Passion Project
Project Overview
After using the physical "Bullet Journal" system to manage our lives for several months a friend and myself decided to build a digital app that would facilitate the same system while capturing data about our productivity that we could use to find insights. We called our application BrainHub.
My Contributions
Since we were a tiny team I did everything from conducting the user interviews to refine our vision of the product, to designing the general architecture of the application, and finally designing the visual interactions and components.
Problem & Research

Some of the best productivity systems are still paper based. We set out to learn what they get right so we could incorporate that into our application. I conducted user interviews of people who had well-defined productivity systems and those who we more casual about it.

"I use a combination of Evernote, my calendar, and reminders on my phone but I still forget things pretty often"
"I typically spend 15 mins everyday entering and updating my list in a notebook. I love that ."
"I use a combination of Evernote, my calendar, and reminders on my phone but I still forget things pretty often"
"I typically spend 15 mins everyday entering and updating my list in a notebook. I love that ."
Initial Iteration

In my initial designs I thought back to my experience using post-it notes and sketched out an interface that mimicked the idea of a digital note for each day. I continued to refine the idea as I understood the interactions that would need to take place and got feedback on the designs from others.
I heard early feedback that entries were hard to tell apart when scanning through the feed. While exploring this problem, I came up with an idea to allow users to choose an emoji for each entry. This quickly turned into one of the most popular aspects of the design!As the designs took shape, my engineer built the the basic functionality and got it set up with the Apple TestFlight program so that we could all test it on our phones.

Dogfooding It

There's no substitute for experience. The beta improved the way we managed our days, but it also raised lots of usability questions. Even more importantly, we got to see where and when we were using the application. This led to our decision to make a big change.

Platform Pivot

Constantly checking your phone at work doesn't give the impression you're being productive. Also, checking your phone makes it easy to be distracted by another notification or app. We decided to pivot from building a mobile app first to a web app meant for a laptop.

Interaction Redesign

Designing for a new platform changes everything! I started a new design process using motion wireframes to get feedback on some of the transitions and interactions in the new desktop designs.

One entry at a time

In my mobile designs I had anticipated taps, drags, and presses enabling much of the functionality but these interactions don't translate as well to a laptop. The action menu (shown here) performed the best with our users and will enable us to dynamically change the options depending on the context.

Designing for data

From the beginning, we knew that data would be the key to helping people find the patterns that are difficult to recognize on your own. As we have focussed on enhancing the data captured in BrainHub and we've come to think about it in two categories: Implicit, and Explicit Data.

Implicit Data

What days of the week are you the most productive? What things are you likely to procrastinate? Implicit data describes the context of all the actions you take within BrainHub and can help you answer questions like these. We are continuing to refine the implicit data we capture because you cannot recover this if it is not captured.

Explicit Data

This data you track intentionally to explore an area of your life. We're adding support for a bunch of different data types (money, time, duration, value, etc) so that you can explore anything from your spending habits, to practice, hygiene, or any number of other areas of your life.