Before starting on the design work, I wrote up a few simple questions and answers to review what I was doing:

What is distraction?

Distraction is something that prevents you from reaching your desired goal.

What kinds of things are distracting?

Potentially, everything. It’s a relative term. Anything that gets in the way of your stated or desired goal is a distraction. Twitter might distract you from your work, or your work might distract you from Twitter. It depends on what you want to do.

When do people get distracted?

Primarily, in three situations: when they are bored, frustrated, or have completed a milestone.

What is underlying the decision to act on a distraction?

I have identified five different qualities of activities that influence the decision: priority, ability, interest, excitement, and pleasure.

How will my project help distraction?

It has three primary features:

  • It will provide a way to measure distraction so that people can figure out how distracted they are.
  • It will intervene when people become too distracted.
  • It will add a social element to work so that coworkers can easily share how they’re doing, and by doing so, get help when they feel bored or frustrated and get semi-public recognition when they reach milestones.