Harry Pfiszter

Base Camp

Bachelor of Design Illustration Typography Web Interaction Print Photography Identity Mobile App Moving Image Motion Graphics Community engagement Prototype Storytelling User-centred

A minimal break management tool for home workers.

Base Camp is an app that aims to assist home workers in creating healthy work habits through break management. I created a purely graphical UI based on a camp site to give users a virtual workspace to become familiar with during a workday - when the sun is up and the fire is going, its time to work. Base camp uses visual cues such as the Camp Fire to prompt the user towards healthy work habits in a non intrusive way and aims to create home workers who are aware of how they are spending their time during a workday.

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have brought about drastic changes to people’s lifestyles in New Zealand and around the globe. The world has had to adapt quickly and the new ‘working’ normal for a lot of people has shifted to a ‘work from home’ scenario.

The sudden spike in remote working culture has proven to many people and businesses that working from home can be an effective and efficient way to work. However, falling into unhealthy working habits such as failing to take adequate breaks, missing meals, and working extreme hours is a trap easily fallen into. Work-life balance can become unbalanced very quickly.

Strangely during my research, when I asked if anyone had skipped breaks or meals whilst working from home, the majority of respondents reported that they hadn’t viewed these as difficulties, instead seeing long work hours and skipping meals as something that just comes with remote work. All of these issues seemed to be considered an acceptable trade-off compared to the negative aspects of workplace employment such as long travel times endured before commencing work, and reduced freedom. Because of this attitude, no-one appeared to have put any methods in place to keep their work hours in check and ensure they were taking healthy breaks.

With this in mind I have designed a digital solution that aims to assist self directed home workers in creating healthy work habits, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Base Camp is a tool designed to assist users with self directed work while not becoming overbearing or a chore to use.

What sets Base Camp apart from other health and workday assistant apps is Base Camp’s non intrusive nature. There are no hard to meet progression goals, no stressful timers or countdowns, no static plans, and all of the flexibility and freedom that home workers value. Base camp is designed to work with the user and intends to help them build healthy work habits based on what works best for each individual. Every design decision I made contributed towards creating a system that the user controls - not a system that controls the user.

If you would like to take Base Camp for a test drive you can visit my prototype here.
As it's not a fully functioning app, there are a few instructions you need to follow which you can find here.