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Computer Science Department

StayFocused: An Application Helps Users to Moderate Their Switch Tasking Rate

Mengxiao Han

“Switch tasking” means that users frequently switch between tasks. My application aims to assist users to moderate the amount of switch tasking they engage in and to concentrate more on their primary tasks. The application consists of a switch task tracking bar displaying colored fragmentations, in which each section represents the program that the user was running over a certain time interval. Each program is assigned a unique color. A horizontal bar consists of continuous changing colored fragmentations implies that the user engages in high frequency of switch task behavior, while a bar with few changing colored fragmentations indicates that the user possesses a high level of concentration. Users are also able to interact with their friends by sharing their timeline bars in real time. Current information is displayed as a same horizontal bar as the friend’s and two analysis charts are presented. Historical information of both the user’s and the friend’s will be displayed in tables for comparing and analyzing. In real working environment, some degree of switch tasking is necessary. For example, users may browse on the Internet looking for resources while writing a paper. As a result, charts and tables are presented based on two statistical data: the total time that the user has spent on the primary task and the total times of switch tasking that the user has engaged in. Specifically, the one who has spent more time on the primary task will win a little image of a crown displayed on the application. Through allowing users to be aware of their switch tasking rate and friends’ performances, the application may help them to develop long-lasting productive working habits under a friendly interactive peer environment.