// Research.

// Work 02

Project Challenges

  • Time constraints prevented us from testing the concept.

  • Difficulty in recruitment efforts for suitable candidates.

  • Limited and partially incomplete data due to small sample size.

Project Challenges

  • Time constraints prevented us from testing the concept.

  • Difficulty in recruitment efforts for suitable candidates.

  • Limited and partially incomplete data due to small sample size.

Project Challenges

  • Time constraints prevented us from testing the concept.

  • Difficulty in recruitment efforts for suitable candidates.

  • Limited and partially incomplete data due to small sample size.

Project Focus

  • Understand factors attributed to low focus and concentration.

  • Help prepare students for their career paths.

  • Address diverse distractions and ways to manage them..

Project Focus

  • Understand factors attributed to low focus and concentration.

  • Help prepare students for their career paths.

  • Address diverse distractions and ways to manage them.

Project Focus

  • Understand factors attributed to low focus and concentration.

  • Help prepare students for their career paths.

  • Address diverse distractions and ways to manage them..

How-Might-We

  • Help the users create isolation from distractors?

  • Help users schedule work sessions with break intervals?

  • Incentivize task completion?

  • Help users visualize task progress?

How-Might-We

  • Help the users create isolation from distractors?

  • Help users schedule work sessions with break intervals?

  • Incentivize task completion?

  • Help users visualize task progress?

How-Might-We

  • Help the users create isolation from distractors?

  • Help users schedule work sessions with break intervals?

  • Incentivize task completion?

  • Help users visualize task progress?

Client

[Redacted]

Client

[Redacted]

Client

[Redacted]

Timeframe

4 Months

Timeframe

4 Months

Timeframe

4 Months

Tools

Google Sheets, Google Forms, Pen & Paper, Atlas.ti, Fig Jam, Zoom, Otter.Ai

Tools

Google Sheets, Google Forms, Pen & Paper, Atlas.ti, Fig Jam, Zoom, Otter.Ai

Tools

Google Sheets, Google Forms, Pen & Paper, Atlas.ti, Fig Jam, Zoom, Otter.Ai

My Role + Skillset

Project Management, Research Methodology, Affinity Mapping, Prototyping

My Role + Skillset

Project Management, Research Methodology, Affinity Mapping, Prototyping

My Role + Skillset

Project Management, Research Methodology, Affinity Mapping, Prototyping

This research investigates how factors like diet, mental wellbeing, sleep patterns, technology use, and exercise affect university students' focus and concentration. The project aims to understand these influences and provide recommendations to help students succeed in their academic and professional endeavours.

This research investigates how factors like diet, mental wellbeing, sleep patterns, technology use, and exercise affect university students' focus and concentration. The project aims to understand these influences and provide recommendations to help students succeed in their academic and professional endeavours.

This research investigates how factors like diet, mental wellbeing, sleep patterns, technology use, and exercise affect university students' focus and concentration. The project aims to understand these influences and provide recommendations to help students succeed in their academic and professional endeavours.

March 2024

March 2024

March 2024

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Introduction

Introduction

Introduction

Our research led us to looking into factors attributed to focus and concentration in university students. Concepts such as diet, mental health, sleep, screen time, and exercise all seem to impact their academic performance. This project seeks to understand these factors and facilitate suggestions that will help students excel in their high-stress learning environment, build skills for future careers, navigate technology demands, and thrive in distracting workplaces.

The main target audience for this study are university students with the following attributes:

  • Age range between 18 - 30

  • Struggle less with maintaining focus.

  • Struggle more with maintaining focus.

Our research led us to looking into factors attributed to focus and concentration in university students. Concepts such as diet, mental health, sleep, screen time, and exercise all seem to impact their academic performance. This project seeks to understand these factors and facilitate suggestions that will help students excel in their high-stress learning environment, build skills for future careers, navigate technology demands, and thrive in distracting workplaces.

The main target audience for this study are university students with the following attributes:

  • Age range between 18 - 30

  • Struggle less with maintaining focus.

  • Struggle more with maintaining focus.

64% of students expressed concern over maintaining focus and discipline, unsure if they would be able to motivate themselves ... They noted “my house is not the proper environment in which to do work” and that they “easily get distracted while on the computer.

64% of students expressed concern over maintaining focus and discipline, unsure if they would be able to motivate themselves ... They noted “my house is not the proper environment in which to do work” and that they “easily get distracted while on the computer.

64% of students expressed concern over maintaining focus and discipline, unsure if they would be able to motivate themselves ... They noted “my house is not the proper environment in which to do work” and that they “easily get distracted while on the computer.

Problem Area

Problem Area

Problem Area

There are various reasons on why each student chooses a specific major. These reasons can be influenced by culture, society, politics, psychology or finances. Two issues are explored pertaining to international students namely decision making process and challenges they face. Suggestions are also provided as a starting point for the concept development.

There are various reasons on why each student chooses a specific major. These reasons can be influenced by culture, society, politics, psychology or finances. Two issues are explored pertaining to international students namely decision making process and challenges they face. Suggestions are also provided as a starting point for the concept development.

There are various reasons on why each student chooses a specific major. These reasons can be influenced by culture, society, politics, psychology or finances. Two issues are explored pertaining to international students namely decision making process and challenges they face. Suggestions are also provided as a starting point for the concept development.

Why we chose the topic

Why we chose the topic

Why we chose the topic

Many students have expressed their struggles with procrastination, lack of motivation, and low comprehension. We explored diet, mental health, sleep, screen time, and exercise as potential influences on focus. Following our literature reviews, we noticed that all five topics had a connection to focus and concentration among university students.

Many students have expressed their struggles with procrastination, lack of motivation, and low comprehension. We explored diet, mental health, sleep, screen time, and exercise as potential influences on focus. Following our literature reviews, we noticed that all five topics had a connection to focus and concentration among university students.

Many students have expressed their struggles with procrastination, lack of motivation, and low comprehension. We explored diet, mental health, sleep, screen time, and exercise as potential influences on focus. Following our literature reviews, we noticed that all five topics had a connection to focus and concentration among university students.

Learnings from our secondary research

Learnings from our secondary research

Learnings from our secondary research

Juggling academic pressures with responsibilities can be overwhelming for university students, leading to stress and anxieties they often feel reluctant to address. This silence around mental well-being can negatively impact academic performance. Studies show some significant trends such as: rising anxiety, insufficient sleep, poor diet, and excessive smartphone use being prevalent among students.These lifestyle habits have a direct impact on focus and performance.


Irregular sleep patterns are linked to decreased motivation and concentration, while higher aerobic capacity and adherence to balanced diets are associated with improved cognitive function. Additionally, the constant allure of smartphones disrupts attention and hinders self-regulated learning, ultimately hindering the ability to achieve academic flow. Addressing these challenges and promoting healthy habits are crucial for supporting student well-being and academic success.

Juggling academic pressures with responsibilities can be overwhelming for university students, leading to stress and anxieties they often feel reluctant to address. This silence around mental well-being can negatively impact academic performance. Studies show some significant trends such as: rising anxiety, insufficient sleep, poor diet, and excessive smartphone use being prevalent among students.These lifestyle habits have a direct impact on focus and performance.


Irregular sleep patterns are linked to decreased motivation and concentration, while higher aerobic capacity and adherence to balanced diets are associated with improved cognitive function. Additionally, the constant allure of smartphones disrupts attention and hinders self-regulated learning, ultimately hindering the ability to achieve academic flow. Addressing these challenges and promoting healthy habits are crucial for supporting student well-being and academic success.

Juggling academic pressures with responsibilities can be overwhelming for university students, leading to stress and anxieties they often feel reluctant to address. This silence around mental well-being can negatively impact academic performance. Studies show some significant trends such as: rising anxiety, insufficient sleep, poor diet, and excessive smartphone use being prevalent among students.These lifestyle habits have a direct impact on focus and performance.


Irregular sleep patterns are linked to decreased motivation and concentration, while higher aerobic capacity and adherence to balanced diets are associated with improved cognitive function. Additionally, the constant allure of smartphones disrupts attention and hinders self-regulated learning, ultimately hindering the ability to achieve academic flow. Addressing these challenges and promoting healthy habits are crucial for supporting student well-being and academic success.

Why we’re exploring this behaviour

Why we’re exploring this behaviour

Why we’re exploring this behaviour

Understanding the various factors that affect university students’ focus and concentration is crucial for the following reasons:


  1. Higher education can be a high stress endeavour where limited focus can leave students struggling to be mentally present and in turn contributing to mental and emotional fatigue.

  2. It is a huge determinant of a student’s future and their career path. In order to excel in their journey, they need to develop their mental faculties and be trained in performing specific tasks for a long duration of time.

  3. Despite having a detrimental effect on attention span, technology has become ubiquitous with students’ personal and academic lives. Learning to manage its use is crucial to sustaining mental well-being.

  4. Managing increasing distractions in the workplace and being able to switch back and forth between social engagement and productive tasks is a skill modern day students can greatly benefit from.

Understanding the various factors that affect university students’ focus and concentration is crucial for the following reasons:


  1. Higher education can be a high stress endeavour where limited focus can leave students struggling to be mentally present and in turn contributing to mental and emotional fatigue.

  2. It is a huge determinant of a student’s future and their career path. In order to excel in their journey, they need to develop their mental faculties and be trained in performing specific tasks for a long duration of time.

  3. Despite having a detrimental effect on attention span, technology has become ubiquitous with students’ personal and academic lives. Learning to manage its use is crucial to sustaining mental well-being.

  4. Managing increasing distractions in the workplace and being able to switch back and forth between social engagement and productive tasks is a skill modern day students can greatly benefit from.

Understanding the various factors that affect university students’ focus and concentration is crucial for the following reasons:


  1. Higher education can be a high stress endeavour where limited focus can leave students struggling to be mentally present and in turn contributing to mental and emotional fatigue.

  2. It is a huge determinant of a student’s future and their career path. In order to excel in their journey, they need to develop their mental faculties and be trained in performing specific tasks for a long duration of time.

  3. Despite having a detrimental effect on attention span, technology has become ubiquitous with students’ personal and academic lives. Learning to manage its use is crucial to sustaining mental well-being.

  4. Managing increasing distractions in the workplace and being able to switch back and forth between social engagement and productive tasks is a skill modern day students can greatly benefit from.

Hypothesis

Hypothesis

Hypothesis

After conducting literature reviews from peer-reviewed sources, we structured a few assumptions to guide the research. These hypotheses covered the 4 key areas we had planned to explore namely; sleep, technology use, well-being and diet. After identifying the emerging themes from our research, we narrowed the scope of the project to look into sleep, well-being and technology use.

After conducting literature reviews from peer-reviewed sources, we structured a few assumptions to guide the research. These hypotheses covered the 4 key areas we had planned to explore namely; sleep, technology use, well-being and diet. After identifying the emerging themes from our research, we narrowed the scope of the project to look into sleep, well-being and technology use.

After conducting literature reviews from peer-reviewed sources, we structured a few assumptions to guide the research. These hypotheses covered the 4 key areas we had planned to explore namely; sleep, technology use, well-being and diet. After identifying the emerging themes from our research, we narrowed the scope of the project to look into sleep, well-being and technology use.

Sleep

Sleep

Sleeping habits positively contribute to the quality of focus and concentration in students and their academic performance.

Sleeping habits positively contribute to the quality of focus and concentration in students and their academic performance.

Sleeping habits positively contribute to the quality of focus and concentration in students and their academic performance.

Technology

Technology

Screen time usage negatively affects a student’s ability to maintain focus.

Screen time usage negatively affects a student’s ability to maintain focus.

Screen time usage negatively affects a student’s ability to maintain focus.

Well-being

Well-being

Mental health support services provided by the universities positively affect a student’s focus.

Mental health support services provided by the universities positively affect a student’s focus.

Mental health support services provided by the universities positively affect a student’s focus.

Research

Research

Research

Next step was drafting some research questions that would guide the interviews. We then created some research tools for participants to complete as a way to collect additional data and insight. Our target audience was represented by part time and full time college students as participants.

Next step was drafting some research questions that would guide the interviews. We then created some research tools for participants to complete as a way to collect additional data and insight. Our target audience was represented by part time and full time college students as participants.

Next step was drafting some research questions that would guide the interviews. We then created some research tools for participants to complete as a way to collect additional data and insight. Our target audience was represented by part time and full time college students as participants.

Research Questions

Research Questions

Research Questions

Do sleeping habits positively contribute to the quality of focus and concentration in students and their academic performance?

Do sleeping habits positively contribute to the quality of focus and concentration in students and their academic performance?

Do sleeping habits positively contribute to the quality of focus and concentration in students and their academic performance?

How does screen time usage negatively affect a student’s ability to maintain focus?

How does screen time usage negatively affect a student’s ability to maintain focus?

How does screen time usage negatively affect a student’s ability to maintain focus?

Can students be influenced to adopt longer (up to 30 mins) class times with classroom movement breaks (CMB) to focus better?

Can students be influenced to adopt longer (up to 30 mins) class times with classroom movement breaks (CMB) to focus better?

Can students be influenced to adopt longer (up to 30 mins) class times with classroom movement breaks (CMB) to focus better?

Do mental health support services provided by the universities have a positive effect on the student’s focus?

Do mental health support services provided by the universities have a positive effect on the student’s focus?

Do mental health support services provided by the universities have a positive effect on the student’s focus?

Are higher levels of focus and concentration learnt and not associated with genetics?

Are higher levels of focus and concentration learnt and not associated with genetics?

Are higher levels of focus and concentration learnt and not associated with genetics?

Can a well-balanced diet with the consumption of fruits and vegetables contribute to a positive effect on students’ attention and academic performance?

Can a well-balanced diet with the consumption of fruits and vegetables contribute to a positive effect on students’ attention and academic performance?

Can a well-balanced diet with the consumption of fruits and vegetables contribute to a positive effect on students’ attention and academic performance?

Research Methodology

Research Methodology

Research Methodology

Literature Review

Literature Review

Literature Review

We read peer-reviewed sources that support our topics for deeper understanding and insights.

We read peer-reviewed sources that support our topics for deeper understanding and insights.

We read peer-reviewed sources that support our topics for deeper understanding and insights.

Process

Process

Process

We concluded with a total of 10 peer-reviewed journals that explored topics of diet, mental health, sleep, screen time, and exercise as potential influences on focus. Following our literature reviews, we noticed that all five topics had a connection to focus and concentration among university students.

We concluded with a total of 10 peer-reviewed journals that explored topics of diet, mental health, sleep, screen time, and exercise as potential influences on focus. Following our literature reviews, we noticed that all five topics had a connection to focus and concentration among university students.

We concluded with a total of 10 peer-reviewed journals that explored topics of diet, mental health, sleep, screen time, and exercise as potential influences on focus. Following our literature reviews, we noticed that all five topics had a connection to focus and concentration among university students.

Participant Screening

Participant Screening

Participant Screening

A necessary step we took to ensure recruitment of qualified participants.

A necessary step we took to ensure recruitment of qualified participants.

A necessary step we took to ensure recruitment of qualified participants.

Process

Process

Process

Screener survey to confirm participants are university students and self-identify as one of the following:

  1. 18 years or older.

  2. Struggling less with maintaining focus: These are students who are able to easily focus on a specific task for more than 60 minutes with minimal distractions.

  3. Struggling more with maintaining focus: These are students who can only maintain focus for less than 30 minutes before being distracted for an extended duration. Prone to procrastination.

Screener survey to confirm participants are university students and self-identify as one of the following:

  1. 18 years or older.

  2. Struggling less with maintaining focus: These are students who are able to easily focus on a specific task for more than 60 minutes with minimal distractions.

  3. Struggling more with maintaining focus: These are students who can only maintain focus for less than 30 minutes before being distracted for an extended duration. Prone to procrastination.

Screener survey to confirm participants are university students and self-identify as one of the following:

  1. 18 years or older.

  2. Struggling less with maintaining focus: These are students who are able to easily focus on a specific task for more than 60 minutes with minimal distractions.

  3. Struggling more with maintaining focus: These are students who can only maintain focus for less than 30 minutes before being distracted for an extended duration. Prone to procrastination.

Interviews

Interviews

Interviews

10 participants passed the screening phase and we promptly scheduled them for interviews.

10 participants passed the screening phase and we promptly scheduled them for interviews.

Methods

Methods

Methods

Virtual structured interviews

  • Virtual screen recording with desktop devices i.e. laptop

  • Utilising online video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

  • 45 - 60 minutes interviews.


10 participants (2 per group member)

  • Snowballing sampling from friends and family.

  • University participant tool.

Virtual structured interviews

  • Virtual screen recording with desktop devices i.e. laptop

  • Utilising online video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

  • 45 - 60 minutes interviews.


10 participants (2 per group member)

  • Snowballing sampling from friends and family.

  • University participant tool.

Virtual structured interviews

  • Virtual screen recording with desktop devices i.e. laptop

  • Utilising online video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

  • 45 - 60 minutes interviews.


10 participants (2 per group member)

  • Snowballing sampling from friends and family.

  • University participant tool.

Research Tools

Research Tools

Research Tools

We created two tools to be used as part of the research. We also included a description of how each tool works and its purpose.

We created two tools to be used as part of the research. We also included a description of how each tool works and its purpose.

We created two tools to be used as part of the research. We also included a description of how each tool works and its purpose.

Tools

Tools

Tools

Generic Timeline Journal (Daily Habits)

  • A general record of the participant’s daily habits in a 12 hour span with emphasis on hours where they experience flow state (intense focus).


Diary Study

  • A specific record of the participant’s daily routine split into morning, midday and night, with emphasis on activities performed, screen time usage, emotions, meals consumed, and level of perceived focus.

Generic Timeline Journal (Daily Habits)

  • A general record of the participant’s daily habits in a 12 hour span with emphasis on hours where they experience flow state (intense focus).


Diary Study

  • A specific record of the participant’s daily routine split into morning, midday and night, with emphasis on activities performed, screen time usage, emotions, meals consumed, and level of perceived focus.

Generic Timeline Journal (Daily Habits)

  • A general record of the participant’s daily habits in a 12 hour span with emphasis on hours where they experience flow state (intense focus).


Diary Study

  • A specific record of the participant’s daily routine split into morning, midday and night, with emphasis on activities performed, screen time usage, emotions, meals consumed, and level of perceived focus.

Inductive/Deductive Coding

Inductive/Deductive Coding

Inductive/Deductive Coding

We then uploaded transcripts from our interviews to Atlas.ti and created codes that revealed any recurring themes.

We then uploaded transcripts from our interviews to Atlas.ti and created codes that revealed any recurring themes.

We then uploaded transcripts from our interviews to Atlas.ti and created codes that revealed any recurring themes.

Method

Method

Method

From our interview transcripts, we tracked recurring phrases stated by the participants and patterns in their routines. We then created codes for the most common phrases to apply through out the transcripts.

From our interview transcripts, we tracked recurring phrases stated by the participants and patterns in their routines. We then created codes for the most common phrases to apply through out the transcripts.

From our interview transcripts, we tracked recurring phrases stated by the participants and patterns in their routines. We then created codes for the most common phrases to apply through out the transcripts.

Affinity Mapping

Affinity Mapping

Affinity Mapping

After interview coding, we grouped our findings to create themes in an affinity map.

After interview coding, we grouped our findings to create themes in an affinity map.

After interview coding, we grouped our findings to create themes in an affinity map.

Process

Process

Process

Placed all the codes and phrases from the inductive/deductive coding on figjam and began looking for similarities. Codes and phrases that had similar patterns were grouped together and ranked what category had the most pattern occurrence. These were then classified as the emerging themes for our research.

Placed all the codes and phrases from the inductive/deductive coding on figjam and began looking for similarities. Codes and phrases that had similar patterns were grouped together and ranked what category had the most pattern occurrence. These were then classified as the emerging themes for our research.

Placed all the codes and phrases from the inductive/deductive coding on figjam and began looking for similarities. Codes and phrases that had similar patterns were grouped together and ranked what category had the most pattern occurrence. These were then classified as the emerging themes for our research.

Research Considerations

Research Considerations

Research Considerations

Avoiding confirmation of hypotheses:

We were considerate in not showing bias to the participants’ responses despite our preconceived opinions.

We were considerate in not showing bias to the participants’ responses despite our preconceived opinions.

Respect of privacy:

We tried not to probe too much when it came to personal information. If a participant mentioned their lack of focus is due to personal reasons, we didn’t pry.

We tried not to probe too much when it came to personal information. If a participant mentioned their lack of focus is due to personal reasons, we didn’t pry.

Capturing stories:

We will keep it conversational, interactive and comfortable by letting them share their personal stories and experiences. 

We will keep it conversational, interactive and comfortable by letting them share their personal stories and experiences. 

Being non-judgemental:

We will not judge their responses, habits, or other information they share.

We will not judge their responses, habits, or other information they share.

Ensuring anonymity:

We will make sure their identity and what they have shared remain anonymous.

We will make sure their identity and what they have shared remain anonymous.

Keeping personal opinions away:

We will try to ensure that we don’t share our opinions when they’re trying to share their experiences, habits or personal situations.

We will try to ensure that we don’t share our opinions when they’re trying to share their experiences, habits or personal situations.

Providing informed consent forms:

These forms were to let the participants know that we prioritised their safety. They were able to sign off on whether they want to be recorded and be informed about not having to answer uncomfortable questions.

These forms were to let the participants know that we prioritised their safety. They were able to sign off on whether they want to be recorded and be informed about not having to answer uncomfortable questions.

Frameworks

Frameworks

Frameworks

To get started on creating this framework for understanding to share with our stakeholders, we first identified the emerging themes from our research through appraisals, coding and affinity mapping. We then created our behavioural archetype to inform the journey map as our framework of choice in understanding the problem area and context.

To get started on creating this framework for understanding to share with our stakeholders, we first identified the emerging themes from our research through appraisals, coding and affinity mapping. We then created our behavioural archetype to inform the journey map as our framework of choice in understanding the problem area and context.

To get started on creating this framework for understanding to share with our stakeholders, we first identified the emerging themes from our research through appraisals, coding and affinity mapping. We then created our behavioural archetype to inform the journey map as our framework of choice in understanding the problem area and context.

Emerging Themes

Emerging Themes

Emerging Themes

We created affinity maps from quotes and categories found in our appraisals and inductive/deductive coding to discover the prevalent themes in from our interviews.

We created affinity maps from quotes and categories found in our appraisals and inductive/deductive coding to discover the prevalent themes in from our interviews.

Sleeping Habits

Some participants noticed that staying up late tends to affect their productivity the next day. They also mentioned that having a good sleep schedule, waking up early, and following a consistent routine helps them stay focused.

Some participants noticed that staying up late tends to affect their productivity the next day. They also mentioned that having a good sleep schedule, waking up early, and following a consistent routine helps them stay focused.

Some participants noticed that staying up late tends to affect their productivity the next day. They also mentioned that having a good sleep schedule, waking up early, and following a consistent routine helps them stay focused.

“For someone like me, to be more productive during the day, I need to have a good sleeping schedule.”

“For someone like me, to be more productive during the day, I need to have a good sleeping schedule.”

“For someone like me, to be more productive during the day, I need to have a good sleeping schedule.”

Mental Wellbeing

Participants mentioned that anxiety and unresolved issues can contribute to a lack of focus and productivity. Other factors such as pressure and time constraints play a significant role in maintaining focus.

Participants mentioned that anxiety and unresolved issues can contribute to a lack of focus and productivity. Other factors such as pressure and time constraints play a significant role in maintaining focus.

Participants mentioned that anxiety and unresolved issues can contribute to a lack of focus and productivity. Other factors such as pressure and time constraints play a significant role in maintaining focus.

“So initially I really have a tough time focusing, because I already have a lot of anxiety and thoughts running through my mind.”

“So initially I really have a tough time focusing, because I already have a lot of anxiety and thoughts running through my mind.”

“So initially I really have a tough time focusing, because I already have a lot of anxiety and thoughts running through my mind.”

External Distractions

Phone notifications, web browsing, and ambient sounds contributed to a loss of focus in some participants. Social media is noted to be particularly distracting, especially the curiosity sparked from notifications.

Phone notifications, web browsing, and ambient sounds contributed to a loss of focus in some participants. Social media is noted to be particularly distracting, especially the curiosity sparked from notifications.

Phone notifications, web browsing, and ambient sounds contributed to a loss of focus in some participants. Social media is noted to be particularly distracting, especially the curiosity sparked from notifications.

“And I'd say the most distracting is just hearing the notification, because it just builds up your curiosity, what can that be? Or who is that or, you know, something, something around that?”

“And I'd say the most distracting is just hearing the notification, because it just builds up your curiosity, what can that be? Or who is that or, you know, something, something around that?”

“And I'd say the most distracting is just hearing the notification, because it just builds up your curiosity, what can that be? Or who is that or, you know, something, something around that?”

Behavioural Archetype

Behavioural Archetype

Behavioural Archetype

From these tools we discovered that 90% of the overall participants stated experiencing mid to high levels of focus around midday. 33% of these participants state feeling happy and calm during this period, while 44% identified as feeling tired, neutral or anxious. 13% did not share their emotional states. Additionally, these select participants displayed a trend of going to bed around 10 PM - Midnight, which explains their reported high focus in the afternoons. The remaining 10% of the overall participants described experiencing high focus in chunks of morning and feeling energetic. They also stated going to bed early by 8 - 9PM.

From these tools we discovered that 90% of the overall participants stated experiencing mid to high levels of focus around midday. 33% of these participants state feeling happy and calm during this period, while 44% identified as feeling tired, neutral or anxious. 13% did not share their emotional states. Additionally, these select participants displayed a trend of going to bed around 10 PM - Midnight, which explains their reported high focus in the afternoons. The remaining 10% of the overall participants described experiencing high focus in chunks of morning and feeling energetic. They also stated going to bed early by 8 - 9PM.

From these tools we discovered that 90% of the overall participants stated experiencing mid to high levels of focus around midday. 33% of these participants state feeling happy and calm during this period, while 44% identified as feeling tired, neutral or anxious. 13% did not share their emotional states. Additionally, these select participants displayed a trend of going to bed around 10 PM - Midnight, which explains their reported high focus in the afternoons. The remaining 10% of the overall participants described experiencing high focus in chunks of morning and feeling energetic. They also stated going to bed early by 8 - 9PM.

The Anxious Achiever

The Anxious Achiever

The Anxious Achiever

The Anxious Achiever is a 23-year-old university student who is committed to achieving academic success. We created this archetype as a representation of students who struggle with initiating tasks and staying focused. To create this behavioral archetype, we collected data from all participants in our interviews and found points of similarities. We then analyzed participants’ responses from our research tools for additional insight on the structure of their flow state. The following is an overview of their goals, motivations, beliefs, agency and coping mechanisms.

The Anxious Achiever is a 23-year-old university student who is committed to achieving academic success. We created this archetype as a representation of students who struggle with initiating tasks and staying focused. To create this behavioral archetype, we collected data from all participants in our interviews and found points of similarities. We then analyzed participants’ responses from our research tools for additional insight on the structure of their flow state. The following is an overview of their goals, motivations, beliefs, agency and coping mechanisms.

The Anxious Achiever is a 23-year-old university student who is committed to achieving academic success. We created this archetype as a representation of students who struggle with initiating tasks and staying focused. To create this behavioral archetype, we collected data from all participants in our interviews and found points of similarities. We then analyzed participants’ responses from our research tools for additional insight on the structure of their flow state. The following is an overview of their goals, motivations, beliefs, agency and coping mechanisms.

Goals

  • Completing assignments on time regularly.

  • Motivation to begin tasks.

  • Limiting the use of technology with screens.

  • Being able to prioritize tasks.

  • Creating a conducive environment that promotes productivity.

  • Completing assignments on time regularly.

  • Motivation to begin tasks.

  • Limiting the use of technology with screens.

  • Being able to prioritize tasks.

  • Creating a conducive environment that promotes productivity.

  • Completing assignments on time regularly.

  • Motivation to begin tasks.

  • Limiting the use of technology with screens.

  • Being able to prioritize tasks.

  • Creating a conducive environment that promotes productivity.

Motivations

  • Fear of disappointing/letting others down.

  • Academic excellence.

  • Enjoying free time without guilt.

  • Fear of disappointing/letting others down.

  • Academic excellence.

  • Enjoying free time without guilt.

  • Fear of disappointing/letting others down.

  • Academic excellence.

  • Enjoying free time without guilt.

Mental Model

  • Associate good sleeping routine with high productivity.

  • Consistency and routine builds on their focus.

  • Light meals/snacks contribute to high focus.

  • Surrounded by people doing the same thing helps them stay motivated.

  • Associate good sleeping routine with high productivity.

  • Consistency and routine builds on their focus.

  • Light meals/snacks contribute to high focus.

  • Surrounded by people doing the same thing helps them stay motivated.

  • Associate good sleeping routine with high productivity.

  • Consistency and routine builds on their focus.

  • Light meals/snacks contribute to high focus.

  • Surrounded by people doing the same thing helps them stay motivated.

Agency

  • Low agency. They rely on external influences.

  • Lack motivation to get started.

  • Over-reliance on technology makes them feel powerless.

  • Unconfident with creating and maintaining a routine/schedule.

  • Their ability to focus is dictated by their emotional state.

  • Low agency. They rely on external influences.

  • Lack motivation to get started.

  • Over-reliance on technology makes them feel powerless.

  • Unconfident with creating and maintaining a routine/schedule.

  • Their ability to focus is dictated by their emotional state.

  • Low agency. They rely on external influences.

  • Lack motivation to get started.

  • Over-reliance on technology makes them feel powerless.

  • Unconfident with creating and maintaining a routine/schedule.

  • Their ability to focus is dictated by their emotional state.

Coping Mechanism

  • Taking purposeful short-breaks.

  • Removing distractions from their workspace.

  • Having a schedule and prioritising the tasks.

  • Visualising/talking out loud milestones of an assignment and steps to take.

  • Practicing mindfulness and meditation.

  • Taking purposeful short-breaks.

  • Removing distractions from their workspace.

  • Having a schedule and prioritising the tasks.

  • Visualising/talking out loud milestones of an assignment and steps to take.

  • Practicing mindfulness and meditation.

  • Taking purposeful short-breaks.

  • Removing distractions from their workspace.

  • Having a schedule and prioritising the tasks.

  • Visualising/talking out loud milestones of an assignment and steps to take.

  • Practicing mindfulness and meditation.

Journey Map

Journey Map

Journey Map

The map explores the journey of the ‘The Anxious Achiever’ towards consistent focus and concentration. It is a continuous journey of self improvement. The first stage of this journey is ‘Recognition’. It explores what behaviours either help or prevent the user from realising that there is a problem in their ability to start and maintain a state of deep focus. The realisation leads to the first milestone, a ‘Desire for change’ which marks the beginning of the next phase of this journey, ‘Action’. This phase explores the enablers and barriers our user faces on their way to the next milestone, ‘Achieving flow state’. The final stage of this journey explores behaviours that either contribute or hinder the user from maintaining their flow state.

The map explores the journey of the ‘The Anxious Achiever’ towards consistent focus and concentration. It is a continuous journey of self improvement. The first stage of this journey is ‘Recognition’. It explores what behaviours either help or prevent the user from realising that there is a problem in their ability to start and maintain a state of deep focus. The realisation leads to the first milestone, a ‘Desire for change’ which marks the beginning of the next phase of this journey, ‘Action’. This phase explores the enablers and barriers our user faces on their way to the next milestone, ‘Achieving flow state’. The final stage of this journey explores behaviours that either contribute or hinder the user from maintaining their flow state.

Start

Struggle to enter a state of deep focus.

Recognition

Identifying the problem.

Inflection Point 01

Desire for change.

Action

Working towards entering deep focus.

Inflection Point 02

Achieving flow state.

Consistency

Maintaining deep focus.

End

Able to enter, maintain and re-enter a state of deep focus.

Recognition

Recognition

Recognition

Identifying what isn’t working and prepare to take action.

Identifying what isn’t working and prepare to take action.

Identifying what isn’t working and prepare to take action.

Behavioural Enablers

Behavioural Enablers

Sleep

Sleep

Noticing low productivity comes from poor sleep quality.

Noticing low productivity comes from poor sleep quality.

Peers

Peers

Studying with friends isn’t always productive.

Studying with friends isn’t always productive.

Planning

Planning

Starting a workday without a plan leads to distractions.

Starting a workday without a plan leads to distractions.

Environment

Environment

Working from home is very distracting.

Working from home is very distracting.

Behavioural Barriers

Behavioural Barriers

Distractions

Distractions

Technological or social distractions.

Technological or social distractions.

Bad Environment

Bad Environment

Uncondusive workspace.

Uncondusive workspace.

Low Motivation

Low Motivation

Low or no desire to get started.

Low or no desire to get started.

Anxiety

Anxiety

Overwhelmed with the notion of starting something new.

Overwhelmed with the notion of starting something new.

Opportunity Areas

Opportunity Areas

HMW help users seek assistance?

HMW encourage users to keep a journal?

HMW provide analog alternatives to digital tools?

Decision Levers

Decision Levers

Behavioural Priming

Behavioural Priming

  • Helping them improve their sleep quality will boost their productivity

  • Help them make their workspace contribute to high focus.

  • Help them find ways to reduce internal and external distractions and increase focus

Relevant Systems

Relevant Systems

Universities

Libraries

Productivity Apps

Psychotherapy Clinics

Work Place

Social Systems

  • Personal: Friends and family

  • Aspirational: Role models

Relevant Stakeholders

Relevant Stakeholders

Friends

Family

Action

Action

Action

Taking the initiative towards entering deep focus.

Taking the initiative towards entering deep focus.

Taking the initiative towards entering deep focus.

Behavioural Enablers

Behavioural Enablers

Reference Networks

Reference Networks

Encouragement/reassurance from friends, family, and role models.

Urgency

Urgency

Self-imposed deadlines to create milestones.

Routine

Routine

Establishing and being true to consistent daily rituals.

Self-reliance

Self-reliance

Mental reinforcement to rely on themselves more.

Proper Sleep

Proper Sleep

Having good sleep quality leads to an energized day.

Mental Readiness

Mental Readiness

Mental preparation via planning tasks ahead of time.

No Distractions

No Distractions

Keeping distractions out of sight and reach.

Behavioural Barriers

Behavioural Barriers

Personal Setbacks

Personal Setbacks

Sometimes emotions can take over and result into feeling overwhelmed.

Poor Sleep Quality

Poor Sleep Quality

Having less than 7 hrs of sleep may result into low energy and motivation.

Low Motivation

Low Motivation

Low ability or interest in taking action. Can be fueled by procrastination.

Low Self-efficacy

Low Self-efficacy

Frustration due to the inability in creating urgency to complete tasks.

Distractions

Distractions

Overreliance in technology to completing day-to-day tasks can be distracting. Other social distractions are contributors as well.

Opportunity Areas

Opportunity Areas

HMW use goals to create positive urgency?

HMW help users plan their days/tasks in advance?

HMW provide users with ideal workspace recommendations?

HMW help users adopt best practices and track their sleep?

HMW source motivation and accountability through reference networks?

HMW Incentivize self-efficacy/agency?

Decision Levers

Decision Levers

Motivation

Motivation

  • Motivate in person networking to avoid technological distractions.

  • Motivate them to implement routines and meet deadlines to avoid frustrations.

  • Motivate them to plan tasks beforehand to avoid a lack of motivation to start the task.

Social Proof

Social Proof

  • Using success stories to validate the benefits of affirmative action.

Relevant Systems

Relevant Systems

Universities

Libraries

Productivity Apps

Psychotherapy Clinics

Work Place

Social Systems

  • Personal: Friends and family

  • Aspirational: Role models

Relevant Stakeholders

Relevant Stakeholders

Friends

Co-workers

Role Models

Family

Consistency

Consistency

Consistency

Maintaining a state of deep focus.

Maintaining a state of deep focus.

Maintaining a state of deep focus.

Behavioural Enablers

Behavioural Enablers

Urgency

Urgency

Deadlines or high priority tasks help users stay focused.

Deadlines or high priority tasks help users stay focused.

Tunnel vision

Tunnel vision

Encouragement/reassurance from friends, family, and role models.

Breaks

Breaks

Taking short breaks during a work session to reduce mental fatigue.

Urge surfing

Urge surfing

Allowing the urge of distractions pass.

Influence

Influence

Seeing others work with sustained focus.

Functional comfort

Functional comfort

Rigid, yet comfortable furniture.

Behavioural Barriers

Hunger

Hunger

Skipped, insufficient, or poorly-timed meals.

Disinterest

Disinterest

Losing interest due to difficulty, unclarity, or distractions.

Losing interest due to difficulty, unclarity, or distractions.

Fatigue

Fatigue

Physical, emotional, or mental fatigue.

Distractions

Distractions

Technological or social distractions.

Anxiety

Anxiety

Frustration caused by inability to create urgency and complete tasks.

Opportunity Areas

Opportunity Areas

HMW help the users create isolation from distractors?

HMW help users schedule work sessions with break intervals?

HMW Incentivize task completion?

HMW help users visualize task progress?

Decision Levers

Decision Levers

Environmental Structure

Environmental Structure

  • Help them minimise distractions around them.

  • Help them in building a routine to be consistent.

Building Commitment

Building Commitment

  • Using goals / causes to incentivise finishing tasks.

Relevant Systems

Relevant Systems

Universities

Libraries

Productivity Apps

Psychotherapy Clinics

Work Place

Social Systems

  • Personal: Friends and family

  • Aspirational: Role models

Relevant Stakeholders

Relevant Stakeholders

Friends

Co-workers

Role Models

Design Concept

Design Concept

Design Concept

In this stage, we decided to prioritise the “Consistency” stage as it pertains to maintaining the habit. We looked at several solutions such as productivity apps and gamified priority cards. Still, we settled on an analog solution for we believe it to be the most helpful to the user. Ensuring users spend less time with technology is a viable solution to our problem and it’s feasible enough for the user to adapt. However, desirability may not happen immediately as the user will be switching from digital platforms to an analog system. In the consistency stage, the opportunity area our concept focuses on is “How might we help users schedule work sessions with intervals”. We recognise the area as contributing to maintaining the newly established positive habits. We also thought of including incentives in the design concept to facilitate task completion, and help our target audience (end-users) visualise their progression.

In this stage, we decided to prioritise the “Consistency” stage as it pertains to maintaining the habit. We looked at several solutions such as productivity apps and gamified priority cards. Still, we settled on an analog solution for we believe it to be the most helpful to the user. Ensuring users spend less time with technology is a viable solution to our problem and it’s feasible enough for the user to adapt. However, desirability may not happen immediately as the user will be switching from digital platforms to an analog system. In the consistency stage, the opportunity area our concept focuses on is “How might we help users schedule work sessions with intervals”. We recognise the area as contributing to maintaining the newly established positive habits. We also thought of including incentives in the design concept to facilitate task completion, and help our target audience (end-users) visualise their progression.

In this stage, we decided to prioritise the “Consistency” stage as it pertains to maintaining the habit. We looked at several solutions such as productivity apps and gamified priority cards. Still, we settled on an analog solution for we believe it to be the most helpful to the user. Ensuring users spend less time with technology is a viable solution to our problem and it’s feasible enough for the user to adapt. However, desirability may not happen immediately as the user will be switching from digital platforms to an analog system. In the consistency stage, the opportunity area our concept focuses on is “How might we help users schedule work sessions with intervals”. We recognise the area as contributing to maintaining the newly established positive habits. We also thought of including incentives in the design concept to facilitate task completion, and help our target audience (end-users) visualise their progression.

Prototype

Prototype

Prototype

With this design concept, we aim to test the possibility for users to maintain a new habit through an analog based system. Our objective is to help users be able to schedule regular work sessions, while paying attention to their break intervals. Some design interventions and channels from our discussions are also included, namely:

  • Task management and prioritisation

  • Time management

  • Progress trackers

  • Periodical self assessment

  • Regular breaks and check-ins

  • Regular mindfulness and meditation schedule


To further make this concept successful, we leveraged the decision levers that seek to:

  • Help them in building a consistent routine

  • Use goals to incentivise them in finishing their tasks

  • Help them minimise external distractions from technology


We believe proper use of this system will be a positive contribution towards good habits we want to instil in the user. The desired habits we want to inspire from this system are consistency, accountability and mindfulness.

With this design concept, we aim to test the possibility for users to maintain a new habit through an analog based system. Our objective is to help users be able to schedule regular work sessions, while paying attention to their break intervals. Some design interventions and channels from our discussions are also included, namely:

  • Task management and prioritisation

  • Time management

  • Progress trackers

  • Periodical self assessment

  • Regular breaks and check-ins

  • Regular mindfulness and meditation schedule


To further make this concept successful, we leveraged the decision levers that seek to:

  • Help them in building a consistent routine

  • Use goals to incentivise them in finishing their tasks

  • Help them minimise external distractions from technology


We believe proper use of this system will be a positive contribution towards good habits we want to instil in the user. The desired habits we want to inspire from this system are consistency, accountability and mindfulness.

With this design concept, we aim to test the possibility for users to maintain a new habit through an analog based system. Our objective is to help users be able to schedule regular work sessions, while paying attention to their break intervals. Some design interventions and channels from our discussions are also included, namely:

  • Task management and prioritisation

  • Time management

  • Progress trackers

  • Periodical self assessment

  • Regular breaks and check-ins

  • Regular mindfulness and meditation schedule


To further make this concept successful, we leveraged the decision levers that seek to:

  • Help them in building a consistent routine

  • Use goals to incentivise them in finishing their tasks

  • Help them minimise external distractions from technology


We believe proper use of this system will be a positive contribution towards good habits we want to instil in the user. The desired habits we want to inspire from this system are consistency, accountability and mindfulness.