Monday, December 3, 2012

User Interface Design: Focus

I first wanted to create a tool for writers.  After researching tools that currently exist for writers, I realized that distraction is a huge problem for writers.  Not just writers, either, it's a problem for a lot of people while doing computer-based tasks.  People may be motivated, but they seem to be easily distracted by the other things they can do while on the computer.  People know that they will become distracted, but in the moment, they do not prevent it.

Then I got to researching what other tools exist, and how other people have tackled this problem.  I found Freedom, an application that locks the user away from the internet for an amount of time set by the user.  Scrivener, a tool for writers, has an isolation mode to avoid visual distractions.  Write or Die is an application that forces productivity by providing consequences for distraction or procrastination.  Individuals also will set up systems of reminders and rewards for themselves.

With Focus, the user can choose up to four programs to be limited to for their selected time.  If they try to access a program other than the ones they picked, they will be met with the barriers they selected, or, if they selected not to allow any distraction, they will be told to get back to work.  Ideally, while making their way through the barriers, the user would realize that they are becoming distracted and go back to work.

There are two different techniques that users will utilize with Focus.  The first is Sprinting.  Sprinters will choose a short period of time, choose their programs, choose their barriers, and choose not to have game breaks.  
 The second method is Marathoning.  Marathoners will choose a longer period of time, choose their program, and their barriers to distraction, chooses a game and game intervals.  They will benefit from short breaks from their task, being more able to focus on their work while they are working.  However, if they set up a game break and choose not to play the game, there will be an option to skip the game.
 Focus is a tool to prevent distraction with computer-based tasks, and many people could benefit from it.

1 comment:

  1. This would be really cool. You should find a developer.

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