Case Study

GoDesk - Reducing Sedentary Behavior

GoDesk is a smart desk gadget that reduces the sedentary behavior in white-collar workers by nudging the users to sit less.

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Project Type & Deliverables

UX Design

Product Design

Formative Research

Usability Testing

Project Details

My Role — UX Designer

Project Duration — 6 Weeks

Team — Ashish Durgude, Akshay Yelmar, Abhinav Sikharam


Sedentary jobs

A sedentary job is a work that involves very limited amounts of physical activity. These jobs require sitting for 6 out of 8 hours in a work day. Examples of sedentary jobs: Desk jobs, accountants, receptionists, etc. Having less physical activity and prolonged sitting can result in health related issues.

Why white-collar workers?

The physical inactivity in white-collar workers is observed mainly due to the sedentary nature of their jobs, which makes it challenging to stay active during office hours

Over the last two decades, white-collared jobs in the U.S. have    increased to almost 80%, which puts workers at higher risk of getting   diseases like obesity, type-2 diabetes, etc.

What was my task/work?

As a UX Designer (student), my job was to understand the project objectives and work with other teammates to solve the issue by following the user-centric design process.

Problem statement

How might we design technology to address physical inactivity in white-collar workers?


GoDesk is a solution that combines a smart desk gadget and a smartphone app. It nudges users to sit less and keep physically active by suggesting different activities and keeping track of it.

Skip to Design Process

Key Features

Showing Recommended Activities

The app recommends various activities to the user based on their sitting pattern and physical profile.

Providing Meaningful Insights

Users can track their activity data using the app. The app interface provides users with simple, meaningful insights.

Unobtrusive, Subtle Nudges

The user gets notified via device if the user has been sitting at the desk for too long.

Want to experience above key features by yourself?

No worries!! Have a look at InVision prototypes

Onboarding Experience

Regular User Experience

Design Process

Formative Research

We started with our initial research about the problem space by going through multiple research papers, articles online about the physical inactivity in white-collar workers.W interviewed two experts from this field who provided their perspectives on such a complex issue and helped us analyze the depth of the problem. We aimed to find out existing solutions, the persistent challenges, things that worked and didn't work, and why. From these activities, we were able to familiarize ourselves with the problem, which helped us plan our user research.

User Interviews

We brainstormed and formulated the interview protocol with particular objectives for the type of data we were looking for. We then conducted semi-structured interviews with the six participants that matched our target user group - 'white-collar workers.' During our interviews, we focused on learning the following things about the target user:


Food habits


Knowledge about possible diseases


Level and types of Physical activity


Stress factors


Motivations/frustrations associated with the use of existing technology in this space


We also conducted six observations where we observed the behavior of our target users in their natural setting. During each observation, we took down the notes and depicted the scenes in rough sketches to record our sessions. The observations helped us analyze the behavior pattern of the users in the office environment.

Analyzing the collected data

Once we finished our data collection, we performed an analysis method to make sense of all the gathered information. We collaboratively conducted an affinity diagramming session to find emergent themes and patterns among the data.

We discovered following three key problem areas from our primary research

Physical Inactivity

Due to sedentary lifestyle, white-collar workers deal with physical inactivity

Unhealthy Diet

White-collar workers often compromise diet due to their busy schedules

Lack of Awareness

They are not aware of health risk associated with sedendary behavior

Empathy towards users

We then constructed an empathy map from the data collected during our user interviews. This exercise helped the team empathize with our target users and understand their behavior, motivations, and frustrations.
We then took a closer look at the empathy map and analyzed data collected from user interviews. Based on that data, we could formulate two user personas that represented our potential target users and captured their needs and frustrations. These personas served as a reference point for all of our next design activities.

User Persona

After getting data and insights from research and empathy map, we created personas that represented our potential target users and captured their needs and frustrations.

Findings from primary and secondary research


Users don’t take regular health checkups due to busy daily schedule


Users don’t take more than 30 mins break during the office timings


Users are not aware of diseases that can happen due to prolonged sitting


Once we had a list of ideas to choose from, we discussed each idea's merits and shortlisted the following three design concepts that had great potential to be explored further:

Social App

Desk Gadget


We then explored each idea in more detail and evaluated it from a business and technological feasibility standpoint. After thoughtful discussions and weighing the trade-offs of pursuing each concept, we decided to move forward with our second design concept. We revisited our research insights and target user personas to refine our design challenge to the following opportunity statement: How might we design a technology to address physical inactivity in a white-collar worker?

Final design direction for the MVP

A smart desk gadget that nudges users to sit less and helps track activities with the help of a mobile app.

User journey

Now that we decided to have a tangible device and mobile app as a solution, we started working on the flow that the user will experience through our solution. Below I have shown the user flow that we finalized for our design solution.

Early sketches of tangible device

Application wireframes


Once we had a clear picture of how the device and app were going to work together, we materialized our explorations into a prototype. For the Device prototype, we 3D printed the model and placed the required electric circuits. For the app prototype, we converted our wireframes to high-fidelity mockups and created an interactive prototype.

Device Prototype

Visual Designs


Since we had a novel design direction, we wanted to test it with our target users to gather useful feedback and find key usability issues. The evaluation of the design was necessary to learn how real users would interact with the system. Once the prototype was ready for testing, we had some objectives for the evaluations, and we needed answers to the following questions:


How are the users feeling while using the product? Angry, frustrated, motivated? Can we measure the emotional aspect of the design?


Is the nudge enough to move them from one place?


What are their thoughts on visual feedback/light indicators?


Does it address their pain points? Did the system behave as per their expectations?


Does the user correctly understand feedback (lights/nudging)? Measure the learnability aspect.


How was their first-time experience? Were the instructions clear? Was it easy to set up?

Usability evaluation with potential users


All of the users who evaluated the product felt that it was an effective solution.


Users can not customize snooze time. Currently, it is fixed to 15 mins. Users felt restricted.


Users liked the insights provided in the activity page. Also, users felt that graphs to track weekly physical activities were easy to understand.


Users felt that factors like tracking food intake and spreading awareness about potential health issues were missing from the application.

What would I do differently?


Along with physical inactivity, I would consider adding the following two features: ‘food & water intake tracking’ and ‘spreading awareness about health issues’


I would test whether users are using the application daily or not. I would measure it using UX metrics called ‘H.E.A.R.T.’


I would try to provide a personalized experience to users by adding meaningful micro-interactions.

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