To help people enhance their personal productivity by
providing effective feedback, we designed and developed
TimeAware, a self–monitoring system for capturing and
reflecting on personal computer usage behaviors.
TimeAware employs an ambient widget to promote self–
awareness and to lower the feedback access burden, and
web–based information dashboard to visualize people’s
detailed computer usage. To examine the effect of framing
on individual’s productivity, we designed two versions of
TimeAware, each with a different framing setting—one
emphasizing productive activities (positive framing) and the
other emphasizing distracting activities (negative framing),
and conducted an eight–week deployment study (N = 24).
We found a significant effect of framing on participants’
productivity: only participants in the negative framing
condition improved their productivity. The ambient widget
seemed to help sustain engagement with data and enhance
self–awareness. We discuss how to leverage framing effects
to help people enhance their productivity, and how to
design successful productivity monitoring tool.