Product: Cuckoo
Year: 2017
What we did: UX/UI Design, Product Road Map, Responsive Web App Development, Desktop App Development, Analytics & Performance Optimization
See the project:

Meet Cuckoo, a productivity timer for distributed teams. We believe in collaborating, getting things done and having fun while doing it. No matter where you are, create a timer, share it with your team and get ready for more productive meetings. Just create a room, define a timebox, share the link with your team and get focused.

Cuckoo for MacOS

The Challenge

It turns out the work environment is a place full of distractions. With notifications popping up everywhere, and many tasks requiring your attention, it’s often hard to find time to focus. Sometimes even during meetings, people easily lose attention and pick up their phones to do something.

Many people are familiar with the Pomodoro technique or use some similar method for time tracking their tasks. We believe such methods improve our productivity while helping us put the distractions away and get things done.

With that challenge in mind, we asked ourselves:

How could we make the whole team more productive while doing a shared task?

That’s when Cuckoo was born!

Who has ever had a feedback session where one person speaks for more time than the others, and the meeting ends up being much longer? Cuckoo helps you set up a fixed timebox with your team, so that everybody has the same amount to speak. When the timer is over, there is no excuse to keep talking, it’s someone else’s turn. This helps to keep everybody on the same page.

Visual Design

During Cuckoo’s conception, we decided not to just display a big timer on the screen, like many screensavers. The focus shouldn’t be on the clock. If you are trying to be productive, the last thing you want is the anxiety of looking at the numbers decreasing.

Cuckoo Progress bar

Instead, we went for a much more subtle way, with a small clock, but also with a colorful progress bar which fills up the whole background. This means the timer is there, but just as a side reminder. You get to focus more on the task that you are doing.

Cuckoo Design Cuckoo Design Cuckoo Design

We strongly believe taking breaks are a key part of being productive. After each working session, the app will suggest you to take a break. This feature is aligned with our purpose on creating Cuckoo in a fun and friendly way to use, we’ve added a few suggestions with fun things to do on your breaks! You can even send your suggestion!

Cuckoo Notification

Micro-interactions & Animations

Micro-interactions also represent a big part of Cuckoo. We cared about every single detail. Who doesn’t like to drag those circles around and play with their animations?

Cuckoo circles animation

We know notifications can be annoying sometimes, but for time tracking purposes they are a crucial feature. To avoid having a sound that people hated (like when your alarm rings in the morning) we wanted to make a much more friendly sound. We believe we’ve achieved that, check it out:

The Technology behind Cuckoo

Technology-wise, as we wanted an application with real-time communication, there was no better option than using a WebSocket connection. We’ve used the library which is available both on the client and the server. It has a very easy to use API, and it is also very stable.

As for the micro-interactions, we’ve used D3.js to implement the circles and also all of our styling skills to make beautiful animations.

We’ve also been experimenting with a MacOs app (still in beta, download it here) so that you can integrate Cuckoo even more into your routine.

Cuckoo design Cuckoo design Cuckoo design Cuckoo design


Our results with Cuckoo have been amazing so far. We have been featured on Product Hunt. Thousands of rooms are created and shared every day, and the feedback from the community has been fantastic. Cuckoo is one of our growing ventures, and we have big plans for it in 2018. Stay tuned!

Haven’t tried Cuckoo yet?

Checkout Cuckoo Web App and Cuckoo for Mac OS