In this project I tried to answer the question: How can we integrate a phone app more naturally into everyday life? Apps on our phones have replaced many tools that we used to have around us in everyday life. These apps have many advantages over their real life equivalents, like how a to-do list on a phone can be adjusted and renewed anywhere and anytime unlike a tangible version on the fridge. But these useful apps can't always replicate the natural interaction people have with tangible objects because they are hidden away and demand either full or no attention at all. Within a small team I tried to combine the advantages of a to-do list app and the fundamental values of a tangible to-do list into an interactive object (TOODOO) where attention can switch from full to none to anywhere in between.
Early on user research was done to find out how people use to-do list apps and tangible lists. This was done by doing interviews, visiting people to observe them using their lists and by trying out different kinds of lists within our team to gain more first-hand experience. Things we came to find out about tangible lists for example were that the action of striking out a completed task and having a constant reminder of progress were very valuable.
After gaining some user insights the story and values of to-do list keeping was condensed into personas and word maps. These materials were used as inspiration for sketching concepts. Concepts were guided by the idea that tasks had to be seperate but not give away too much information, instead using more abstract visuals to convey basic information.
Because we wanted to mimic physical interaction with traditional tangible to-do lists we made lo-fi prototypes from scrap materials. This allowed us to make quick concepts and get a better feel for the overall experience coming from the interaction and the visuals. We ultimately settled on our final form for TOODOO which is a simple 6-sided tube with a slider system.
The final concept is an interactive object (TOODOO) connected to a to-do list app where the user can display items from the app on the six sides of the object. Each item on the list has a slider that can be moved to 'strike out' a task or subsections of a bigger task. Changes made in the app directly appear on the object. Showing the to-do items and their progress in this way allows the to-do list to disappear somewhat into the background (while still being present) and can always be brought back to full attention if needed.