SleepStreak is a mobile sleep companion that helps sleep-deprived college students maintain healthy sleep, enhance mental well-being, and improve academic performance.

Sleep deprivation is one of the most prevalent issues amongst college students and is an key indicator of academic performance and mental well-being.

The FDA recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep for young adults. However, 60% of college students have poor quality sleep, on average, get 6 hours of sleep per night, and 73% exhibited some form of sleep problem.

The objective is to create a product that helps college students maintain better sleep.

Timeline: 1 Week, November 2022 - February 2023
As a group of college students, we understand the unique challenges that students face – the late night study sessions, looming deadlines, and the constant juggling of academic and social responsibilities. As students we don't prioritize sleep enough, impacting our mental well-being, and academic performance.

We wanted to create a product that helps students maintain healthy sleep, enhance well-being, improve academic performance.

01 discover
◇  understanding the problem space

The first step in our user research was to gain insights and a better understanding of the difficulties and experiences of college students to address the specific needs of the users.

I use the Double Diamond Framework to guide this design:

In this step I:

     • Analyze how sleep deprivation affects performance 
     • Analyze the main causes of sleep deprivation
     • Conduct user interviews and surveys on Pitt students

◇  sleep deprivation & performance


Sleep deprivation impairs cognitive abilities like attention and working memory, and affects other functions, such as long-term memory and decision-making.


Sleep allows both the body to recover during the night. Sleep deprivation affects your motor skills, energy levels, and physical exertion. It also increases the risk of sickness and diseases.


Sleep deprivation impacts academic performance by impairing your ability to concentrate, be creative, and learn new skills. Impaired decision making can result in lower test scores.

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◇  causes of sleep deprivation


Stimulants increase sleep latency and suppress REM sleep. A survey across 119 U.S. colleges found 14% of students use caffeine, 6.9% use non-prescribed stimulants such as cocaine and marijuana, and 4 out of 5 college students drink alcohol.

academics / social

Students' pressure to meet academic and social demands can lead to late-night study sessions, irregular sleep patterns, and an overall reduction in sleep quantity and quality.


Screens suppress the production of melatonin produced before bedtime. 57% of college students leave their phone on during sleep. 51% report rarely getting a good night’s sleep and often wake unrefreshed.

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◇  Pitt student surveys

Ethan C.
Age: 20
Year: Sophomore
Major: Finance + Accounting
Survey Results Overview

SLeep quality & Habits:
Ethan averages 7 hours of sleep each night and he rates the quality of his sleep as fair and the amount of sleep as fair. He experiences trouble falling asleep and rarely takes naps and never pulls all-nighters. He uses his phone every night before falling asleep and usually falls asleep on his phone.

Daily functioning:
He experiences drowsiness throughout most of his days. He finds it hard to stay awake in his classes and has difficulty completing schoolwork while being so tired.

He wants to improve duration of sleep during the weekdays as he's realized his sleep inconsistency is impacting his daily functioning.
Julia H.
Age: 21
Year: Junior
Major: Data Science
Survey Results Overview

SLeep quality & habits:
Julia averages 5-6 hours of sleep each night rates the quality of her sleep as good, rarely having trouble falling asleep. She takes naps twice a week, usually feeling more tired after. She uses her phone every night before sleeping and drinks caffeine throughout her day. She shares a sleeping space.

Daily Functioning:
Her caffeine consumption gets her throughout the day and heavily depends on having her coffee in the morning. She rarely feels tired throughout the day despite her heavy courseload.

She has noticed a correlation between sleep and academic performance and sleep, and wants to improve the consistency of her sleep.

Vincent C.
Age: 21
Year: Senior
Major: Bio (Pre-Dental)
Survey Results Overview

Sleep Quality & Habits:
He gets inconsistent sleep throughout the week and rates the quality of his sleep as poor. He experiences anxiety when he has trouble sleeping almost always has trouble falling asleep. He drinks caffeine on a daily basis and exercises late at night.

Daily functioning:
He experiences fatigue throughout the day because of his inconsistent sleep schedule. He notices his dependence on caffeine and without it he can't function throughout the day.

He wants to improve his sleep by getting more sleep and falling asleep faster. He also says his sleep impacts his workload and stresses him out.
02 define
◇  Defining the right product

After the first stage, I gathered all key information to define the product goals and the goals and needs of our target audience.

In this stage I define:

     • User needs
     • The design strategy
     • User personas

◇  user needs

sleep tracking & monitoring

Includes capability to monitor sleep patterns and duration that provide sleep quality metrics such as sleep stages, interruptions, and overall restfullness.

goal setting & progress tracking

Includes tools for setting sleep-goals, time management, and tracking progress overtime. Users can set sleep duration goals for each night and deadlines for school.

access to sleep resources

Includes access to information and resources on establishing health sleep habits and improving sleep hygiene. Access to breathing exercises and relaxation techniques for restful sleep.

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◇  design strategy

1. Build functional and reliable UX
The design must be provide access to up-to-date resources and reliable functionalities that keeps users engaged and accountable.

2. Focus on usability
The design must reflect college students' familiarity with technology, meaning more complex UI, features, and functions.

3. delight and pleasurable
The design must create a delightful experience that brings the users engaged on a daily basis. Without daily use, the journey to improving sleep is difficult.

◇  user personas

The night owl: Market size: 35%


Michael is a senior and with graduation approaching, feels pressure to excel academically, secure a job, and maintain a social life. He stays up late and wakes up early throughout the week.

sleep consistently & manage time

Michael wants to manage his sleep schedule better by sleeping earlier to get on a regular sleep schedule.

busy schedule:

Michael's schedule has trouble balancing his academics and social activities. He ineffectively manages his time resulting in late nights and an inconsisten sleep schedule.

sleep tracking platform:

Michael needs a platform that improves his sleep schedule by sending reminders throughout his busy day and a tool to manage his time.
The overwhelmed freshman: Market size: 35%


Carly is a first year majoring in engineering and is experiencing everything for the first time. She is overwhelmed with managing her course load, making friends, and joining clubs.


Carly wants to increase the duration and quality of sleep. She seeks tools to help her wind down at night and establish a sleeping routine.

New experiences:

Carly struggles with managing all these new experiences and things that college has brought. College is chaotic to her and she wants to make time for everything, even when she can't.

resources & incentive platform:

Carly needs a platform that incentivizes her to get better sleep and access to resources that can help her establish a sleeping routine.
The social butterfly: Market size: 30%


John is a 2nd year majoring in finance and enjoys a vibrant social life often staying up for parties, hanging out with friends, and attending social events.

balance life with sleep:

John wants to balance his social activities with his sleep needs. He wants to establish boundaries with peers and to have more self control.

inconsistent sleep:

John's active social life disrupts his sleep schedule, leading to sleep deprivation and daytime fatigue. He struggles to balance his social life with academic responsibilities.

goal setting & progress tracking:

John needs a platform that allows him to set sleep goals and track his progress while enjoying social life.
03 develop
◇  developing the right product

After defining the user needs, my design strategy, and user personas, I began to draw initial designs for prototypes.

In this stage I:

    • Analyze the current market
    • Develop the user flow
    • Develop the low fidelity prototype

◇ market analysis

notable pros:
Shuteye has high personalization because it includes a sleep diary that allows users to input caffeine intake, sleep habits, and how they felt waking up.

Sleep Cycle has an alarm system in the app that can be personalized with ringtone, time, and repetition.

notable cons:
The sleep tracking is inaccurate and doesn't accurately track the sleep duration and interruptions of sleep.

◇ User flow

Creating these personas helped us empathize with our users and understand their habits, goals, and motivations. It allowed us to narrow in on exact purposes of SleepStreak: to help college students improve their sleep quality, establish healthy sleep habits, and enhance overall well-being. We broke this down into 3 different components:
SleepWatch App
ShutEye App
• Awareness and education: SleepWatch provides information and resources about sleep health, helping users understand the importance of good sleep and providing tips for improving sleep habits.

• Sleep tracking: In addition, it can monitor and analyze sleep patterns, providing insights into sleep duration, quality, and disturbances. This data can help users identify trends and make adjustments to improve their sleep.

• Sleep environment monitoring: It can integrate with smart home devices or wearable trackers to monitor factors like noise, light, and room temperature, offering suggestions to create a more conducive sleep environment.
PROS:• Alarm and smart wake-up features: The app includes smart alarm features that wake users during their lightest sleep phase, aiming to minimize grogginess and improve wakefulness.

• Personalized recommendations: The app offer personalized recommendations based on sleep data, suggesting lifestyle changes, relaxation techniques, or sleep hygiene practices tailored to individual needs.

• Notification System: The app allows for notifications to be sent to the user throughout the day to remind them of their sleep habits, sleep information, and any appropriate information regarding their sleep performance.
CONS: • Overwhelming data and information: There seems to be a lot of excessive data and complex sleep reports which can seem overwhelming to users, making it difficult to interpret and utilize the information effectively.

• Cost considerations: The app offers basic features for free, but the more advanced and useful features or premium versions come with a cost. Users need to consider if the additional features justify the expense and whether they are willing to pay for ongoing access.
• Inadequate customization: The app lacked options for customization, such as predetermined sleep goals or recommendations that may not align with individual preferences or circumstances.

• Cost considerations: Similar to SleepWatch, the premium version comes with a cost that allows the users to unlock more insightful features. This serves as a roadblock users who do not want to spend money but want to improve their sleep.
Additional informational resources are important for users to understand their sleeping habits and ways to improve
To optimize user engagement, a notification system is needed to remind users throughout the day of their sleep goals.
Users want
flexibility and customization for their own personal sleep goals
Simplifying the presentation of data can enhance user experience and understanding.

◇  low-fidelity prototype

04 deliver
◇  Delivering the right product

In this final convergence of the design process, I finalize the design of SleepStreak and bring the product to life.

In this stage I:

     • Develop the high-fidelity prototype
     • Conduct usability tests

◇  high-fidelity prototype


◇  usability testing

Usability testing is a key component to iterating and improving our user interface. It has allowed us to understand what features or buttons are most important, how each user navigates through the interface, and to find what the app is missing.

Usability Results:
For the usability test, we traveled to the Pitt student library and asked individuals for feedback based off of our Figma prototype, and logged the results in relation to positive and negative suggestions. These suggestions included:

          - Black, white & gray were too monotone 
          - Make the notifications grab your attention
          - Have a quicker way to set schedule of wake up times based on class schedule
          - Make signing up easier and more simplistic
          - Create a reward system / milestones based a streak goals met

05 reflect
◇  reflecting on sleepstreak

SleepStreak was my first opportunity to work in a group setting for a design project. I was able to improve collaborative skills as I enjoyed being able to bounce ideas back and forth with group members and collectively come up with solutions.

I saw significant progress and improvements in my own creative design thinking and it gave me the confidence I needed to continue designing in the healthcare space.
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