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I. OVERVIEW

Although we grew up in a digital age, it is no secret that even Generation Z gets overwhelmed by the abundance of information that comes with the internet. This is where the term "zoning out" comes from. Our minds tend to wander even when we are physically in class, but at least our classmates and professors were holding us accountable. Now that COVID-19 has left us increasingly relying on the internet for education, zoning out is easier than ever. The question is, can we work hand-in-hand to zone in?

💻  Key Skills

content strategy, relationship management

💻  Team & Partnerships

  • Software Engineers: Amrita Dhaliwal, Mario De Jesus (Lead), & Judy Zhang 
  • Designers: Diego Ttito (Lead), Laney Ching
  • Technical Mentor: Jessica Gutierrez (Product Manager at Netflix)

💻  Timeline

Jun 2020 - Jul 2020 (1 month)

💻  Technologies Involved

  • Social media (UX research recruitment): ︎︎︎︎︎
  • Design software (UX & presentation design): Adobe XD, Sketch, and Figma.
  • Programming Languages (tech stack): JavaScript, Python, and HTML.


II. MARKET RESEARCH


💻  Pain Points and Opportunities for Growth*

*based on qualitative and quantiative insights from our team's research surveys for potential end-users: high school students, undergraduate students, and graduate students (usually working professionals as well) all over the world


  • This problem leads to an important opportunity for growth in helping students overcome bad productivity habits, recognize their individual potential, and exceed it in a set amount of time.


💻  Key Solutions*

*based on qualitative and quantiative insights from our team's research surveys for potential end-users: high school students, undergraduate students, and graduate students (usually working professionals as well) all over the world


  • For students and employees who have difficulty filtering distractions, ZoneIn is an educational tool that assists them with dedicating specific times of the day to work.
  • Unlike our competitors, ZoneIn offers intrinsic value to our users by providing them with educational resources on how to better shift their focus to top priorities. We allow our users to customize the types of sites they want to block and allot specific time slots to work on their given tasks.



💻  User Personas

We developed realistic user personas from the surveys we conducted. Our web extension is designed to directly address their pain points and aspirations. Here are a few specific examples of potential end-users who will be able to access our product within the comfort of their homes: 


 


III. PRODUCT STRATEGY

💻  SWOT Analysis

Strengths:
  • Charity component (positive reinforcement)
  • Offers statistics on time saved and money supported to charities over time
  • Individual site customizability

Weaknesses:
  • No long-term plan for ad revenue 
  • Limited scope to just Google Chrome 
  • Cannot control all distractions

Opportunities:
  • Corporate sponsorships
  • Partnerships with schools
  • Gamified mobile app version

Threats: 
  • Limited time frame
  • Already-established productivity apps steal our idea for corporate social responsibility


💻  Competitive Positioning

Our team decided to focus primarily on Generation Z as our target market— understanding how their attention span (8 seconds) is significantly shorter than other generations and why online learning has taken a toll on their ability to focus due to distractions. This means offering a productivity tool in the form of a browser extension (functional in incognito mode) called ZoneIn (the antonym of zoning out, naturally).

For students and employees who have difficulty filtering distractions, Zone In is an educational tool that assists them
with dedicating specific times of the day to work. We promote social responsibility by implementing a point system promising a donation to a charity of their choice. 


  • Unlike our competitors, ZoneIn offers intrinsic value to our users by providing them with educational resources on how to better shift their focus to top priorities. 
  • Our unique value proposition (UVP) would be allowing our users to customize the types of sites they want to block and allot specific time slots to work on their given tasks. 
  • We have identified primary, secondary, and tertiary competitors we may face, which are mostly wellness and productivity apps that rely on the self-discipline of their users. Since we understand who we are going to serve, so we are going to set financially inclusive prices and appeal to the collaborative nature of Gen Z by allowing users to hold each other accountable. 


IV. Technical Specifications


Chrome Extension
  • Language: JavaScript
  • Functionality: The extension will grab your URL and send it to the local Python server hosted on your computer. It will receive a code from the Python server which will be a 1 for block or a 2 for an allow. If it receives a block for a normal website the extension will erase the HTML and display “BLOCKED.” If the URL is a YouTube video then it will simply redirect the user to the YouTube homepage.


Single Session
  • Language: Python
  • Functionality: The Python application will start up a local server being hosted on your computer to handle the requests for that user alone. The Python app will also be equipped with an AI to be able to block entertainment videos from YouTube and entertainment websites. Finally the user will also be able to set up their time session, once it completes then the session will terminate by disabling the AI.



Website Categories
  • Entertainment: Society, Recreation, Sports, Shopping, Games, Adult, Home
  • Educational: Arts, Business, Computers, Science, Health, Reference, News 
The AI will be able to analyze the URL and determine what category it is and will send a 1 if it is an entertainment category or a 2 otherwise.

Video Categories
  • Entertainment: Film & Animation, Pets & Animals, Sports, Travel & Events, Gaming, People & Blogs, Comedy, Entertainment
  • Educational: Autos & Vehicles, Music, News & Politics, How-To & Style, Education, Science & Technology, Nonprofits & Activism
For YouTube videos the AI will analyze the data from the video’s webpage, if it fits under an entertainment category then it will send a 1 or else it will send a 2.


Group Session
  • Language: Python
  • Functionality (Host): One user will have to start the host program. In the program the user will have to input a password, hour, and minute all of their choice.
  • Functionality (Host): All users including the host must launch the client application in order to join the group session. When they launch they will be prompted to input the host ip address, once they input the password the chat room will appear, but they will have to input the password set by the host. Once they joined their Python application for the Python flask and AI will launch. Once the host is launched and set up and the users have finished joining, they now have a group chat to chat with the group member and a countdown timer. When the host leaves, the session will end.


💻  Future Optimizations



  • Individualized AI that learns from the user as it goes and understands which sites to block entirely
  • Financial incentives that allow the most productive individuals to donate to their favorite charity
  • Expansion towards additional devices, such as phones and home systems, in order to create an entirely distraction-free environment for users


V. OUTCOMES


💻  Recognition