Crescent App: A Different Take on Sleep Tracking
From Screen Time through Sleep, to the Moon
Our mission was to create a prototype for a native tracking app focusing on wellness. The pandemic has been going on for a while now and we wanted to identify how it affected people and find a way to solve current pain points. We noticed that due to the several lockdowns and contact restrictions, many people ended up working from home, socialising online and consuming digital entertainment services. With this idea in mind, we decided to conduct user research to see how much time people spend on digital devices weekly, thinking this could lead us to the creation of a screen time tracking app.
How did the Pandemic Affect the Users’ Screen Time?
To answer this question, identify pain points and solve the users’ problems we thoroughly followed the five steps of the design thinking process: empathise, define, ideate, prototype, test.
We first conducted a survey and the results showed that 63% of the participants have a screen time that exceeds 50 hours a week.
Most of the participants now work remotely, which easily explains why their screen time is so high. But even after work, people spend a lot of time in front of screens. We conducted user interviews to understand why, and with the pandemic stopping people from socialising, traveling or taking part in other activities, screens have become the only window that allows them to escape the current situation.
Since we managed to prove that people spend too much time on screens, we thought this was the confirmation we needed to start working on a screen time tracking app. We still asked our users what they thought about reducing their screen time and actually, people weren’t interested at all. Most of them couldn’t spend less time on their screens because of their jobs and the others enjoyed their screen time and didn’t want to reduce it.
We went through the results of our research again and noticed another problem that many users pointed out: they have sleeping problems.
Our research revealed that screens can indeed affect people’s sleep but there are many different factors that can too. Whatever the cause of the sleep disturbances, the idea of fixing the problem delighted the users. That’s how we decided to do a sleep tracking app.
We were very motivated to develop a prototype for our idea but as we moved on to the competitive research analysis, we discovered that the market for sleep tracking apps was already saturated. There are dozens of them that already exist. We were wondering if it made sense to create another one, and then we remembered something our teacher told us during our UX/UI Design Bootcamp: for a product to be successful, we shouldn’t try to target everyone. We must define our niche, understand it, and target those customers.
As we continued our research, two statements captured our attention:
- Science has proven that the full moon can affect our sleep
- More and more millennials are turning to astrology
That’s how we defined our niche and came up with the idea of our final concept: A sleep tracking app, based on the users’ astrological sign and connected with the moon cycles. We called our app Crescent.
To focus on user-centered design and help us with our task, we created a user persona called Laura. She is the result of our research and a combination of the people who took part in our surveys and interviews. She’s been working from home ever since the pandemic began and spends around 13 hours a day on screens. Her sleep quality has decreased considerably and she’s been feeling very tired lately. She would like to sleep better, but doesn’t know where to start. She’s been trying to take better care of herself by reducing her meat consumption and she’s trying to practice yoga and meditation more frequently. She has a newfound interest in astrology and tarot reading, as it’s been helping her to combat stress and given her new tools to face the recent trouble times with a more positive mindset.
We created a user-centered scenario that helped us think about the context in which the product could be used.
- It’s 23:35pm, Laura is watching a movie
- It’s 02:08am, she can’t fall asleep
- The next day she dozes off in front of her computer at 15:38pm because she’s feeling tired from the lack of sleep
- During a zoom meeting, a colleague tells her about a new app called Crescent. It’s a sleep tracking app with advanced features that allow the users to enter their sleep data and link their sleep quality with the moon cycles. It takes the astrological sign into consideration and offers tailored sleeping tips and meditation recommendations to improve the sleep quality.
- Laura installs the app and opens it
- She can review her sleep history and sleep quality
- It’s 22:45pm, she plays a night time meditation, tailored to her astrological sign.
- It’s 23:03, now Laura is sleeping tight
We defined the main features that we would keep for our app with the MoSCoW method. It helped us to create an MVP that would focus on the essential features for our product to be fully functional for new customers without overloading them with information. We decided on 4 main features:
- Sleep & Mood tracking
- Daily tips to improve the sleep quality according the the moon phase and the astrological sign of the user .
- A dashboard to review the sleep length, sleep quality and the day to day moods. There’s a moon calendar that allows the user to check the sleep quality according to the moon cycles.
- A library of meditations tailored to the astrological sign and the mood of the user
The whole idea was to create a personalised experience that corresponds to the users’ needs. The mid-fidelity prototype was really useful, it allowed us to do a quick design and to test it with the users. We noticed inconsistencies and areas where users didn’t understand what they had to do. We then iterated, until we got a fluid and intuitive design.
We analysed the styles of the other sleep tracking apps by conducting a visual competitive analysis. In order to stand out, but also to respect the spirit of our concept we defined the following brand attributes:
With these in mind, we selected a bunch of visuals that inspired us and represented our design ideas for the prototype.
We followed the design ideas inspired by our moodboard to create the design of the app. Here are the results:
- Home page & sleep predictions
- Sleep meditations
- Sleep tracking
- Dashboard & data
And here’s the full working prototype in action:
Key Learnings and Final Thoughts
It was a great pleasure to work on this project and to see it evolve from the single idea of making a wellness app, to a sleep tracking app prototype. We believe that this project could help people understand their sleep better by revealing patterns that would allow them to find solutions to improve their sleep quality. We learned that it’s important to ask for feedback early in the project, to iterate and improve the usability and consistency of the prototype.