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“Productive Pals”

Creators: Nerupa and Kevin
High School Students from Mouse Design League (DIIT) @ Bronx Health Sciences High School
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About this Project:

I came up with my idea for the app when I thought about apps that I wished existed to help me with my procrastination. I thought about the fun cute apps that I play like animal crossing pocket camp, hello sweet days, & clawberta- & then I thought “what if a cute app like this existed to help me finish my homework?” And then I made productive pals.

Students often avoid doing homework to play video games, and I wanted to make Productive Pals to motivate students to do their work with video games. Students would have to complete tasks to earn points to unlock mini-games, which they would play with their chosen pal. They cannot unlock these mini-games without completing a task first, so if they want to play, they must work first. Then bonus prizes can be won after the game which the user can use to dress up their pal.

There would be a variety of games available to cater to all users - like adventure games, fighting games, story games..etc. On the main page the task list and the duration of each task would be displayed, which students could change to fit their agenda each day. On the main page you can also see your pal telling you to do your task. There are multiple features to help motivate students to stay on task, like notifications, widgets, and motivational quotes. During the duration of the task, the app will send students reminders in the form of notifications to help students stay on task. If the student responds yes to the question 'Are you on task pal?', each time, they will earn points. Students can change the frequency of these reminders in settings, where they can also change the theme of the app and the pal they want to use.

The pal should be designed to interact with the user in and out of the app. For example, when you open the app, the pal can ask the user how they're doing with animations and reactions to their mood. The experience should be personalized, so when the user is signing up, they will be asked a set of questions to build their profile. Part of these questions will be what their strengths and weaknesses are in school, what their grade level is, and more. There will also be a leaderboard which shows how much points a user has earned, how many tasks, they have completed, and what rank they are.

The users achievements will be displayed on their profile, along with the information before, to help pair the users up with others on the app who may be able to help them complete their tasks. There will also be a forum feature to the app where students can post and answer questions. By helping others you also earn points, and unlock special prizes. Productive pals will be a fun, productive app for all ages. In the future, we can branch out to other platforms like YouTube and build the brand.

The pals can have songs and livestreams to help students study or relax, and their can be motivational comics or animations. More information about the app will be located in the slides.

Project Media


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Community Feedback:

Great Design
Makes Me Think

Feedback from the Judges:

👏 Manager, Design League & Volunteers at Mouse — Emoti-Con Judge
Fantastic job, Nerupa, and Kevin! I love this app design. The playful kawaii graphics make it an enjoyable experience for users. The concept of promoting productivity in youth to complete tasks and assignments by incorporating video games, rewards/incentives, and the opportunity to personalize their app is very innovative! You had many thoughtful features- like that there can be a competition for some users that can be toggled off for those who want to casually use the app, reminders for users to complete a task, motivational quotes, chatroom to support users struggling with a task, and ways the user can visualize their accomplishments.

Two things to think about if you both choose to continue working on this app idea is how would the app measure growth in a weak academic area? And is the completion of tasks to unlock mini-games based on an honor system? Should students submit proof or does it allow access to teachers that submit grades, feedback, ways to improve, etc?

Wonderful job! I also look forward to the pals being live stream DJ's.

👏 Director of Technical Recruitment at Lightyear Health — Emoti-Con Judge
Wow! I've been a student who has struggled with procrastination and this would have been a huge help. The notifications, alerts, and incentives are quite engaging! I also like how you have created space for the user to share how they're feeling in the form of emoji. It's important to recognize every day may not be easy, but we'll get through it.

If you continue moving forward with the app, I could see this building user communities around certain subjects. There could be an opportunity to then share useful resources that have helped others. I look forward to seeing this come to life!

👏 Senior Product Manager at Range — Emoti-Con Judge
Oh, this is a problem of mine you can solve! I liked how you laid out current and future plans. Plus, emphasizing a positive design is crucial and often overlooked. I wonder if you could have laid out the problem and negative effects before jumping into the solution to let users know why you did what. Overall, I think this app has so many useful features!

👏 Director of Instructional Design, 2U Boot Camps at 2U Inc. — Emoti-Con Judge
What a GREAT idea for an app! As someone who's had attention issues my whole life, I could so use something like this. I love that you chose to Gamify getting work done and also included a feature in the app that asks the user how they're doing. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE the design. Bright and cheery. Certainly doesn't make doing homework feel like a bore. I also think your pitch and presentation were so well done--thoughtful, detailed and thorough. Great work team!!

Feedback from the Community:

Vidia 👏 a Technology Professional from USA
Doobay 👏 a Parent and/or Guardian from Usa
Well done , waiting to see the usefulness in helping students
Doobay 👏 a Parent and/or Guardian from USA
Well done,can’t wait to for its application in helping students
Lall 👏 a Teacher and/or Educator from Guyanan
Janice 👏 a Teacher and/or Educator from USA
Great job. Anticipating more
👏 a Teacher and/or Educator from BHS
Wow - this is such a great app! I think it is a wonderful way to keep students motivated and on task :-) Fantastic work, this is amazing :-D
Edith 👏 a Parent and/or Guardian from Queens, NY
Awesome! I look forward to seeing this app implemented as it will help many students.
Miss Preisler 👏 a Teacher and/or Educator from Bronx Health Sciences High School
Great job guys! I love this idea and would love to see BHS students use this app!

One suggestion I have would be to have a place to provide students with free educational resources and books (ie. PDFs, links, videos, tips, etc.).
Gia 👏 a Technology Professional from Weill Cornell Medical
I love this idea, Nerupa and Kevin! Such a smart idea to incentivize and motivate students using your own experiences. Great work!
Raksha 👏 a Community Member from New York, USA
The app by Nerupa and Kevin looks very creative and engaging. Very innovative!
Joon 👏 a Technology Professional from Weill Cornell Medicine
Great job! I love the idea that you can earn points by helping others. I think this app can build a wonderful community and I look forward to seeing this app.
Zaman 👏 a Parent and/or Guardian
Great job
Nanda 👏 a Parent and/or Guardian from Toronto, Canada
Looking forward to the app, great job
Islam 👏 a Community Member from Weill Cornell Medical College
This is incredibly innovative and it's clear how much work was put into this project. Great job!
Nandan 👏 a Community Member from Weill Cornell Medicine
Great job on this project! I love the idea!
Christine 👏 a Community Member from Weill Cornell Medical College
Wish I had this in high school! Love the bubble tea cat.
Noriama 👏 a Parent and/or Guardian from Cassenacare

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