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Empowering Knowledge Workers: Overcoming Stuckness

Type of project: Teamwork of 4 people

Duration: 4 months

My role: Developed the market analysis, Conducted research, Gathered qualitative and quantitative data, Developed personas, Designed one of the low-fidelity prototypes, Developed the journey map, Developed the concepts, Designed the medium fidelity of the final prototype, Created the presentation

Intellectual property owner: Microsoft Research and DFP

Project Brief

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. The aim of this project was to design interventions to help knowledge workers overcome obstacles and get "unstuck" in their work.


We used a human-centered approach and qualitative and quantitative approaches in gathering data.

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:

  • the Coach

  • the Pill

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". We designed two prototypes. 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.


The findings and design recommendations for future interventions were handed over to the client and presented at the DFP showcase.

Bridging the Gap - Identifying Design Opportunities in Current Productivity Tools

This project's intellectual property is owned by Microsoft Research and DFP. Therefore, the details of the work cannot be shared.

DFP 55K Project - Presenting 'Designing for Getting Unstuck' - Cohort 2020 Video Presentation

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