Professionals and students have to keep track of multiple platforms to plan what needs to be done, by when. They may use a calendar for scheduling, agenda or to-do list for personal tasks, project management tool for team coordination, and notes app to capture their thoughts. With all the context switching and cross updating, more time is spent planning how to work than getting the work done.
Context switching between work management tools leads to more time being spent planning how to work than getting the work done.
Boost productivity and free more time for individuals by reducing the time and effort it takes to manage work.
Total amount of time spent on project management tools per user per day
Professionals and students work in both personal and team contexts, often requiring the use of multiple tools. A software developer, for example, often switches between multiple tools to manage their work, such as Github to track issues, the team’s project management tool to view assigned tasks, and their personal notes or to-do list.
The target users are working professionals and students.
- Combines project management tools with notes and team knowledge base
Organize tasks and notes into workspaces
- Supports only one way integrations (importing data)
No integrations with education platforms
Over 100 integrations with productivity apps
Feature packed for work management
- Geared towards teams—users must first create a team workspace before creating projects/tasks
No integrations with education platforms
To scope the problem, the team and I conducted interviews with fellow coworkers and classmates, with the goal of understanding their daily workflows including the current set of tools they use for task tracking in teams, and their experiences with personal productivity apps.
What tool or app does your team use for project management? What do you think of it?
Could you see yourself using this app to track personal tasks? Why or why not?
How do you keep track of your personal tasks and to-dos? What do you like about it?
Have you used other personal productivity apps in the past? What was your experience with it and what caused you to switch away?
It takes too much effort and time to update productivity tools.
It’s difficult to prioritize and choose what to start working on.
Tools used for team project management are often not viable or too complex for personal use.
Task tracking and notes are two important functions of daily work.
Projects and tasks have different scopes and requirements. For example, a task to add a new feature to an app would have a much larger scope and timeline than a personal task such as buying groceries. The app must be able to account for this by allowing multiple project management methods.
The app should be a single source of truth for all the tasks that the user is responsible for. To accomplish this, the app must support integrations with project management tools used by teams such as Trello and Asana. For students, this means that the app must sync with popular education platforms, such as Google Classroom or Brightspace by D2L.
Work management tools take effort and time to maintain. On top of that, long lists of tasks can feel overwhelming and discourage users from choosing one to start.
How might we reduce the effort required to update project boards and to-do lists?
How might we help users prioritize tasks?
Multiple project management options
Integrations with project management tools and education platforms
Reduce the effort required to update project boards and to-do lists
Automatically suggest prioritization of tasks
Kanban style task management
Sidebar allows for widgets like the pomodoro timer shown, or a calendar view
Sidebar is modular and customizable
Introduces complexity in setup
Less space available for kanban board task management
Sidebar could be a space dedicated to the most important actions and information
Tab navigation allows for full width space for task management and notes
Key actions and information are hidden behind navigation items
Due dates easily visible in the sidebar, helping with task prioritization
While the toggle helps users find the task management method that works best for the project, it is not an action that would be frequently used and can instead be moved to the project creation flow
For this early iteration, I explored using customizable widgets in the sidebar, with the pomodoro timer and notes as examples. While the modular sidebar allows for customization, it would potentially detract from the experience as more setup would be required. A feature such as notes also needs far more space than the widgets allow for. These considerations led to the next iterations below.
This second option introduces a calendar component showing upcoming due dates to help users with task prioritization. When tasks in this calendar component are hovered, the corresponding card in the kanban board should lift off the screen with a subtle animation. The red pills signify the amount of time left before a task is due, while the colored tags for tasks represent the category that the task belongs to. The logo in certain tasks indicates that it was synced/imported from an external platform. I also designed the sidebar to include a dedicated notes section, following after familiar note-taking desktop apps such as Apple Notes and Evernote.
For the latest iteration, I designed the sidebar as a floating card to increase contrast with the background and more clearly distinguish it from the main content on the screen. As one of the pain points from the user interviews was that task tracking tools are time-consuming to update, I explored potential ways to make using the tool as effortless as possible. Through the input field below “Project Board”, users can quickly create new tasks complete with tags and due dates simply by entering prompts similar to the placeholder text (“English essay due Nov 16 :english:”).
Prototype and Flows
View Figma prototype
To ensure consistency in the visual design process and create a strong brand for users, I created a logo and established branding guidelines.
The logo is inspired by the pomodoro timer as well as the cross section of the pomelo fruit (I originally called this project Pomelo!). In the early stages of the project, the pomodoro timer was a big inspiration which led to further thinking on how to help people be more productive.
The goal of the landing page is to capture signups and clearly explain the value proposition of the app.