Coronavirus has led to the largest quarantine in human history. With no definite end in sight, we need a solution that will help us and those we care about build new routines and habits during these hard times and be ourselves again.
'Morning' is a browser extension that helps users build healthy habits by locking the internet browser for short intervals, and encouraging to focus on a more energizing activity
- Coronavirus restrictions have jolted people out of schedules, destabilizing life routines
- Days have blurred together during quarantine and individuals are adopting unhealthy habits
- Individuals are spending way too much time on there computer screens, without taking healthy breaks
- Create daily rituals for users to focus on small, doable, self-help practices
- Help users build healthier habits that are gently reinforced daily, rebuilding important rhythms in life
- Demonstrate how taking breaks from the screen can be beneficial to one's mental health
Co. Lab is a cohort-based product bootcamp where a designer, developer, and product manager are guided by tech industry mentors to build and launch a product. Our team was mentored by Charlie Feng, co-founder of Clearco, a Canada-based venture capital firm that's automated the startup capital approval and investment process.
Creating a User-Centered Product
MEET OUR USER, TED
"As a user, I want to know how to build a simple routine that encourages more structure in my day so that I will experience less negative emotion and more positive emotion."
"As a user, I want to build habits that give me momentum in my day. With this momentum, I want to be able to feel more motivated in my daily activities and reduce the new bad habits that I have developed (i.e. excessive social media use, eating too much takeout)"
- User has tools to create creative reminders/encouragement for habits they have chosen:
- Sample solutions: this reminder can take many forms passive, active, active and forced, etc.
- Being able to access visualization of their structured day in-app, sending invites to their existing calendar - passive solution
- A gentle reminder, a virtual tree dies - active solution
- Locking Google Chrome screen (ex: Strictworkflow), social accountability feature - active and forced solution, Etc.
- User can see reminders/encouragements they have chosen
- User can update and change the reminders/encouragements have chosen
- User can give feedback as to what’s working/not
- Stretch goal: User can customize their own reminders/encouragement tools, data feedback to know how well we’re doing and iterate
HOW ARE PEOPLE FARING DURING THE PANDEMIC?
Psychologists have conducted extensive studies about the human capability of forging new habits, and struggles when unlearning bad habits. We conducted a surveying revealing just how much individuals were struggling throughout the pandemic
HOW ARE PEOPLE RESPONDING TO OTHER RITUAL BUILDING APPS?
To find out, we studied a broad selection of apps and paid close attention to user feedback, incorporating key requests in our prototypes.
THE 'NEW TAB' SCREEN REAL ESTATE IS SACRED
FEATURES LIKE 'CUMULATIVE PROGREESS' AND 'STREAKS' INCENTIVIZED USERS TO MAINTAIN MOMENTUM
WHAT MAKES A GOOD HABIT-BUILDING EXPERIENCE?
- Users don't want to give up their new tab screen
- Users don't want to update information every day
- Users don't want to authenticate, or create an account
- Users want the ability to edit and reorder activities
- Users want to start focusing on their health more and climb out of pandemic fatigue
- Users already use tech and are open to using chrome extension positivity tools
With only a short window of opportunity, it was imperative that we identified the main features of a successful product, prioritizing which were most essential to implement first, and which we could push back until later.
Our goal was to launch a minimum viable product as soon as possible, and then incorporate our real users feedback into the product, slowly refining it over time. This style of product launching is often referred to Agile Development
Collaborating on a remote project came with its own learnings. A fully remote team, tackling a problem that spawned from the advent of fully remote work, led to some very meta, and very interesting discussions. It was nice to work on something other than a website, web app, or mobile app; I think Chrome Extensions are an oft overlooked product category, and I found it enlightening to learn about the possibilities when extending the capabilities of the browser. It certainly stoked my curiosity and imagination.