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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