ASU Digital Culture Gallery

2013.04.17 / Taskville

TaskvilleShawn Nikkila

Taskville is an interactive visualization for the workplace which aims to increase a worker's awareness of their activities and the activities of their co-workers. This is done through the use of a city-building metaphor where teams are represented as cities in a larger region that stands for the organization as a whole. When an individual completes a work-related task, a building parachutes down into their city. A different type of building is given depending on the amount of time spent on the task and whether or not the individual collaborated with their co-workers.

Over time, these cities grow into large metropolises as more and more buildings are added to the city. Taskville contains game design elements which give the system a playful feel while also motivating users to continue interacting with the system. Users receive points by submitting tasks and can unlock achievements, worth additional points, for performing certain actions in Taskville. Users who have the most points become the mayor of their city which promotes a simple level of competition where users jockey to become mayor of their respective cities. Additionally, competition exists between cities as teams attempt to make their city the largest.

Taskville also provides a simple model of work-life balance where a user's buildings will begin to decay if too many work-related tasks are submitted. This can be alleviated by taking a break and doing personal tasks and reporting them to Taskville. Additionally, presence is also modeled with buildings becoming transparent if a user has been away for a prolonged period of time.

For more information on how it works, please view the video below or visit

Shawn Nikkila is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science with a concentration in Arts, Media, and Engineering at Arizona State University. He also obtained his B.S. in Computer Science from Arizona State University in 2008. Shawn's current research interests include examining ways in which we can use technology to raise awareness and facilitate coordination in a variety of different contexts. When not spending every waking hour working in front of a computer, he enjoys playing the piano, reading, and playing video games.

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