I Think I Saw A Unicorn

Here at Asana, we work tirelessly to find ways to make our users more effective. We design, build, test, and iterate on all aspects of our product with the goal of helping all of you do great things.

So when we recently learned that not only do some of our users like unicorns, but others have never even seen a unicorn, our creative engine kicked into action. This could be a highly leveraged opportunity to both motivate our users and give them a very special reward for using our product. Of course, we couldn’t just give everyone unicorns (which are very, very rare) without knowing the consequences. So in true Asana fashion, we decided we’d have to run an experiment.

To test this opportunity, we engineered our product to randomly deliver a flying unicorn, riding on a rainbow laced with an encouraging message, upon completion of a task. It didn’t show up for every completed task, but just once in a while. Then we’d see if our unicorn-spotting users got more productive.

Now, the introduction of a rainbow-surfing unicorn reward raises many questions regarding user productivity. For example, what is the optimal number of colors for the rainbow to have? Is it important that the creature is, in fact, a unicorn? Does the tone or content of the messages make a difference?

Since we like to learn things quickly, we have already prepared experiments to answer these questions as well. We look forward to comparing yesterday’s results with those for users who see a three-color-rainbow-surfing narwhal that quotes the Dalai Lama. Yes, narwhals also have horns. We have to control for something!

So far, the unicorn has been so well-received that there is already talk internally of moving towards a single-horned UI with a rainbow color scheme. We’ll look at the data to figure out just how many colors it should have.

Also, happy April Fool’s Day! We hope you enjoyed it.

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  • Alberto
    Happy One month old Shane, You. Jason & the girls! Yayaya! Congrads! Esp. slowly haleing from your c-section it deff helps you slow down & enjoy things! But I dunno how it is to have one I’m deff blessed at being able to give birth naturally. But I know others that have had em & it looks painful! But Shane is deff the reward in the end! He’s so tiny & cute! I want to squish em! In a good way not-a-I’m-your-old-granny-kinda-squeeze. haha. Did you finish his quilt top? Because if so I love love love love love love love love lover it! Good job Momma! I have my daughter’s to be quilt not done still I gotta put on binding debating on buying some or making my own..i did quilt it myself just x’s but I wish it was free motion quilted but oh well next time.I love his 1month shirt! I gotta do that too just have to buy that computer printer stuff. DId you make it or someone get it for you as a gift?Have an awesome day!Karin Marie :)
  • do not want to say
    you are silly if you don’t implement this – a lot of us using your product had these unicorns better yet wanted one and mom said it was silly to have
  • Yas
    I got the unicorn when I completed my first task yesterday and I was so disappointed when I didn’t get when I completed more tasks :(
    I want my unicorn – LOL
  • Simon Green
    Just had a unicorn for the first time after a year of use. Love it :)
  • Michelle
    haha I just saw the unicorn! I love it but none of my work colleges believed me -__-
    How do I get it back??
  • Joy
    I would like to thank you for adding the Unicorn Hack as it does a good job gamifying otherwise boring tasks.
    Seeing the unicorn is an added treat and gives a sense of accomplishment, like a gold star. Is that needed? No. Does it make life and work more awesome? Yes.

    With this premise, I would like to request that you either implement the unicorn on the completion of every task, or introduce a new character for daily tasks to keep the unicorn elusive. For example, a gopher could pop up from the bottom of the browser window with a speech bubble saying different funny sayings about the completion of the task.

    Just something to simmer on. :)

  • Eric Bolikowski
    Hahaha I suddenly saw this unicorn flying over my screen and I double checked that I didn’t have a new virus or something playing jokes on me :D Then to my great joy I find this blog entry — you guys sure know how to lighten up a working day!
    Thanks for this great unicorn. Just one question: what is its name??
  • Chrissy
    Ok, I’m a little late to the party- but YES, I have been getting flying unicorns- and it’s LITERALLY become my main motivation for completing tasks. It’s pretty much the most awesome thing I’ve ever seen a program do. Thank you asana, you’ve been life changing in more ways than one.

    Long live the unicorn.

  • Nate
    Random but love it! It was hilarious! Keep making it fun!
  • Mohammad
    Loved it
  • Todd Fischer
    Please bring back the unicorn hack. Without it, checking off tasks is just boring. I have convinced several people on the team to join the asana club simply because they could see horned pony flying across the screen when finished with something. Unicorn hack = AWESOME – WOOT WOOT – GOOD JOB – SUPER.
  • Jessica
    Can we please bring back the unicorns? Work just isn’t as fun without them!
  • James Henderson
    I love the unicorns! They are one of my favourite features!
  • Bob Bekman
    I want to see the Narwhal.
  • Jean
    Love the unicorn! We have been using Asana for almost 3 years and I’ve never seen one until today and I’ve seen 2!! Definitely a cute touch :)
  • Sahrish
    Totally unexpected, but I loved it !!! Such a great idea. I just wish that I get to see the unicorn more often! =D
  • Colin
    I have been using this service for 14 months and just got one of the unicorns this week.

    Looking forward to spotting a Narwhal.

  • Maire
    I need more unicorn!!!!
  • Lorena
    More awesome flying imaginary creatures please. We just joined and I’m the only staff to see one so far. Yes, it’s incentive! Also, I’d like to be able to program incentives for different projects as a supervisor – like they hear a Queen song when they complete a big project? :)
  • Kathy
    I just got my first unicorn! Please make more happen. They’re ace! Also, can we have ‘Eye of the Tiger’ play when whole projects are completed?
    • http://semzoom.com/ Baadier Sydow
      I only came here because I was trying to figure out how to implement exactly this lol :)
  • Kadi McLean
    I too would like more unicorn. It should be an option we can turn on and off. Also more mythical creatures. Like if it is a ton of tasks on one project. You should get a fire-breathing dragon to celebrate your battling the beast.