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Rutgers' TaskU

Accountability, Connectivity, Productivity

 

An app meant to aid student's physical and well-being by addressing their accountability, connectivity, and productivity. 

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Overview

My team and I worked for Rutgers University to design a new app called TaskU. A platform that fosters a sense of community among Rutgers students, enhancing their overall well-being and consequently increasing their connectivity, accountability, and productivity.

My Role

Timeline

Tools

The Team

I was responsible for the user research, sketches, wireframing, prototyping, and testing.

Fall semester, 2022

Figma, Miro

Sakshi MalaviyaAlexandra Katzenberger, Anannya Bhagat, Oyindamola Apata, & Sumi Shin.

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The TaskU team called the Pixel Chicks

Client's Proposal

Rutgers University proposed to design a program aimed at bettering student's mental and physical well being. They wanted a platform that would leverage technology to help students adjust from remote learning to campus life. As well as help students balance their academic and personal lives by connecting to the various resources and events offered by the University. 

Our Goal

To instill a sense of community within Rutgers students and ease their sense of well-being by exploring and addressing the potential causes of stress.

1

Interviews

2

Personas

3

Design Process

4

User Testing

Interview Phase

First, my team and I brainstormed what type of data and interview subjects we wanted to acquire. We were then able to craft an interview script with a minimum of 10 questions to explore the values, motivations, and daily habits of our target audience, Rutgers students. My team and I were able to interview multiple students around campus. My background in psychology helped a lot while conducting this research.

The Questions

  1. What causes you stress with school and life?

  2. What do you do to maintain your mental and physical well-being?

  3. How has the pandemic changed your mental and physical well-being?

Reasoning behind the Questions

  1. Question #1 was asked to help us explore the nuances that could be related to the potential problem of stress resulting from their academic and/or personal lives.

  2. Question #2 was asked to analyze how students handled their stressors and to see if they could combat their stressors by maintaining their health.

  3. Question #3 assessed the impact of the pandemic and remote learning on student health. With the way it was worded, it helped us compare pre- and post-pandemic responses to gauge any differences.

Interview 
Insights

We discovered something quite surprising. Despite the pandemic, it was not the sudden shift to remote learning that was causing the most stress. Familiar struggles such as missing deadlines, feeling overwhelmed with assignments, being unable to connect with friends and family seemed to be the common trend. Yet, it seemed that the students had a good understanding of their stressors and potential self-care solutions. However, the missing piece was accessible tools and accountability in putting their plans into action.

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User Insights from the Interview

Solutions

Through the user interviews, my team was able to derive three issues to address in our product.

Personas

Personas

To gain better insight of the participant's answers from the user interview, we divided the interview responses into 3 distinct clusters based on common themes and similarities. They helped us identify the needs and pain points of our users. We used these personas whenever we wanted to step out of ourselves and remind ourselves of what the users actually needed.

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Brianna's Persona

User Journey

We focused on 1 out of the three personas, who we named Brianna. She is a relatable undergraduate student who had trouble meeting deadlines because she was overwhelmed with assignments and exams and couldn’t find time to stay connected with friends and family to relieve the stress.

We made a journey map detailing a day in Brianna's life that highlighted how overwhelmed she felt because of her lack of time management. Her mornings start off in a rush as she races to class followed by her afternoons filled with exhaustion as she struggles to focus during lectures. Her evenings are filled with anxiety as she tries to unwind with friends but cannot because of the neglected assignments that she still needed to finish. Thus, her difficulty in staying accountable with her time hindered her productivity and connectivity with friends.

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Brianna's Journey Map

Design Process

Sketches

We began the the design process via a rapid generation of ideas of what we thought could be potentially added as a feature to the app. Our low-fidelity sketches were based on the initial user interviews, personas, and the journey map. Every team member brought forth different ideas and perspectives of the same goal. In the end, our ideas blended and fueled each other's growth.

In our ideation process, the sketches helped us brainstorm various possibilities that could enhance our product. Some of those features included the calendar feature, a social media feature, and Rutgers' events features all to address accountability, connectivity, and productivity.

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Low-fidelity Sketches

Wireframes

Using Figma, my team translated the sketches into low-fidelity wireframes.

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UI Design

My team's goal was to create a design that aligned with the motto we created for the app after the user interviews: "accountability, productivity, & connectivity." Thus, the main features of app included: a page for informing students about campus events, a calendar page to help manage their time, a tool for staying connected with their peers, and a feature for gamifying tasks to boost accountability and productivity.

To align with Rutgers's colors, we choose red to be the primary color for the UI design. We combined red hues with gray and white undertones to keep the app easy on the eyes. 

Further, we drew inspiration from popular apps to design the UI, so the users can have an easier time navigating the app with the familiar tools. For example, I used Google Calendar to create the calendar feature and the coupon section of popular apps to design the points page that gamified the experience. Additionally, my teammates found inspiration from popular social media apps such as Instagram and BeReal to design the peer connectivity page. 

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Homepage & Events Screen

Students are able to find upcoming events at Rutgers University. 

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Calendar screen + Check-in & out

Allows users to add & keep track of their events. Users can check in & out of events to hold them accountable to their schedules. 

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Camera, Friends, & Discover

While checking-in to an event, students are prompted to take a picture which they can choose to post or not. The Friends & Discover page allows users to see what their friends & other Rutgers students are up to, respectively.

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Points & Rewards
Screen

Students get points for completing tasks and can receive rewards with it.

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User Testing

General Feedback

Testers understood the objective behind creating the app and, they all agreed that it will serve the purpose of helping students stay on track with their academic goals while still remaining connected.

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The feedback from the User Testing

Heuristic Evaluations

Some of the Heuristic tests that our app did not pass:

  1. Heuristic #3: "user control & freedom" as there was no 'close' button to exit out of any of the pop-up notifications or when the camera screen opens. 

  2. Heuristic #10: "help and documentation" because the users did not immediately understand the goal of the app upon clicking it open. 

  3. Heuristic #7: "flexibility & efficiency of use" as there was no 'filter' button to filter out certain events. Nor a button to add or remove friends on the social media page. 

Mitigations

Some of the potential solutions after going through the Heuristic evaluations :

  1. Heuristic #3 "user control & freedom": users should be given an emergency 'exit' button to click out of anything they clicked on. 

  2. Heuristic #10 "help and documentation": to add a description on the homepage that indicates the app's goal. An example is "welcome to Task U where you earn points for completing a task." 

  3. Heuristic #7 "flexibility & efficiency of use": to add a filtering option. 

Contact

I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

732-762-4669

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