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An end-to-end iOS app for breaking procrastination, one bite at a time.


UX Designer (me)


80 Hours


UX Research
User Testing
UI & UX Design


Pencil & Paper


How might we provide an experience that could motivate users to stop procrastinating?
There are many factors that tie into why we procrastinate. Ranging from feelings of stress to boredom. But often, people who procrastinate do so without even realizing why. Regardless, procrastination, if not managed properly, can develop into a negative cycle and become detrimental to one's productivity, health and success in life.

The goal is to determine how users currently handle their procrastination habits, and design an iOS app centered around their behaviour and needs in this area.
Pakupaku is a concept iOS app for people who want to overcome their procrastination habits in order to make time and space for things they truly love doing. With Pakupaku, users can learn about their procrastination style, develop deeper self-awareness, and create their own counter-habit routine based on personalized suggestions.

For this case study, features include:
- Self awareness-check
- Solution building guidance
- Pomodoro style study timer

Note: This project was completed for educational purposes only. This is currently not a real app.

Case Study Process

For this case study, I referred to Stanford D School’s Design process and applied their steps as a guideline.


Research Goals

I conducted research to investigate how procrastination affects people and what can be done to break the habit. Some questions I considered included:

  • Understand how people procrastinate, what do they do instead of working on their tasks?
  • Understand how they cope with procrastinating in their minds?
  • What is the user’s purpose in procrastinating?
  • When do they start their actual project/tasks?
  • How do they overcome procrastination?

Understanding procrastination and how to overcome it

Secondary research: Psychological & Behavioral Theories
I began by researching on procrastination, causes, types, and how to overcome it. This included what solutions currently exist and what problems they potentially solve and lack.

User Research
To better understand people’s procrastination habits, I conducted user interviews with 5 individuals. To avoid potential influence of monetary-extrinsic motivations, I focused on graduate students and individuals who were studying at that time.

Research outcomes
A few users have the tendency to overestimate their ability to complete their assignments on time, underestimate the amount of work required to complete the assignments, or both.
Rather than working on the task, users occupy their time with activities that are more "worth their present time".
Solutions that have worked included: emphasizing deadlines, breaking the work into smaller tasks, setting alarms, having an interest in the topic, sharing their progress (or lack of) with their friends
User's perception of "enough time" depends on their level of confidence, and their feeling of urgency, relative to other tasks.
People procrastinate due to a variety of reasons. There is no one size fits all solution.
Procrastinators felt:
Bored emoji face
frustrated Emoji face
Losing Patience Emoji Face
Losing Patience
Anxious Emoji Face
Stressed Emoji Face
Overwhelmed Emoji Face

Synthesizing the Data

With the data collected, I sorted the common themes by constructing an affinity diagram.

Although procrastinators share the same behaviour of procrastinating (pushing back their tasks), their underlying motivations were different and their coping behaviour appeared to be different.

Below, I outlined grouped the results under four categories. This highlighted the fact that despite being different types of procrastinators, all users shared the basic need and goal of increasing self awareness, and learning methods to stop procrastinating.


Meet Lila, the Avoider

Based on secondary research and research findings, I categorized the procrastination behaviors into three main groups. This followed Dr. Ellen Hendriksen's (clinical psychologist at Boston University's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders) theory on 3 types of procrastinators, the Avoider, Optimist, and Pleasure seeker.

I created three separate personas to serve as a model to reflect back on. For the purpose of this case study, I focused on Lila, "the Avoider" as my primary persona.

"I'm aware that I'm Procrastinating, but I just can't help it. I feel so overwhelmed." - Lila
  • Develop self control over her habit
  • Feel confident enough to start work earlier
  • Understand the reason behind her behaviour
  • School Grades
  • Passion in Subject
  • Graduating on time
  • Encouraging classmates
  • Self Esteem
Procrastination Behaviour
  • Paralyzed- Anxious & Overwhelmed
  • "Later" Mentality
  • Distraction- games & sms
  • Stress induced
  • High levels of stress increase with closer due date
  • Feeling helpless towards her procrastination habit
  • Anxiety increases yet doesn't take action

How might we help Lila with her needs?

Understanding Lila's perspective as the "Avoider" type, I compared Dr. Hendriksen's research and my own discovered research to confirm the similar behaviour patterns.
This guided the development of the main problems and HMW questions to be solved:

Problem 1: Lila labels herself as a 'procrastinator' and feels helpless towards her procrastination habit.
Problem 2: Lila feels overwhelmed by the work she has to complete. This results in self-distraction but also increased stress and anxiety.
Problem 3: Lila doesn't understand why she continues to repeat her behaviour despite seeing the negative consequences.
How might we..detach her from this identity and help her feel empowered to combatting her habit?
How might we.. help her feel more in control over her situation?

How might we.. decrease her desire to distract herself (run away) and face her fears?
How might we.. help her understand the potential causes of her procrastination habits and triggers?

Designing Lila's Tasks

Based on the three main types of procrastinators, users may result in any of the outcomes. I decided to trace their paths through a task flow. The greyed out areas are Optimist and Pleasure seeker paths, and the highlighted one is the Avoider. The following task flow illustrates how Lila, the Avoider would typically finish her task.


Initial Iterations

After forming a clear idea of the structure and features for the app, I compared them to the HMW questions to ensure that I was solving Lila's needs.

Once this was confirmed, I began brainstorming and sketching low fidelity wireframes.

After multiple sketch iterations, and discussions with my mentor, I created mid-fidelity wireframes on Figma. These screens included: Home Screen, Quiz Screen, Results Screen, Solutions Screen, Introspection Screen, and a few Timer Screens. Creating them in this way helped me with the visual hierarchy, text and balance of the overall look before adding details.


Branding for Pakupaku:
"Friendly, Supportive, Encouraging, Useful"

To create the brand style tile, I gathered inspiration from Pinterest and created a mood board. With a better idea of the app's direction, I created the logo following the brand attributes above.
Inspired by Alice in Wonderland's White Rabbit, the app icon is a rabbit silhouette. The original character is one who is rushing, running towards and reaching his destination, while leading the way for Alice. In a similar sense, the Pakupaku rabbit represents:
Guidance, and moving forward towards one's goals.

The brand style tile includes the app's colour palette, typography, and visual elements.



I decided on naming this app “Pakupaku”, which is an onomatopoeia for “munching” in Japanese (think, Pac-man).  The idea stems from the app’s main purpose, which is helping procrastinators heal their habits, “one bite at a time”. After identifying the brand's style and elements, I followed the guidelines created and designed the high fidelity wireframes.


Design Validation

To test the effectiveness of Lila's user flow, I conducted remote testing through Zoom with 5 potential users, aged 25-55 that aligned with the persona. These were some of the tasks that I focused on:

  • Having the urge to procrastinate, upon entering the app, how would you proceed?
  • How would you learn more about your procrastination habits through this app?

By grouping together common usability behaviours and observations, I gained insight on design decisions that worked successfully and common usability errors that could be improved on and revised.

Users who procrastinate appreciate guidance in learning about their behaviors.

Many were unaware of their patterns until they were asked- this showed that self awareness could grow with increased exposure. Future features for the Avoider could include:  journalling, daily check ins and reminders

The timer feature worked well with users who needed 'support and outside help' (guidance and structure). The timer feature theme was happily accepted by majority of users.
They felt the attractiveness made it easier or more fun to engage in the "Study session".


Pakupaku, in use

Below is a sample of the Pakupaku app for the 'Avoider' type users. This is what Lila would essentially be tapping through. Each feature below could help address her main needs.

1. Discover your procrastination type

Take the quiz to understand your procrastination type and learn about potential solutions.

2. Review and keep track of your progress

Be on top of your game, keep track of your tasks. Tick off your to do list while slowly building confidence.

Prototype Gif- Quiz

3. Dig deeper into your behavior

Through self reflection, learn more about the underlying reasons behind your behavior.

View Prototype


Since procrastination is affected by multiple reasons and factors, it's not a simple topic to tackle. For this app, I based the concept on psychology research findings. Although it may not cover every single case for users, it generally caters to the three main types mentioned previously. Breaking it down even further, I focused on creating features for "The Avoider" type. In future iterations, I would love to cater to the other two types and further refine the Avoider's solutions.

Key Takeaways
Through this experience of designing an app from scratch, I developed a better understanding of the design process and the importance of identifying the core problem and user research. Looking back, I would have liked to interview more users from the different procrastinator types, and deepen my analysis in customer journey maps for each case to cover a larger area for potential challenges. A priority revision would also include a welcome tutorial for all users.

For this first round of MVP usability testing, I conducted tests on users from all three persona types. I wanted to observe the differences and similarities between the different types of procrastinations and their reactions.This project was challenging and interesting to research. Creating an app concept from scratch to its first prototype stage felt rewarding. I also realized the importance of having Lila, our Avoider Procrastinator. Having a persona to refer back to provided guidance in the decision making process.

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