Research showed that if it comes to learn new information even generally focused adults have vast problems with external distractions. In this design sprint, I came up with a high-level solution which consists of several parts to help people concentrate.
My approach is to combine learning with breathing, mindfulness and light meditation exercises. The combination gets supported by a product experience which is customized to the users' environment.
Education & Health
10 days design sprint (May 2020)
sole UX Designer (Study Case)
Mindfull's goal is to help people focus on learning any possible subject during any possible situation. Each lesson, no matter if created by the user or provided by Mindfull, contains several exercises before and during the study session, such as breathing, playful meditations and off-topic mind wake-up's. The sessions and activities are adjusted to the users' current situation, like riding the train, sitting in a busy café or studying with others and more. All together to integrate learning into peoples lifestyle and support actively situational focusing.
To gain a better general understanding of how adults approach learning, I conducted four interviews for this sprint. I held three in-person and one remote interview with participants between 27 and 33 years of age.
The participants' opinions and approaches towards studying and the use of study apps were extensive and diverse. It allowed me to synthesise that adults desire to increase the sufficiency of their preferred method of learning, instead of learning a new way of learning.
However, more importantly, I discovered a common major obstacle shared by the four interviewees. It is the lack of concentration and getting distracted by external influences regardless of each individuals' approach towards studying.
I feel easily distracted by everything external.
I feel distracted in the tram or on the go.
I learn from home most effectively.
Having identified this impactful issue, I decided to focus on improving the focus itself.
To help myself focus, I created a proto persona, for whom I designed possible solutions.
With Daniel in mind, I started to build first user flows on how to fulfil the task of learning new vocabulary.
The high-level-solution for decreasing the impact of external distractions consists out of several options. Some manually adaptable by the user as e.g. voice recognition and audio. Other determined by the product influencing how users engage with learning and focus exercises.
⁃ Enter learning screen
⁃ Choose to select or search for tag(s) to learn from
⁃ Choose additional tags to include (if desired)
⁃ Select time frame
⁃ choose presets for current environment
⁃ Decide about audio options
⁃ Engage with intro for exercise to focus
⁃ Start learning
⁃ Evaluate knowledge level
⁃ Engage with exercise to keep focusing
⁃ Continue learning
⁃ Finish learning
⁃ Decide what to do next
Iterative Wireframing to Prototyping
After multiple rounds of paper & pen wireframing, I decided upon certain outcomes for the translation into a digital mid-fidelity prototype in Figma. By increasing the functionality of the prototype, I could ensure more natural behaviours during the usability tests.
I conducted usability tests with four participants:
one remote moderated and three in-person moderated test with participants between 24-32 years of age.
To imitate and increase external distractions, the scenario included the playing of coffee-shop-background noises.
You are sitting in a cafe and want to use spare time to learn something about certain topics.
You left the cafe, but maybe you made some mistakes,
replay your last session.
The participants were able to complete both scenarios without significant frictions. However, repeating the focus exercises were commonly perceived as annoying.
As certainly the focus exercises are the crucial part of my design I ideated on three solutions.
Enabling users to switch off focus exercises entirely for specific environment modes or for just for one learn session.
Second, sharing awareness and enabling users to decide they are focused already, which hopefully increases their focused state even more.
Third, increasing the number of focus exercises to minimise repetition.