Research: Taskly

This is an overview of my research process on a responsive task management web app called Taskly. This research was used to create an interactive prototype of core features of the app, which I tested and improved upon in successive iterations. Check out my detailed Taskly Design page to see my design process based on this research.


project background

Taskly was a responsive task management web app I researched and designed for a CareerFoundry UX course. I did conducted all research activities to understand users' challenges with similar apps and their needs from a task management product. I worked closely with Pia Klancar, a professional UX designer at Cliqz GmbH, who served as the Product Owner and a mentor on the project.


defining the project

Project Requirements

The primary goal was to design a user-centered task management web app. I used a Lean approach to quickly understand users' needs for such an app through research. Then I wireframed and usability tested an interactive prototype (MVP) to identify improvements for future iterations.


Problem Statement

Users need a task management app that helps them easily organize and efficiency completing their daily tasks.


discovery research

Research Questions

I conducted research to understand users' existing task management workflow, as well as their needs from a task management app. Below are the research questions I sought to answer.

1. What is our users' current task management workflow?

2. Are users able to manage their tasks efficiently enough?

3. What are users' primary needs from a task management app? What features and design requirements should be included in Taskly?


Research Methods

Competitor Analysis

Following a Lean approach, I began with a competitor analysis to review common features and design elements of task management apps. I conducted a thorough analysis of 3 individual daily task management apps (Wunderlist, Trello, and TeuxDeux) and 3 team-oriented project management apps (Asana, Basecamp, and Zoho Projects). Based on my review, I thought these apps didn't sufficiently guide users to accomplish their tasks promptly.

Hypothesis: Delaying task completion beyond due dates is a significant challenge for users in their current task management.


User Interviews

I created an interview script to learn more about users' task management workflow and to identify any issues they faced. I also wanted to explore my hypothesis that procrastination was a major issue, though I wouldn't be able to validate or reject it with a small sample of interviewees. 

I conducted 4 30-minute user interviews and created an affinity map of my interview notes to identify patterns in interviewee responses.


User Survey

I sought to validate my hypothesis that delaying task completion is a major issue for users in survey with a larger sample size. I also used the survey to gauge user interest in a handful of potential feature that might meet users' needs. I distributed a survey through multiple channels and left it open for 5 days, during which time I received 41 responses. 


Answers to Research Questions

I presented a research report to the the Product Owner, highlighting the answers to my research questions. Research questions and key findings are included below.


1. What is our users' current task management workflow? 


Users typically keep a master list of tasks on hand and then plan a daily queue either before before bed or when they start the day.

All interviewees typically kept a master list of all tasks they needed to eventually complete. Either before bed or when they started their day, they'd sit down with the master list and select key tasks to focus on that day. I called this moment the Focus Moment, when users would plan a task queue that they would carry with them throughout the day as a reference.


2. Are users able to manage their tasks efficiently enough?


Delayed task completion is a challenge for our users, but they don't view it as a significant problem. 

My hypothesis that users currently delay the completion of tasks beyond due dates was confirmed by my survey data. 33 of 41 respondents (87%) said they defer at least 1-2 tasks daily.


However, I was surprised to discover that, users did not view this as a major concern. On a Likert scale from 1 to 5 (1 = Not at all important, 5 = Essential), respondents rated it an average 3.20 importance that they complete all their daily tasks.


3. What are users' primary needs from a task management app? What features and design requirements should be included in Taskly?


Users need a way to plan their daily queue from their master list, as well as a queue they can access on their mobile device throughout the day.

The survey results also showed that users had the most enthusiasm for a Calendar feature and a Task Queue to sequence their tasks among the features I tested. This enthusiasm for a task queue dovetailed nicely with my interview findings, which showed that both the queue planning and the ability to refer back to the queue on mobile throughout the day were key design requirements.


synthesis and design planning 

User Personas

Based on my findings, I created personas to better understand the goals, frustrations, and daily workflows of my users.


Task Model and Journey Map

I anticipated how Taskly could fit into users' daily workflows by modeling user journeys and tasks.


next steps

I used my research to sketch, wireframe, and test an app design with an interactive prototype. To learn more about my design process, visit my Taskly Design page.