life, tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, and planning impact well-being when optimized.
Challenges arise, causing stress and time constraints. Establishing routines, such as workouts, faces hurdles like procrastination. For working parents, decision fatigue hampers effective daily planning.
- 65% find laundry time-consuming
- Shoppers spend 41 minutes per grocery visit
- Forming habits, like consistent workouts, takes 66 days on average, emphasizing the need for sustained support.
- Constant decision-making leads to decision fatigue, affecting daily choices.
User Pain Points
We wanted to target through different groups of people: students, working professionals, and parents/caregivers. We conducted a total of 5 user interviews along with 16 surveys to get an understanding of how our users were currently managing their schedules and planning out their days.
There seemed to be quite a few barriers to planning and tracking tasks such as feeling overwhelmed by large tasks, not having a set routine, and having multiple commitments to name a few.
However, amongst all of the barriers, we were able to highlight a few key insights that kept popping up when it came to how users motivated themselves to stay on track:
- Breaking tasks down and tracking progress was a useful way to provide a sense of accomplishment and motivation
- Accountability (external or internal) and the fear of disappointing someone else or having to face consequences for not completing a task was a good motivator to start a task
- Being able to visually see a list of the tasks for the day acted as a good reminder and helped participants to feel less overwhelmed
Our preliminary user research also showed us that a majority of our survey participants were already using technology in some way to track tasks or plan their day. However, many seemed to have an issue with the sheer number of apps that they needed to use to track different aspects of their day (i.e. to-do lists, calendars, habit tracking). With this in mind, our team set about designing an app that could consolidate the functionality of all of these different apps into an “all-in-one” daily planner.
Based on the feedback from our user research, we knew that this “all-in-one” daily planner needed to have the following features:
- Users needed to be able to visually see and track their tasks and schedule in order to achieve a sense of accomplishment at completing a tasks, as well as visually remind them of what was coming up next in their schedule
- Users needed to feel a sense of accountability. One way of achieving this was through reminders or prompts to remind users of tasks that were coming up. Another popular aspect we decided to incorporate into our app was an app “mascot” in the form of our AI robot Loopy. While Loopy could act as a helpful tool within the app, he could also provide a sense of accountability for users similar to the duolingo owl “Duo”. For the product direction, we would love to eventually gamify the app and take advantage of the attachment that users might feel to a particular character and use it to encourage a positive feedback loop of accountability leading to user engagement and task completion.
- Incorporate all aspects of daily planning such as scheduling events, planning out tasks, adding to-do items, and tracking daily habits.
After much discussion, we were able to narrow down which features we wanted to prioritise for our MVP:
Lofi & Hifi Mockups
Iterative Design Learnings
We went through two rounds of user testing to make sure that we could produce the best MVP possible. For both rounds we focused on the following flows:
- Adding an event/creating an event
- Adding a habit/creating a habit
- AI Features for the product future (i.e. Smart Tips and AI Assist)
The first round of testing gave us the following feedback:
We decided to prioritise the features that would be seen in our MVP (i.e. adding an event and adding a habit). With the feedback for our AI features being implemented later on. We added the following changes to the second prototype:
- Creating a visual cue to show the user that a card has been created or moved
- Adding a monthly view on the homepage so that users can navigate between dates
- Changing the wording on the “Any Time” and “No Reminders” toggle
The second round of user testing was met with the following feedback:
Once again, we prioritised making changes to the features that would be seen on our MVP. A visual indicator was added to the monthly view and the end date option was removed for the “All Day” toggle. We changed the “Set Reminder” toggle to off with a disabled clock. This would make the flow more intuitive so that when users toggle the reminder on the clock becomes enabled for users to set a reminder time.
Where is it hosted?
- Frontend: Netlify
- Backend: Render and elephantSQL
What is your tech stack?
High level journey of a request
What was the hardest part of development?
- James: The hardest part for me was figuring out how to asynchronously work with a team and working in an Agile working environment.
- Augustine: The most difficult part was working from non relational database to a relational database.
Does your app have any scaling issues?
- Augustine: Yes
What are some key takeaways?
- James: Communication is a huge part of working asynchronously. It becomes crucial for maintaining alignment within the team, sharing progress updates, clarifying requirements, and resolving issues.
- Augustine: Communication is a key takeaway. Also having the mind to learn new ideas has really helped in solving technical issues.
With a live version of the product we want to now open up Loop to the public and start getting it into people’s hands. We are thinking of getting a group of early adopters to integrate Loop into their day-to-day life and we would check-in with them to collect feedback.
As a team we agreed to continue iterating on the product and expanding onto the feature set until we agree the product is complete. We all felt like we worked together as a team and built a strong working relationship.
Product Manager Learnings:
As a product manager you need to be proactive and overcommunicate and make sure the team is getting what they need to be successful.
When everyone is committed and aligned it’s amazing what we can do in 8 weeks
Getting to know teammates as people helps give tough feedback and also have a space to also receive feedback from everyone else.
Through this project, I’ve learned how important it is to communicate. During the brainstorming sessions where the team and I were trying to figure out how to address our problem statement, I really appreciated everyone pitching in their ideas and figuring out what would be feasible for our product given our time crunch. I think this really made a difference in feeling like everyone was on board and working towards the same goal.
I learned how important communication is, especially when working in an asynchronous environment.
This project showed me that when working asynchronously, you may have to adapt to certain situations like different time zones, work schedules, and communication styles.
Being open minded and understanding can really help manage expectations versus reality
I have learnt how important it is to communicate when working with a team.
During the course of this project, I understand the need to ensure that everyone is kept informed and that tasks are clearly articulated, providing each person with a clear picture of what you are doing.
Working in different time zones is taxing and requires sacrifice but it is cool when goals are meant.