Flow App Design

I learned that engagement is the new form of happiness.

So I created an app to help people have more flow states.

This started as an organizational app to promote engagement, the new form of happiness. Creating actionable projects and syncing your calendar were the key features. It has since evolved.

The new version of Flow app goes further. It starts by helping users to create a compelling vision. More than an organizational app, Flow serves as a personal management tool.

Key user goal: “When I am inspired to achieve a personal goal but feel overwhelmed with distractions, I want to have a clear vision so that I can develop persistence to succeed.”

It started as an organizational app and pivoted into goal-setting.

Emotionally connect and develop persistence to achieve any goal by creating actionable and appealing visual representations. Using proven OKR frameworks, category icons, and personally-selected images users create goal cards.

Creating goal cards, choosing next actions, syncing your calendar, setting daily reminders and quotes are the key features. Challenges such as timed meditations, focus training, and quote games are in the works.

Post-Pivot Flow App Prototype

I am working to better understand a niche market…

 

The Flow app is for anyone who wants to achieve their goals and has an iPhone, iPad or computer. Because professional millennials are especially at risk for technology and distraction overwhelm, I focused on them. I am conducting more in-depth interviews to narrow in on my niche target market. Then I will prioritize the next features to develop.

Early user research: 8 in-depth interviews, 12 quantitative surveys, 5 card sorting surveys, 6 usability tests with first prototype, 1 complete concept iteration, and 8 second round usability tests.

“It’s hard to know the right way to represent goals.”

“As long as I’m not worrying in my head, I can be focused.”

“Figuring out what my goals are is the tricky part.”

Sean, the social entrepreneur, is my current primary persona. He is a talented and focused person, but sometimes he fails to prioritize his health. He struggles understanding how to represent his goals. Sean has tried to prioritize health goals in the past and is constantly seeking new ways to make progress. By further understanding my target audience, I can prioritize app features and continuously improve my ability to solve their problems.

…and refine the concept of habit-building, goal-setting.

Flow app currently falls into the personal and team organization space. Through web searches I found the top four organizational apps to assess. I chose features and functions based on the common user goals creating a project and scheduling a task. By assessing the competition, I was able to identify gaps in current services. For example, none of the apps prompt users to begin with the end in mind, a key function in the Flow app.

Early, organizational app competitive analysis

 

Early organizational prototype for Flow app

Early concept iterations for “Goal Cards”

I wanted to learn about how people lost track of time…

I started with this concept based on the book “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experiences.” Based on today’s technology distractions, I started with the assumption that professional millennials felt more distracted that they would like to be. User research and quantitative surveys validated these assumptions in some different ways. Through qualitative research, I found that people often lost track of time while using social media on their phones.

The first iteration incorporated notes from my quantitative data which came from my initial hypothesis and qualitative data. I focused on some ideas from the “Getting Things Done” methodology by David Allen, (i.e. “what does done look like?” and syncing to the calendar immediately.) This would help users to move forward with projects and get into a flow state. The first, organizational app iteration reflects these findings and insights. I ran some usability testing and found some simple errors to fix.

But then I took a break from the project. I had been using the David Allen methodology for a while in my own life. But I found it ineffective to answer some bigger questions that I had. I wanted to know more of what motivated people to move forward in these tasks and also how those tasks should be chosen.

That’s when I made a huge pivot into the goal setting/habit building category as a way to solve the same problem in a way that I had personally found more effective. That’s when the app turned became more of a self-designed solution. Since the complete redesign, I have been conducting further usability testing and have organized a group of beta users.

User testing will continue with a Flow beta group.

The next steps are to smooth out the user flows, improve the UI design, polish the habit-building / goal setting concept, and move the product into development.

Background, Tools, and Methods

 

I created as the lead product designer to develop this concept in four weeks. I used pen, paper, post-its, usability tests, Realtime Board, Sketch, and InVision throughout this project. For UX methods and deliverables, I utilized secondary research, surveys, competitive and comparative analyses, in-depth interviews, card sorting, usability testing, user personas, and wireframes.

Related Writing: “Designing Empathetic Solutions”

Problem solving can be creative, and our best ideas often come as jokes. Therefore, make your solutions creative and your thoughts as funny as possible.

In Silicon Valley, life moves fast. Usability has become the new metrics of market success. As the UX Design industry grows, companies can create better solutions while increasing revenue, loyalty and share values… “Design Bootcamp: Building Solutions.”