work mode

A digital wellbeing tool that helps you balance your work and rest


A Design Sprint with Google

We were asked to identify a specific user problem in the digital wellbeing field and create a product to protect users from the potential hazards of mobile devices and technology.

my role

Project Management
System Thinking
Motion Design
Video Editing


Adobe XD
Google Slides
Adobe Premiere


Lingsou Xie
Ted Huang
Mustafaa Tajuddin
Alex Yang



The challenge

Smart devices are interfering with work productivity

Nowadays, with the rapid development of the Internet, people begin to connect their digital devices to their work computers more frequently, or directly put their mobile phones in front of them.
These phenomena make it easy to get distracted by phone calls, text messages, and notifications on social media. When employees open the notification, many of them will start to look at non-work content, which reduces their productivity.

Productivity is Suffering

3/4 employees lose 2+ hours of work a day to distraction from smart devices.

1 Hour of Non-work Activities

On average, employees spend nearly 56 minutes of working time each day using smart devices for non-work activities.

Employees are Distracted

23% Australians say they are regularly distracted by smartphones and social media at work.

1st Killer of Work Efficiency

Improper use of smart devices increases the probability of employees making mistakes.
Phone call/message: 49%
Internet: 38%
Social media: 37%

How might we remind our users to get back to work when they are distracted by digital devices and give them the benefit of their judgment.


The solution

WORK MODE allows users to freely customize their working methods according to their habits, reducing the interference caused by non-work activities, while still receiving important information sent by others.

key features

Easy Setup

We provide Work Mode Session in the digital wellbeing setting, which is more friendly to users at work than the pure Wind-Down mode. It can be turned on in simple steps.
Additionally, users can share the Workplace location in Google Map with Work Mode by turning on the location service.

Customized Setup

Users can nimbly manage notification access for various applications,  duration, and break reminders.

quick start

Work Mode is not limited to location or time. Users can start Work Mode in multiple ways based on various kinds of scenarios. Then users will easily engage in productive work.

For users who connect the Google Map, the system will ask if the user would like to turn on Work Mode when they arrive at the office.

When working outside, users can turn on Work Mode manually by sweeping down the notification bar. Work Mode is displayed with Do not Disturb.

Note the icon of Work Mode on the top right bar.

We care about users with Pixel Stand. Once they connect phones with their Pixel Stand, the system will ask the user whether to turn on Work Mode.

Break Reminder

Users will receive a break reminder after working for a long time and choose to rest a little bit. Meanwhile, they will get temporary access to social media.

Batched Notifications

Unimportant notifications are properly stored in a notification folder, resulting in a clear and effective notification experience.

Back to Work

When the maximum break duration has been reached, Work Mode will advise users to go back to work, preventing users from getting distracted for so long.

Urgent Notification Access

Secondary User

If secondary users have urgent messages that need to be notified to the primary user, they can still send the message by clicking the "Urgent Message" icon.

Primary User

When a message is determined to be an urgent message, the system will enable permission to show the message on the primary user's phone. No urgent message will be missed!


Time Management

My teammates and I only had 3 weeks for this project. Additionally, our class moved online because of COVID. To ensure that we could effectively accomplish all the tasks, I made a schedule and detailed each step, and divided the work according to our areas of expertise.

Topic Define (Workshop)

We started with some pain points from digital wellbeing and explored users' major needs. After voting for Top 3, we had another round of discussions to define the title more comprehensively.

  • Choice 1: How might we help users to understand their emotional insecurities?

  • Choice 2: How might we offer users a delightful experience on working with one task?

  • Choice 3: How might we help users to stay focused?

How might we remind our users to get back to work when they are distracted by digital devices and give them the benefit of their judgment?

Qualitative Interviews

We determined our target users by conducted qualitative interviews with people who work in the office, students, and people who work from home.
As we were about to do our interview, our city was just under curfew, so the biggest challenge we faced was to seek people who weren't so busy at that time.

Mike B.

"I just started to work from home, and my phone was attracting my attention all the time. I really wish I can be focus deeply while I am working."

Jasmine G.

"I have to adjust Do not Disturb mode before I go to work and before I go to bed. I need a setting to show some notifications for work, which is different from Do not Disturb that blocks everything."

Kaiche L.

"I sometimes work outside such as cafe and park. However, I still want to have a sense of working and my phone won't show non-related notifications."

Experience Map

After several rounds of dot voting, we arranged our user journey map and tried to find opportunities on our map to find more opportunities.


Instead of designing a new App, we tend to design a built-in Work Mode for the digital wellbeing system.

The start/end of Work Mode needs to allow users to feel the ritual transition between work and rest.

There should be various ways to start Work Mode.

We should provide a setting section, rather than waiting for the user to set it on the spot when they need it.


The storyboard shows the overall flow of users using our products. We identified more functional opportunities from the process:

Reminding customers to return to work is more acceptable than forcing customers to return to work.

We can set a message authority to block unnecessary information, but at the same time open the authority for important information so it can be presented to users.

Bird's Eye View Map

The bird's-eye view helped us understand the relationship between Google's current system and our candidate features during on/off.

Need to have work and rest time timing.

Folder to storage the unimportant notifications.

Notification permissions can be preset.

Flow Chart

Since our goal is to make the work mode easy to access, we didn't add complex features. Instead, we refined the setup system and used flowcharts to specify the sequence and number of interfaces.
Along the way, I identified some functional opportunity points:

Work Mode should be at the same level as Wind Down.

Work Mode should have the Do Not Disturb form.

Location recognition can be set and automatically turned on.


A/B Testing

I made two versions of the layout and made clickable prototyping models, allowing a group of users to use the two models one after the other and vote according to their preferences.

UI Flow

JUMP TO Solution


Time Management

This is my first time play a project manager as part of my role. After carefully clarifing the timeline, I matched teammates' schedule, setting up the meeting while promising everyone's proficient outcome ontime.

Online Collabration

Our class moved online which challenged a way of collabration. After analyzing all teammates' skills, we assigned different parts and meet regularly to make sure we are on the same path.


When I feel multiple skills are best practiced in a team, this design sprint project helped me to demonstrate myself as problem solver for the client-based project.


Flow for the setting

-For user flow of settings, some sections are not as same as the current digital wellbeing setting. If there is no specific reason to set up a new flow, can the use flow be the same while making the user still achieve the goal successfully?


-The prototype demonstrates that the expanded notification folder only shows one column of Apps. If there are a lot of notifications from various Apps, will the notification folder show all the notifications on the home screen?

Next Step


-Collect more data from users from various fields and try to seek more insights by analyzing.

User testing

-The project ended so fast that we didn't have enough time to went through several rounds of user testing. I definitely want to receive feedback from users such as students, employees who work from home and in the office, and people whose work is special.