ExcuseMe is an app that encourages users to commit their leisure plans. In a world where people are surrounded by time management and fitness mobile applications, ExcuseMe emphasizes the importance of me-time and long term health benefits of committing me-time activities.


ExcuseMe is an app concept which was created as a part of disruptive business model development work by George Crichlow, Berk Ilhan and May Sun. The concept emerged out of a brief to design a growth startup based on disrupting the FitBit business model. Through system mapping the team identified two gaps in the wearable marketplace. The first is that Fitbit places a strong emphasis on activities to promote a healthy lifestyle. It was discovered that there are occasions throughout the day when being inactive can be considered a healthy activity, such as sleeping. Therefore there is a huge opportunity to reframe free time as a healthy activity. The second is that Fitbit monitors and tracks users’ physical well-being. Today few consumer-facing products manage and monitor users’ mental health. ExcuseMe team took these initial insights and developed a concept using the Lean Startup Method.

“Time to say excuse me to others and to commit to your leisure plans!”

Through extensive primary and secondary research it was revealed that the number one cause of health problems is stress. According to the World Health Organization, stress costed Americans $300 billion last year and is also the most common cause of long-term sickness and absence from work. Designers identified the audience as “on callers”, who are office workers, freelancers, students or employers who don’t have set schedules and who constantly have exhausting workload. This puts their work life ahead of their personal lives. As a result, they usually neglect their personal lives and postpone or cancel their leisure plans. Therefore, their quality of life suffers. For this group, it’s considered impolite to tell others they need time for themselves. They want to get ahead in life as thus leaving themselves with no time to unwind, spend time with loved ones and enjoy personal hobbies. They are on the verge of burning out. For them more work leads to more stress and a lower quality of life.

ExcuseMe helps you not to cancel on yourself.

After several pivots and three prototypes later, ExcuseMe was born. It’s an app that encourages people to say “no” to others and “yes” to themselves. In order to amplify the free time, the app hides other events on users’ “ExcuseMe” calendars and makes the free time slots more visible. Also built into the app are incentives for committing to free time. At the end of every month, users accumulate points for every personal task they commit to. Through paid sponsorship, users can exchange the points that they earned for discounts to services like Seamless or earn Skymiles that they can use towards booking a vacation. By rewarding users for committing to free time, the ExcuseMe team believes they can change the current common negative habit of canceling on me-time. ExcuseMe will be available for free download in the app store and on Google Play in the near future.