Design for Personal Goal Achievement

Design Challenge: How might I help my friend to reach his goal of writing an exemplary statement of intent?

This design challenge paired me with my friend Marcos Gallo. His goal for the semester was to write a high-quality application essay for graduate school. He wanted to be continually working on the essay so that he would not complete it at the last minute at low quality. I started by creating ten initial ideas.

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Based on Marcos’ feedback, I learned that certain incentives and punishments did not work for him. He needed a system of accountability that did not allow procrastination. I also learned that he loved Jasmine Tea. Thus, my final design involved two prototypes:

  1. A box of Jasmine tea with a large label explaining that he could only make the tea while working on his statement of intent.
  2. A letter to send to his Chinese professor with an advance commitment for an appointment to go over his statement of intent.

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