Time management is often a challenge all college students deal with. Encouraging students to build positive work habits and attitude while motivated, Keep Going is a three-part system to remind them in physical, digital, and spatial context to stay on task.
College is the time of solidifying one's character and behavior. It's often during these years in which work habits become encoded in students and gets carried on to their workplace and into their future.
However, many college students struggle from time management and finishing their assignments on time, setting sleep and health at the bottom of their priorities. Such working style affect the students' grades, well-being, as well as long-term work productivity.
As part of promoting healthy lifestyle on campus project, Sharon Yu, Christina Flores, and I worked as a team to create a three-part-system that helps facilitate positive work habits.
Through research and talking to a several Carnegie Mellon students, we found that most students are aware of the faults in their work habits, such as procrastinating, getting distracted, or hitting a roadblock mid-project and getting stuck. While they recognize the issues, students have a hard time changing because they lack motivation and control. In addition, being overwhelmed with work without support or reassurance was also identified as a factor to incubate bad work habits.
As a solution, we decided to implement a support system that is not too intrusive of students' workflow, but present enough to grab students' attention when they are distracted. This system combines advice, encouragement, and reinforcement to motivate students in their work context. We believed that this solution is practical and has low barrier of engagement.
Our visual identity consisted of tangled strings to symbolize the frustration of getting distracted or stuck while working. We also used vibrant colors and friendly language to communicate to the younger (student) audience.
Our slogan was "Let's keep going" which is inclusive and encouraging but also instigative to get students back on track.
The first part of the system is table cards placed around work spaces for students to read when they get distracted. The front side shows tangled strings over the message "Everyone gets a little distracted sometimes" to tell students that it's okay to give themselves a little break. On the other side, there are tips on how to work more efficiently.
The second part of the system is Google Chrome plugin 'Keep Going' that prevents students from getting distracted with student-customized distraction sites and messages. Once the he/she activates the plugin and accesses the blocked sites, the message the student wrote to her or himself not to get distracted will pop up. This idea of customization was inspired by students' responses on how they are unwilling to change with an external force—it would only work when they are willing to change from within. The other two parts of the system would lead students to download this plugin.
Environmental/ spatial Piece
The third part of the system is water bottles to target students taking water breaks but get distracted and end up getting off track. We found that students often take breaks when they feel stuck or don't know how to proceed, so this was a good place for us to intervene with our message. It offers encouragement to keep going while gently nudging at students to go back to work after the break is done.
Curious about the process? Please visit...