Time Stretch is a Google Chrome web app and browser extension that streamlines the relay of teammates availability statuses during work schedules, and offers suggestions for healthy break activities.

Inspiration

The current Covid-19 pandemic is imposing a grueling lockdown to an unprecedented number of humans as a preventive measure to stop the spreading of the virus. As Economy demands and Technology enable, a significant number of people are undertaking their professional activities from home.

Taking the work to the domestic setting blurs the line between those often colliding worlds. This perversion of surroundings and the impossibility to escape it leads to the inevitable and subsequent destructuration of our daily routines, namely for people who were not previously familiar with this type of work setup.

Organizations have a significant role in this, often requiring the use of mechanisms and tools to facilitate the control, accountability, and communication with their members and stakeholders. And in a negative financial scenario, with jobs and businesses at risk, productivity, and quality of delivery, are pressure points in the back of the mind of already bored, confined and stressed human beings.

What it does

Never before business effectiveness and health (both mental and physical) have been more entangled and conflicted. While time reporting apps are not really an innovation, Time Stretch combines features like allowing streamlining the broadcasting of availability statuses of co-workers during their work schedules with mindful suggestions for healthy break activities. Time Stretch ensures that the status reports are clearer inside the organization while guaranteeing both communication, productivity, and healthy work habits.

How we built it

The tech stack is:

  • Database: MySQL
  • Backend: Ruby on Rails
  • Frontend: React.js

Challenges we ran into

Our design & development teams worked together to make Time Stretch as simple and quick to use as possible, reducing the amount of text inputs to a minimum. The goal was to have only the key features and to not clutter the product with unnecessary features. To reach this goal here are the steps both teams went through.

Design:

  • Benchmarking to understand which apps already exist and how users interact with them;
  • Defining the personas;
  • Setting up a user journey;
  • Creation of a logo to identify our brand;
  • Creation of wireframes;
  • Definition of the style guide;
  • Creation of the main screens of the Graphical User Interface.

Development:

  • Research if it’s possible to run an application as a browser extension;
  • Define an MVP;
  • Pick backend and frontend technologies;
  • Build the most basic components.

Marketing:

  • Creation of a pitch deck and short video to spread the word.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • The app allows managing check-in and check-out times seamlessly;
  • Daily check-in and check-out reports;
  • It suggests healthy and mindful activities for you to do on breaks;
  • It lists everyone who’s taking a break, so you know that if you reach them, they’ll not be answering you right away (probably they’re taking the dog for a walk!);
  • It's a fully functional web app and browser extension for Google Chrome.

What we learned

Our developers and designers worked together to create a user-friendly solution in only 48h! We followed the key phases of our own Product Design Process to make sure we were considering both user needs and also that the web app end goals were achieved.

What's next for TIME STRETCH

We want to take the Time Stretch Web App to all the companies or organizations that are currently working remotely and struggling with keeping up co-workers' status reports and healthy work habits. We’re also working on additional features:

  • Roll out for all commonly used web browsers;
  • Send individual notifications to take a break every 52 minutes, so you won’t forget to stretch your legs and keep active;
  • Notify why it is important to take breaks when a user is repeatedly postponing breaks;
  • Choose whether to pause or not with the option to have a reminder that pops-up after a certain period (ex. Every 10 minutes);
  • Breaks management (time interval between breaks, etc.);
  • Weekly breaks feedback: to establish a ranking that can be used to define a pattern of breaks for the next weeks;
  • Allow users to suggest activities;
  • Distinction of departments.

Above all, it’s essential to guarantee people’s productivity but also their well-being during this Crisis. We will test it according to our rollout concept to make it available as soon as possible!

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