Mixed Method to Designing for Getting "Unstuck"
Partner with Microsoft Research to Understanding Strategies and Designing Interventions for Knowledge Workers
Four graduate students collaborated with Dr. Shamsi Iqbal from Microsoft Research to complete this project as a team. The aim of this project was to design interventions to help knowledge workers overcome obstacles and get "unstuck" in their work. Knowledge workers often face cognitive demands in their work, and being "stuck" on a task can lead to stress and dissatisfaction. To design effective interventions, we first needed to understand the strategies that workers use to overcome obstacles.
We used a human-centered approach and qualitative and quantitative approaches in gathering data. To understand knowledge workers' experiences with being "stuck" on tasks and the strategies they use to overcome obstacles, We collected data through:
conducting informal interviews
conducting a survey with 54
analyzing existing tools in the market that support "unstuck"
Based on the findings, we designed and evaluated two low-fidelity prototypes:
They differed in the level of choice presented to users when suggesting strategies to get "unstuck".
We conducted a usability study with nine participants to evaluate the prototypes.
Our survey findings showed that being "stuck" was most often characterized as "not being able to continue to make progress on a task". Participants' most common strategy for overcoming obstacles was to take a digital or physical break, though they also noted that the most effective strategy often depended on the situation. In the prototype evaluation, participants appreciated the specific, personalized strategies presented by the Pill design but valued having more agency and choice in the Coach design. Ultimately, we concluded with design recommendations for future interventions to help knowledge workers overcome obstacles and get "unstuck".
Overcoming the Struggle - Empowering Knowledge Workers to Get Unstuck
Bridging the Gap - Identifying Design Opportunities in Current Productivity Tools
Persona 1- Uncovering the Needs of Knowledge Workers by Personifying the Target User for Design Research
Persona 2- Uncovering the Needs of Knowledge Workers by Personifying the Target User for Design Research
Persona 3- Uncovering the Needs of Knowledge Workers by Personifying the Target User for Design Research
DFP 55K Project - Presenting 'Designing for Getting Unstuck' - Cohort 2020 Video Presentation