September 1, 2014

Testing Prototype 2 and 3

For the past four weeks Kyle Zamcheck has been testing the latest prototypes.

Kyle is a prolific theatre artist who moved to Austin in 2011 from the Northeast. She has already been involved in writing, directing, and acting in several performances. She also splits her time working as a speech coach, childcare professional, and art teacher.

Kyle testing
Our prototype tester and formidable artist @kzammy

Prototype 2

Kyle's been testing Prototype 2 and 3. (2 and 3 are functionally the same except the latter has a smaller CNC'd enclosure and improved networking support.)

The major change from the first prototype is the interface. Gone is the display that simply counted up from zero and in it's place are 10 LEDS.

This represents a major shift in thinking of the clock as a motivational tool rather than a time tracking tool. With the new clock your goal is to work ten discrete sessions throughout the week. The default session length is 30 minutes, but this is customizable.

During a work session, the relevant light slowly "breaths" to indicate an active work session. As you complete the session the light goes solid and you can easily see your progress towards your weekly goal. (I can see 5/10 lights on so I know I'm halfway there.)

The testing is incredibly helpful as Kyle generously shares her experience balancing work, art, and life. One of the insights we've discovered together is displaying this object in your home is a public statement of your goal. There's potential for the behavior of your housemates and visitors to change as they support you in these goals. For example, Kyle's boyfriend might decide to make dinner if he can see she's short of her goal and could use the extra time on her art.

These subtle shifts in behavior are very exciting because they can result in massive change if adopted as daily habits. I'll share more insights as we continue testing and respond with prototype revisions.