Simple Timer
How might we...
Create a productivity application seperate from distracting appliances like phones, tablets, etc.
Research/Precedent:
I was inspired by the Pomodoro Timer and productivity apps like Forest.

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that breaks down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.

In Forest, Every time you want to focus, you plant a tree that will grow as long as you focus on the task you want to accomplish and will die if you leave the app and get distracted.

Through cursory user testing, these two methods have proven to be ineffective. They just resulted in distractions from phone notifications.
Prototyping
It was a challenge thinking ahead and planning the shell of the device. Getting the spacing for the LED strip holes. Planning for where to position the hole for the power wire in such a way that the insides aren’t revealed too much. The shape of the shell was also hard to figure out. I experimented with curvature and sizes but ultimately made it square so as to make the device stable and easy to press down.

I also wanted to make a ring of LED lights to represent the passage of time, but I decided against it as it was unnecessarily complex.
Development
I took the concept of the pomodoro timer and modified it a little. I added a counter that increases the interval length every time you work. I changed the trademark red colour of the pomodoro timer to a more inviting blue as the red colour was extremely piercing in the dark.

I also added mood-lights that act as a kind of nightlight/soothing background light, but after a few days of testing it myself, I found that it wasn’t really effective.

The Mario themed alarm was effective at being a striking tune that pleasantly reminded me when to work and when to relax. When I used a generic alarm tune I went into work in a bad mood, almost dreading work. The Mario theme delighted me whenever I heard it.

I have eventually stripped down the object to be a device that breaks down work into increasingly long intervals of time to gradually encourage the user to work longer while compartmentalizing time and helping the user be more organised.