Defining and specifying the problem in the area of pathological use of digital solutions negatively affecting the physical or mental health of young people.
We wanted to find and study a group of people most exposed to the health consequences of prolonged exposure to screens. Based on the analysis of available reports and statistics on the use of the Internet by people, we decided to look for persons who:
- are aged 24-35,
- spend more than 4 hours at work every day at the computer,
- feel that work affects their health,
- spend their free time online,
- feel discomfort related to the lack of Internet access
The study aims to answer the following questions:
- How do office workers use the Internet in their spare time?
- To what extent does the use of the Internet in free time deteriorate the physical condition of employees?
- What ailments related to using the Internet do office workers suffer?
- How does Internet use reduce the well-being and homeostasis of office workers?
Interestingly, during the analysis of the data collected by IDI research, we concluded that the assumptions we adopted turned out not to be the actual problem of the respondents. The respondents did not associate the long hours of work in front of the computer with their health. Most of them showed awareness of taking care of the physical activity. Problems start to resonate in the interviews, especially in the area of online entertainment activity. In the context of online presence, respondents emphasized the pointless waste of time in social media and low self-motivation to cope with breaking the loop. Some of them tried to limit such “wasted time” but were unable to persevere in the new resolutions. There was no motivation. Often it was the long-established habit that was to blame for browsing social media – especially Facebook.
- wants to waste less time on the web
- wants to control the time spent on the Internet activities
- wants to use phone better in short periods
- spends more time online than previously assumed
- smartphone interfere with social gatherings
- cannot manage the time spent on the web
- the overabundance of internet activity possibilities
Initially, we identified the three most important values of our application:
- support in changing the habit of using FB
- motivation to shift the habit
- minimalist look
However, in the next stages of the process, it turned out that the flexibility of the solution and the local context of use is more important than the minimalist look.
When creating the strategy, we used the Value Proposition Canvas and Business Model Canvas. I actively looked for inspiration, competition, and prepared benchmarks. All these activities made me realize how wide I should look to define and secure business goals in the designed solution.
MVP is the simplest version of the application that will help reduce the time spent on Facebook on mobile phone during working hours. We wanted to use it to check whether supporting social/environmental goals is a motivation to reduce the use of Facebook for office workers.
The use of gamification and the use of a daily Facebook time limit means that users who do not exceed the limit will be rewarded with points. The number of points collected will translate into the possibility of planting a tree in Wrocław. The progress in achieving the goal will be illustrated by the animated tree, growing with the number of points collected, and the counter of all trees planted in the program.
Thanks to working with scenarios and user stories, we have identified the most important functionalities of our application:
- Overall ranking and user statistics
- A counter that measures the remaining time to be used on FB
- Timeout notifications
- Possibility to select a time period (working time)
- Login to remember the results
- Virtual badges rewards
- Support for the tree planting campaign in Wrocław
When designing solutions in the group, we used the design studio technique and visual thinking. More than 200 screens were drawn, and even so during prototyping, new ideas for improvement appeared. In this case I try to follow simplicity, usability and accessibility principles and verify it with the user at the earliest possible stage.
The prototype has been done in Axure RP 8. I learned this program from scratch. Pretty quickly, I was able to use more than just the primary functions of the program. I used logic and functions with variables to do prototype similar to real interaction. I also helped other people on and off the team. I was responsible for designing the statistics and settings part.
As interface elements I decided to use:
1. Notifications informing about the end of the set time of using Facebook (in the case of browsing Facebook).
2. A calendar for embedding a person in the time and context of the passing time.
3. Emoticons that shows the success or failure of the day (green happy, red sad or white while the time is still counting) to motivate people to collect successes (more green emoticons).
4. The ability to check daily weekly or stage statistics in the application,
5. Forest screen to provide information about individual points already collected and those collected by the entire community.
6. Ranking to allow to track own performance against others.
For me, the most exciting part of the process, which is verifying the almost ready solution with people. During usability tests, I experienced “aha moments” when features well known for me, turned out to be unclear for the respondents. They were lost in the interface or did not know how to complete the test’s task.
That was problematic:
Unclear time calculation method.
The active button is not highlighted in the application menu.
The unclear chart in statistics.
Calendar data incomprehensible.
Unclear way to transfer points to planted trees.
The respondents liked:
The idea of the application – support in changing the habit by planting trees.
Community – being part of a community that cares about the environment.
Tree – animation of a tree growing on the screen.
After analyzing the tests,all the critical and relevant errors have been corrected.
In addition to defending our work, we made a short film about our solution. It was my idea and execution.
What have I learned.
First of all, I went through a complete model design process. I already know what its parts look like and which of them cause me the most problems and which give me the most satisfaction. Secondly, I realized how much work and thinking is required to design a product or process, and that the work of a designer requires analytical thinking, the ability to work with people, inventiveness, visual thinking, and empathy, both for the client and user, and a lot of willingness to learn, commitment, and flexibility.
The most important things I experienced during this project are
Collaboration in a group – without it, everything would collapse.
Receiving and giving feedback in the group, division of responsibilities, mutual trust, commitment.
Support of an experienced mentor – in case of doubt, I could always count on a more mature point of view.
Satisfaction in usability studies when it turns out what works for people and what doesn’t.
“Done is better than perfect” – I understood that perfectionism will not work here.
In addition to the materials obtained during studies, I was looking for knowledge in additional sources.