Study Mate

Study platform that maximizes user's focus when working alone.

My Role

Timeline

Tool

Product Designer, Design Lead
Aug - Oct 2021 (8 weeks)
Figma, Protopie, Adobe After Effects
1. Overview
Situation

42% of college students struggle to focus while studying alone at home.

As a college student, I experienced how Covid-19 shifted my study habits when working alone at home. Based on 32 user surveys and 3 interviews, I found that other students also struggled to focus when working at home. This sparked the question: why is it so difficult to focus at home?


Source: Statista, Digital Promise

Objective

How might we maximize students' productivity during remote-studying through the power of community?

The major pain points for students studying remotely are lack of motivation, feeling lonely and anxious, and getting distracted by working at home. Low focus and productivity leads to vicious cycle. I aimed to design a solution to help students focus better.

2. Research
📝  Phase 1: Deck research, User interview, and User Survey

Why are 42% of students dissatisfied with their study-at-home situation?

I needed to understand what factors played into a lack of focus and productivity when working alone at home. My research process consisted of a two-part method; (1) quantitative deck research and (2) qualitative user interviews with college students (age 20- 26).

3. Problem
Why is studying alone at home a problem?
Problem Space #1

Limited access to public study places

During the pandemic, education drastically shifted from offline to online. With limited access to offline study spaces, students had to study at home.

Problem Space #2

Excessive distractions at home

While working at home is cozy and flexible, users complained about the distractions they get from the flexibility.

Problem Space #3

Lack of motivation to keep oneself focused

Based on user interviews, users said it is hard to motivate oneself when working alone, as there is no enforcement to keep oneself focused.

How did users previously address this problem?
📝 Phase 2: Competitive Analysis

Based on user interviews, users were already trying to combat these hurdles with several tools, including online platforms.

However, none of the user's approaches worked due to a lack of balance between flexibility and accountability.

Current users' approaches
4. Solution
Opportunity Space #1

Users need a balanced environment between flexibility and accountability.

Opportunity Space #2

Users prefer to stay connected with others for motivation.

Opportunity Space #3

Users are familiar with using online platforms for their study.

User Persona

The main persona was designed based on the following insights learned from the deck research:

  • People on the job market showed the biggest needs for both individual and group studying.
  • The younger the generation, the greater the need for a digital studying environment.
  • 74.3% of users who searched for Study With Me contents were female.

Solution & Goal

Motivation and connectivity is the key for focus.

Study Mate maximizes users' productivity by connecting students in digital study rooms. Digital study rooms provide a work environment, which lies between the flexibility of remote work and accountability that comes from studying at public spaces. This aims to create a community where users motivate each other by working remotely together.

5. Design & Iterations
Design system of color, font, and icons

For high legibility and friendliness, geometric font Poppins is used for the product. Furthermore, purple is associated with ambition, independence, and creativity. To convey a sense of the combined value of independent studying, but collaborating by working together, purple is chosen as the main color.

6. Final Design

1/3

Stay motivated by working together

Categorized study groups and details page

Study groups are categorized by study goals and searched through filters. The details page highlights study goal, meeting schedules, and study etiquette.

Manage study groups & create new

Users can manage study groups under the study group tab. Users can also create their own private meetings.

2/3

Keep focused in Live-Study Room

Preset 01: Pomodoro timer for productivity

Pomodoro study timer is required before the study session begins to schedule focus and break time.

Preset 02: Face filter for privacy

StudyMate provides a face filter to protect users' privacy. This filter also help users focus on their work, instead of getting distracted by their appearance.

Timer-based chat

The chat feature is only activated during the break. This help users form a community while staying away from distractions.

3/3

Achieve goals by completing daily todos

Complete daily todos

The main page highlights users' deadlines and daily todos. Users' ranking aims to keep users motivated through competition.

Analyzed study habits

Users' productivity is highlighted under profile tab. Users can plan, manage, and edit their monthly goals and upcoming deadlines.

7. Result & Reflections

📊 Results

72% of potential users said they would consider using the app if launched.

To validate our idea and design, I tested the design with 23 potential users. Most of them liked the idea and showed interest to use the app in their daily life.

🌟 Impacts

Positive Feedback from 3 Mentor designers.

“This concept well reflects the needs and habits of Gen Z audience pleasingly!”

🧐 Reflections
What I learned is ...

Detachment from my own bias through user research.

Designing user interface in dark screen mode.

If I had more time...

Add a privacy feature

As privacy issues are concerned, I would like to add a feature that allows user hide or block certain user's screens.

Design a web version

Design a web version of the project. To accommodate users from diverse digital devices, designing a web version will allow more users to join the study group.

Design on-boarding

Design on-boarding process to help user find study groups that matches with their goals in a short period of time.

Thank you for reading!✨

For more work inquiries, or to grab a coffee email me at joh244@newschool.edu ☕️