Do (pt 4)
I should definitely be keeping a better record of my experience. That being said, I also hate taking notes. Ideally, it would be nice to embed the analytics data that I want into the application itself. Which, on second thought, most of it is. So the problem is really pulling the analytics data out, and displaying it in some way. Mainly what I’d like to be able to see is interactions per day. If I was to turn this into a startup, then I’d validate the problem/solution by measuring stickiness of this MVP.
On another note, after using the product for another week, I have additional thoughts. My main complaint is that the app doesn’t show me the things that I need to see when I need to see them. It also doesn’t take into account that some tasks are more difficult than others.
For example, my homework tasks each take about 10 hours. I pretty much always have at least 3 homework tasks going on, but I can’t focus on them all at once. And seeing that I have 3 homework tasks is de-motivating. Sometimes I don’t have the time or will power to do a homework task, and in that situation I need to see and easy or fun task that I can complete in order to get re-motivated.
This is even further exemplified by the fact that often I want to multi-snooze tasks. Like, even as I enter them I know they are so unimportant that they can be put in the bottom of the queue without any potential for harm.
In order for the app to do this, however, it clearly would need to know more dimensions about each task. Would users want to guesstimate how much time a task will take them? For me, no, unless the task is quite time consuming. I’m quite proud after completing each homework assignment because I know how difficult and time-consuming they are, so I’d be happy to record that extra information.
Another note: the only time I interact with tasks is to get them out of the front of the list (by completing or snoozing them). A visible task should never be bumped from visibility by the application. Perhaps, though, there needs to be more input for why a task was snoozed.
I’d still like to have some sort of categorization feature. In particular, I’d like to be able to filter to only tasks in one category. When not filtered, I’d also like to only be able to ever see one task from each category (I don’t need to see 5 blog ideas to know that there is always something I could be blogging about). I’m still not really sure how the categorizations will play out though. Should I categorize things based on how long they will take? Almost everything can be modeled by a category, but that doesn’t mean everything should be modeled as a category.
Additionally, there’s thoughts about sub-categories to be considered. Some tasks can be considered as individual, or as part of some larger task. For example, all my blogging ideas can be summarized by one bigger task: “blog”.
Additionally, there’s a whole bunch of natural language processing potential here. I was just noticing that almost all time sensitive stuff can be found after the word “on”. For example, “Microsoft interview on Thursday”.
There’s also Concierge MVP potential here, because we could have real people behind the scenes ordering the tasks (and re-ordering them based on user feedback).
I’ve also noticed that a lot of tasks are repeated. Like a lot of tasks. This, I think, has huge potential. As a user, I don’t want to input lots of information for every task, but I don’t mind doing it for tasks that are recurring. I also don’t mind adding information to recurring tasks in order to improve their quality over time.
I’ve also noticed that a lot of tasks are connected. For example, “find that Robert Frost poem about staring out at the sea” and “[the text of that poem]”. Not entirely sure how to make use of that, but it seems like there is use to be made.
That’s all my thoughts for now. I haven’t made any changes because there’s still so much on the table. The biggest decision I need to make is should I keep making this for myself, or should I make it so that it handles multiple users. If I want this to be a startup, then I think it makes sense to start setting benchmarks for engagement early. But that also brings a huge amount of overhead trying to manage a whole system. Perhaps I should conduct a set of problem and solution interviews.