Tinytask research update

Sorry to keep you in the dark, but we’ve been working in secret! :)

For the past five weeks, over 100 students have been participating in our research. They will finish the experiment next week, and then we will start compiling all the results. I cannot disclose any details about the exact research setup now, but I will do so once we’ve analyzed the data.

Time to introduce the team!

Our research team consists of five people. First of all there are Pieter Desmet and Maria Saaksjarvi, both associate professors at Delft University of Technology (read more about them here). Pieter initiated this project and was my graduation mentor, so he was involved with Tinytask right from the start. Maria has a lot of experience with experimental research, and her knowledge was instrumental in setting up the research. Then we have our two research assistants: Hester and Muryani. They both study the master Design for Interaction at Delft University of Technology, and you can spot them in the photos below. Finally there’s me, but that’s rather obvious.

Tinytask continued

Incoming! It has some time, but as of tomorrow I will pick up where I left off and start the further development of Tinytask. An exciting time lies ahead, here’s how the opportunity arose..

Pieter Desmet – my graduation mentor and associate professor at Delft university of Technology – has founded the Delft Institute of Positive Design, an institute which’ goal is to stimulate the development of knowledge that can aid designers in their efforts to design for human flourishing. And amazingly, one of the first projects that the DIOPD will support is Tinytask. I am immensely proud and grateful for this opportunity to further develop my thesis project.

In the upcoming months we will host an experiment on Delft University of Technology, where we want to measure the effects of Tinytask. We are setting up the experiment as we speak, so I cannot share any findings as of yet. Pieter and I have assembled a core team of enthusiastic and talented happiness pioneers, which I will introduce to you later.

If you’re interested in this project, note that I will post regular project updates on this blog. Additionally, I have created a LinkedIn group that you may join if you wish to be part of our network and/or if you are interested in collaboration: www.linkedin.com/groups/Tinytask-3818141

Graduated… and now

On thursday June 3rd I graduated on the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering after having given a final presentation of my project. My tutors greatly appreciated the work I had done and have awarded it with a grade of 9/10. Does this mean the project is over? Far from it. I’ve received so many positive reactions that I am planning to continue the development of Tinytask, and seek out opportunities to put it on the market. Key issue will be to maintain the authenticity of the product; it should not become too commercial. If there is any advice on how to take this project further, feel free to drop me a line. I can see various possibilities for this type of product, and am interested in your ideas.

Thesis online

After months of hard work, I finished my thesis. Because I would like to share the outcome of my graduation project, I am posting the abstract and project poster here for anyone to download and read.

Download the abstract

Download the poster

On June 3rd I will give a presentation of my project at Delft University of Technology, and hopefully obtain my Masters degree. Afterwards I will upload the presentation to this blog, for those who are interested in the project but lack the time to read the report.

Return of the piggy bank

Remember the ‘saving for Unicef together’ piggy banks I gave away early December? Two weeks ago I received an e-mail from a family in Zoetermeer, informing me that they’d found one of the piggy banks and wanted to return it to me. Today I went to pick it up, and here is the result.

The piggy bank has been passed on 15 times, and has traveled from The Hague to Groningen, Antwerpen, and back. It contained 44 Euros and 73 cents, giving an average donation of 3 Euros per person.

After having reached Zoetermeer, the piggy bank was put on a shelf, and stayed there for a couple of months. I assume that leaving the bank in one’s home and forgetting about it is a bottleneck in the design of this experiment. Had it not been forgotten about, who knows how much money it might have contained now?

I will stop by the headquarters of Unicef NL in the near future to donate the money. Meanwhile, I am very curious what happened to the other three piggy banks.

One month left

Well, we’ve planned a date for my graduation: it will be on Thursday June 3rd! But before I get there, there is a lot that needs to be done.

I’ve been working on a draft report of my graduation project. Trying to fit everything into a 50 page report is quite a challenge. And then there’s illustrations, graphs, fonts, etc. All needs to be done before May 20th. It’s a good thing that I love to be locked in a room to work on some layout.

In the meantime, most of my attention goes out to the user test. The website is nearly online (only accessible for user test participants I’m afraid!), and the keychains have arrived today, after some setbacks. Now all that’s left is to stick them together, as you might be able to tell from the picture below.

There you have it, a short update on what I’m doing. Back to work!

New name, new game, who wants to play?

The product is now named ‘tinytask‘ and the system has been given some final changes. Also, I am looking for people that are interested in participating in a user test.

The product has a new name! ‘I experiment’ was fine as a working title, but had some unintended associations (such as being part of Apple’s product portfolio, or being a seriously naughty web community). I wanted to find a name that is compact, sounds fresh and fun, and conveys the concept in a good way. After considering some 50+ names, ‘Tinytask’ has come out as the winner. The name refers both to the small and concrete assignments that the user receives, as well as the compact physical size of the keychains.

Based upon the feedback I received from my mentors, I’ve changed the system slightly. In stead of receiving all keychains at once, users will subscribe to the keychains, receiving them in batches through the mail. This can be observed in the system overview below (click on it for a bigger picture).

System overview

System overview

I am now working on the final design, planning and production of prototypes. In a couple of weeks time, I plan to do a user test with the system. If you are interested in participating, please send me an email or react to this post.