In 2014 US Senator Charles Schumer called FitBit a “privacy nightmare” declaring that “without their knowledge, Fitbit bracelets and smartphone apps are tracking user’s movements that could be sold to third parties.” Designers George Crichow, Berk Illan and May Sun saw this an opportunity to create the anti-Fitbit.
An app that only shows free time slots on a calendar. When scheduling a personal event, ExcuseME generates an accompanying excuse that allows a user to politely decline a meeting invite.
Field research with university students, working professionals and entrepreneurs revealed that all interviewees shared the same traits of struggling to maintain a work/life balance. We called this group "On Callers" because were constantly reacting to schedules changes and meeting invites. Interviews, online surveys and observations revealed that on callers felt guilty saying no to others and taking personal time for themselves.
DEFINING NEED STATES:
The painpoints were clear but the solution wasn't. After many debates, validating and testing three design principles were created that addressed our user findings. One, on callers wanted help identifying freetime in their schedules. Two, they wanted a simple solution to designate time for themselves without being judged by their peers and finally they wanted a polite way of declining meeting request.
Informed by field research and interviews with health experts, our team sought out to test several idea. Our methodology included creating mock-up screens and doing card sort techniques to gauge interest and prioritize user needs.
Built into the app are incentives for committing to free time. At the end of every month, users accumulate points for every personal task they commit to. Through paid sponsorship, users can exchange the points that they earned for discounts to services like Seamless or earn Skymiles that they can use towards booking a vacation.