In mid 2014, I was doing a lot of product design work for Accedo, my previous employer, and I got into one of those cycles where I was super busy, but kind of burnt out. It wasn’t that I no longer enjoyed design, I was just tired of doing so much work that was based off of pre-designed templates and dictated by a group of clients.
So I started looking for a side project that could break me out of this burnout, while still letting me push my product design skills further. First I decided that I wanted to design something that I would actually use. Second, It had to look very cutting edge and stand out in the market place. Third, it needed to be well thought out from on boarding a new user to maintaining a regular user.
I came up with an idea, a few months earlier, to build an app that would track how often and how long a user was using certain apps on their mobile device. I started by treating it like a fitness tracker app. Looking at top apps on the market and building sketches/wireframes that reflected those trending apps. Then I decided that maybe it could be used to track finances, but that seemed like something that the major banks probably wanted to handle.
So I liked the finance idea, but I wanted it to track things on more of a micro level, Like how often do I use Netflix versus Hulu+. Then I ran with that idea and decided that it could be used to track apps within predetermined categories, e.g. fitness, video streaming, music, etc.
That is sort of how Praksi was born. With the idea to track application use and to see which apps were used the most. This would give a user an idea of what apps to keep and which to remove if they needed to clear some space on their device. Also if they're an avid user of video streaming apps and pay a monthly fee for many of them. The user could see which services could be cancel if money became tight.
This was a really fun project that I did run by a couple of my business savvy friends, to which they gave me a ton of advice about. I came to the conclusion, that ultimately this idea is not really viable in a market where device storage is not really an issue and there are tons of apps out there that already track similar things. This lead me to shelf this idea and to use it as a portfolio piece.
I learned a lot from this experience and got to try out some new design techniques. It didn’t completely break me of the burn out, but it definitely made me rediscover why I became a designer in the first place.