Focusbot

NAVER • 2018
Spend a day with fewer interruptions and better focus. This was an experimental product using Natural Language Processing and Intent Analysis on Android.
Role
Product & design direction, Android development

This was a project by 6 creatives within Incubation Studio at NAVER. My role was providing design direction, managing the team & the product, and leading the Android development.
Introduction
We live in a busy world. A world full of interruptions and requests that are begging for your attention. However, you may be unavailable to answer them or are focusing on tasks at hand such as working, studying, or driving.

It is difficult to stay unplugged & uninterrupted with everything connected to the phone that is always with you. Focusbot is a concept NAVER’s Incubation Studio is experimenting with so you can spend the day with fewer interruptions and better focus. Focusbot mutes notifications and autoreplies to texts & missed calls on your behalf.
Problem space
Your phone is always buzzing, buzzing, and buzzing

How many times do you check your phone throughout the day? It is common to catch yourself reaching out for your phone to check what new notifications came in. Lots of times, these notifications are not urgent. Often not urgent enough to derail you from what you were doing. When checking your phone becomes a habit, you end up turning on the phone every now and then to find nothing new. Either way, notifications become interruptions that tear your focus apart and damage your productivity.
To help you break away from such interruptions, we began an experiment that ultimately grew into Focusbot.
Fewer interruptions, better focus
Focusbot mutes notifications and autoreplies to texts & missed calls on your behalf. Unplug yourself from the phone for a while and immerse yourself to the current task at hand.
Who is Focusbot for?
Any of these sound familiar?
😱 I want to take a break from all the buzzing in messaging apps.
🤓 It’s time to study or get ready for an exam. I need to FOCUS!
💼 Social notifications keep popping up even at work. I need space to get some work done. Also not so professional when my phone keeps lighting up while I am in meetings.
🚗 I don’t want to juggle my phone while driving. Just want to keep my eyes on the road and not have to worry about replying to the calls I can’t take.
Feature 1: Muting & Managing notifications
Focusbot works in a simple way. Just turn on “Focus mode”.

When Focus Mode is on,
Focusbot works in a simple way. Just turn on “Focus mode”.

When Focus Mode is on,
  • Your phone will automatically become silent. Also, phone’s display will not light up when a new notification is received.
  • Incoming notifications from your app will be hidden and no longer show up in the notifications bar. A summary of your notifications will persist instead within a single container, which you can tap to open Focusbot or turn off Focus Mode straight from the notification center.
  • Rather being reactive to all the buzzing and notifications, open up Focusbot when you become available at your own time. From the app, see the history of what came in and also be able to filter notifications by their source app.
While you can toggle Focus Mode at any time, you can also use the timer to focus for a specific amount of time.
Notification stats allows you to track and show which apps are sending you the most notifications.
Feature 2: Autoreply to missed calls & text message
Missed calls
When you are unable to take the call, a text message will be sent back to the caller on your behalf. The text message will be composed intelligently based on your context, such as when you are in an event, while driving, when your device is silent, or when your phone is low on battery. By default, this feature only works on phone numbers saved on your device (User can change preferences in Settings).
Logs of the text messages sent on user’s behalf will be available for the user to see from the Autoreplied tab in the main screen.
Brand design
Here’s the process of how we came up with Focusbot’s branding.
1. Creating a name that is straighforward yet identifiable
We aimed to come up with a name that clearly represents the gist of this app’s value and is also unique enough when searched in the app store. After iterating through piles of early candidates, our approach combined two words into a single name. “Focus” for the value we are aiming to create, and “Bot” for the new autoreply experience we are experimenting with. “Focus” + “Bot” became “Focusbot”, an entity that will work on your behalf to enhance your focus.
2. Creating the visual identity
“Notification” and “Autoreply” became the motif for Focusbot’s visual form. Starting out from an abstract form of a notification, we iterated to shape it to be in the form of an app icon. Afterwards, we added a touch of personality and emotions within the app icon to highlight the notion of bot in a friendly manner.
Through this exercise, Focusbot’s visual identity was born.
1– 3) Progression from notification to an app icon. 4) Exploring personalities for the app icon.
Focusbot’s visual identity
Visualizing Autoreply & Muting Notifications
Output
Product shipped as an Android app in U.S., Canada, India, Singapore, and Korea. Through user feedback and insights, we’ve taken away the learnings to scale to bigger products and graduated the experiment in January 2020.