7 August 2014
Researchers in the School of Computer Science & Informatics have developed a new app to improve productivity.
ImprompDo adopts a fresh approach of impromptu productivity by getting things done at opportune moments, rather than working to strict time limits.
The app is a tool for increasing productivity in both maintaining and completing to-do lists. It works by pushing prompts through Android's existing notification functionality. The design also minimises disruption of responses, by allowing responses to be made without switching applications. Responses also expire after a short time to avoid getting in the way if not interruptible.
ImprompDo learns to push at more opportune moments the more the user uses it. This avoids the user having to manually create reminders, thus reducing the effort required to maintain a schedule. This is achieved through using the devices' on-board sensors in a battery efficient way to find better situations and complement this with other factors, such as time, to create smarter reminders.
Liam Turner, a PhD student at the School of Computer Science & Informatics who has created the app alongside Dr Stuart Allen and Professor Roger Whitaker, said:
"ImprompDo doesn't replace your existing to-do list service. Instead it adds another layer of functionality alongside their time or location based reminders. We hope that the features provide a fresh approach to interruptibility for existing to-do list users, and an opportunity for those that don't to use to-do lists for productivity with minimal hassle."
The app reports anonymised data used in the learning process, for the purpose of aiding research into interruptibility. The reported data is not personally identifiable, and account credentials with to-do list services and to-do list information (e.g. what the task is) are not disclosed.
"Going forward we intend to use the data to better understand human interruptibility to interactions from mobile devices," continued Liam. "This will contribute towards research into intelligent decision making systems in the areas of productivity, medical intervention, and m-learning.
"The current supported services are Todoist and Google Tasks. The support of other services is limited by their lack of support for other apps connecting to their service. However if it is technically feasible and the demand is there, future support for other services will be considered."
ImprompDo can be downloaded from the Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.ac.cardiff.imprompdo