1 Project Title & Research Question
TITLE: Whether the use of apps that reduce distractions from mobile phones will affect people’s work or study efficiency
- Why do mobile phones interfere with people’s work or study
How to deal with distractions at work or study
2 Project Topic
TOPIC: With the popularity of smart phones, our life becomes very convenient. People are enjoying the convenience brought by mobile phones, it is very normal to use mobile phones in work or study. But in fact, many people are distracted by mobile phones when they are working and studying. On the one hand, the efficiency of work and study is low. On the other hand, apps for entertainment often make people forget the time. These are actually very common problems in today’s society and many people suffer from them. It is of great significance to study and solve this problem in today’s society. In this context, I want to develop an Android based app, which can effectively help people reduce the interference of mobile phones on work and study.
3 Expected Outputs
1.Similar commodity investigation and shortcomings of exploration and thinking
there must be similar apps in the market so I will briefly introduce them and analyze their shortcomings. For example, one of the more popular apps is called “forest” (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Forest app
Its working principle is: users first set a focus time, and forest will plant a tree during the focus time. During this time, your social media will be blocked. If you stay focused within the set time, the tree will grow and enter your own forest. If you keep using it and keep focusing, your forest will continue to grow. (Seekrtech, 2014) This app also has some disadvantages:
- There is no specific rest time. After people have finished their focus time, they are often prone to re-addicting to their phones, making successfully maintaining focus only work once.
- There is no reminder mechanism for the next time to focus. After the self-set focus time has passed, there is no reminder to focus on the next time, then users may fall back to their old habits.
Another app called “Indistractable”(see Fegure 2),
Figure 2. Indistractable app
This app can change your phone’s application layout, including the home screen, which is also its shortcoming. Changing the layout of apps and home screens can be difficult for people to accept and resist, and they will be overwhelmed and want to close the app directly. Although this app will discourage people from using social media by reducing the number of apps available on the main page and by having a very simple look, it does not block social media notifications. If someone is working, some pop-up notifications may distract them and reduce work efficiency.
We think social media has formed a strong habit in people’s minds. It is unrealistic to break this habit right away. We should gradually let them form a new good habit to replace the current one step by step. (Clear, 2018) Suggests that to break a habit we need to:
Make it not obvious (hide it).
Make it unattractive.
Make it tough.
Make it unsatisfying.
The app I want to develop is based on The Pomodoro Technique(Cirillo, 2018) .Its workflow is to set the time and move for the work you need to complete now. Usually, 4 pomodoros are a cycle, and each pomodoro is 30 minutes, including 25 minutes of focused work time and 5 minutes. A rest period of 10 minutes, repeated four times, that is, after a cycle, usually a relatively long rest period of 15 minutes can be obtained. Its principle is to decompose a large goal into countless small goals. In each pomodoro, you only need to focus on one small goal instead of being overwhelmed by many things. It can also balance focus and rest time, every pomodoro is a focus time, and every 5 minutes is a rest time. Every break is a respite to bring your focus back to what you should be doing. Rewards are always in place, and we can reward users who stay away from their phones and distractions while working and studying, and punish those who use their phones too much. The app I hope to develop is that through the mobile app, it is convenient for users to gradually develop good habits through gentle means to eliminate the interference of mobile phones on work and study, rather than forced withdrawal, which may cause users to return to old habits.
The basic functions of the app I hope to develop include:
1.The user sets a task to be completed within a centralized working time (the default time for a pomodoro is 25 minutes)
2.The user selects the number of pomodoros needed and the tasks to be completed during this time
3.The app blocks notifications in focus mode and restores notifications during breaks. So, we need to implement notification access to the phone.
4.If you successfully complete 25 minutes of work without distraction, the application will make a reward (similar to forest)
5.If they get distracted and open social media or other distracting apps, they will be penalized and rewarded less
Prove that the app is positive for users. From the perspective of users, this app should effectively help them suppress the impulse to use mobile phones during work and study and help them eliminate irrelevant news or unimportant social information. At the same time, considering that the target users are students and employees, the following points should be paid attention to in the design:
- In terms of visual design, the UI of the app should be simple and the user’s goal is to improve work efficiency, so there should be no complicated and useless functions. The overall sense should be simple, modern and serious.
- When it comes to content design, we give beginners a guide to make sure they can use it smoothly. In order not to affect the people who use mobile phones for office, we will not completely restrict their rights to use mobile phones, but use the way of reminding, and the LOGO should be designed to alert users without annoying them. At the same time, we can set up a reward system. If we successfully prevent ourselves from using the phone for a pre-set time, the system will reward us with agreed virtual currency. It is like a game, where people can get a sense of accomplishment. You can also set up challenges that are common in games, and the rewards will increase accordingly, which can motivate users to continue using the app. Notifications do not pop up when a task is in progress, but exist in the background of the message so as not to miss important work messages.
In Coventry, we are looking for a target audience, that is, people whose work and study efficiency is affected by the distractions of mobile phones. The completed app installation package will be sent to them in the form of Android package for testing. It is expected that the survey cycle will be three times. After one week, half a month and one month, feedback from users will be collected and improvements will be made.
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