We all know task management is fairly boring and tedious. We also know that most mobile apps that come with any kind of organisational app are quite plain and stick to being simply functional. Which is great, but I believe with a little creativity they can be much more.
TaskHub is a task management and organising app designed with the user in mind to help raise productivity and and allow that user to have an overview of all their tasks within one space, easily sync-able to their laptop so they can be organised either on the go or when at home.
The task was to create an app for a fellow student based on issues they were facing on a day to day basis in order to help or assist that user.
In order to achieve this I had to carry out some interviews to gain insight as to what issues my user was having. I held 3 rounds of interviews starting fairly broad and open and then focusing more on particular points that stood out to me during each interview. What I discovered about my user was the below:
“I have multiple hobbies that are not your typical pick up and drop hobbies. They require attention fo result over periods of time.”
“I enjoy gardening, pottery and going to the gym but I am not finding the time with my current hectic schedule!”
“I would like to be able to manage all these things on one platform and be able to sync it to my laptop.”
Hearing this, I had to understand what my user is currently doing in order to address this problem. What are they doing on a day to day basis to be able to work on those hobbies? I conducted a little bit of creative testing and developed an experience map that allowed me to see, step by step, what my user does with their evening after getting home from class.
What came to light was that my user wasn’t actually doing much about it and her hobbies were being neglected due to focusing on work and deadlines that took higher priority. Through the course of the evening my user’s mood also dropped and productivity slumped when it actually came to completing the tasks resulting in being distracted, taking more frequent breaks and no staying focused on that task at hand. You can see this below:
OUTCOME STATEMENT & IDEATION
This helped me visualise her problem and I created a outcome statement to help guide the rest of my project.
Situation: My user is a 25 year old UX designer student living in London.
Problem: She is trying to manage handling her hobbies and side projects as well as not falling behind in class and keeping up with homework.
Solution — Because she is finding it a little difficult to organise, manage and keep track of what needs doing she downloads an app to help her keep on top of it all.
Outcome — She feels relaxed and productive as she can manage her tasks easily and prepare for the next day.
With this in mind I ideated some possible solutions so solver some of her issues or at least one, and then use that idea to build on after through additional ideation and iteration. Below you can see some of the ideas I had in mind. The middle bottom idea resonated well with me and I felt it had good potential so I stuck with that and built on it going forward:
PAPER PROTOTYPES & WIREFLOWS
Using the idea I developed some paper prototypes which I then progressed to a broad wireflow which showed the overall flow I wanted the app to have, starting with the welcome screen, some onboarding screens and finally the homepage where the majority of task management navigation occurs.
I conducted some usability testing to see if the general flow was intuitive and logical, or if the base idea was missing any fundamental concepts that the user expected there to be, the results of which I will go into more detail later on.
BRAND AFFINITIES, BRAND POSITIONING & STYLE GUIDES
Because my app concept was going through multiple stages of fidelity — paper concept to high fidelity, I considered the brand image of this app. What am I trying to portray to the user, what feel and style do I want the user to think of when using this app. I had to understand my users brand affinities in order to accomplish this. What brands and styles were they attracted to and why? I interviewed my user again and tried to gather ideas and from discussion, I was able to get an idea of which direction the branding for my app could go.
What particularly resonated with me from this was Tony Robbins and Google. Being successful, creative, thinking outside the box as well as simple and organised.
Pondering upon this information, I decided the 3 fundamental things I want to base my brand position for this app on was:
I created a moodboard based on all the brands discussed in establishing the brand affinities with my user and used it to explore and envision a potential colour palette and style for my app.
The only problem was the initial colours I used appeared to be too dull and un-engaging for the app. It didn’t fit right with the theme of task management. So I iterated upon the moodboard and sought another colour palette. This time going for colours that popped a little more and stood out. I had hit another roadblock. The feedback I received was that these colours were too bright and made things seem a little… “rave like”. Third times a charm? Well, it was in this case. Instead of going for colours within my moodboard, I took the colours and adjusted the shade and was left with something that worked. It fit the theme. They resembled stationary, folders, dividers — organisation. So, I ran with it!
And yes, I used Helvetica — don’t judge me.
THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF CREATION
I previously mentioned my paper prototypes and how they went through multiple stages up the fidelity ladder, starting at concept paper prototypes all the way up to high fidelity. I wanted to focus on one of they key screens here and you can see how they developed over time:
You can see above, moving from paper prototype to low/mid fidelity, there were some changes that were made based on usability testing and feedback. Some of the features were in awkward places or users didn’t understand why they existed. Another reason for the changes made at this stage was simply there were too many “clicking” steps and not enough customisable options. This relates to the “ongoing” button which was split into “repeat” and “all day” as well as providing the days of the week buttons to customise which day you would like the reminder to be set. Also, adding the option to have attachments such as documents, photos, videos etc. Instead of having a drop down menu to select priority levels of tasks, I did away with that and just made them into 3 individual buttons for ease.
The changes between low/mid fidelity to high, there were less changes to make in terms of functionality but more on the visual design. I added in shadows and flat icons and colours to make things appear more authentic, usable and pleasant to look at. I also worked on the typeface size and spacing of text as you can notice, in the low/mid fidelity the typeface size was small and hard to read.
Below is a short walkthrough of the app focusing on the elements stemming from the main navigation:
I believe the app helps address the problem my user had by providing options to retain a journal of their tasks all within one space instead of using multiple apps to stay on top of things.
It also allows my user a lighthearted space that isn’t dull to optimise their productivity and manage all their tasks as and how they see fit, being sync-able to a desktop version of the app should one be developed.
It provides the necessary information, not overloading my user with too much detail unless they wish to see it. I also believe it meets what I was seeking in terms of brand positioning for this app. It’s simple, it’s bright, and it’s colourful but not distracting.
Looking back at the final product, I am well aware that there is still room for improvement. Given more time on the project, I would have loved to have experimented more with colour palettes and typefaces. I really enjoyed the visual design element and feel that there is definitely space to modify these aspects of the app.
I would also have liked to explore the ability to share calendars and tasks amongst friends for larger projects and worked on ideating potential steps and screens for that. I would have also liked to really explore more into personal statistics of productivity and how the app could help track and show you levels of productivity between tasks and providing you changing visuals, much like that of Instagrams business account “insights” section which is constantly updating each day on your account activity and providing graphs of follower activity to help you optimise your posting times. I feel that it would be extremely helpful for those who would like to see the reality of how they are utilising time as oppose to how they THINK they are utilising time.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed making it! Thank you for time. Please feel free to get in touch with me to discuss the case study or anything else via the email address below: