The Sleeponomy project emerged from a dynamic 4-month design challenge aimed at catalyzing innovation within the realm of sleep tracking, sleep technology, and overall sleep health and hygiene. With a mission to disrupt conventional norms and introduce cutting-edge solutions, the project delved into validating and debunking traditional sleep myths and habits. Through rigorous research and creative exploration, Sleeponomy endeavors to redefine the landscape of sleep science, offering transformative insights and technologies to enhance both the quality and understanding of sleep through a completely speculative and abstract design concept.
The Sleeponomy app offers a comprehensive suite of tools for managing your sleep health. Track your sleep patterns, calculate your sleep debt, and even buy or sell surplus sleep hours. Get personalized sleep hygiene tips and use your sleep credits to shop for exciting products in the Sleep Store. Plus, experience the thrill of the sleep stock marketplace, where sleep hours are traded like stocks in real-time.
After interviewing a diverse user group and organizing the collected data into affinity diagram clusters, one overwhelming problem that was commonly encountered yet had gone undefined was identified. The concept of Sleep Debt became a viable target within the sleep science ecosystem that offered an opportunity to help individuals manage their energy and focus better and, in turn, their health.
A pivotal component of the research process revolved around clarifying the concept of sleep debt to ensure that the concerns voiced by the users were accurately captured within this framework. It was observed that although users might not have been familiar with the scientific terminology of sleep debt, they were inadvertently describing the same phenomenon. To validate and align the understanding of sleep debt within the sample, the expressed issues were triangulated and subjected to further probing.
The identification of user group categories was driven by the necessity to interview individuals encompassing a diverse spectrum of sleeping habits, daily routines, schedules, and access to resources for addressing sleep-related issues. This approach facilitated the development of a comprehensive understanding of the sleep ecosystem and the inherent user base, drawing insights from a sample size of 20 individuals. It was revealed that a significant majority (91.6%) of the interviewees experienced sleep debt, leading to disruptions in their lifestyle, work life, and overall health.
Market and Solution
To devise an effective solution, it was imperative to gain a comprehensive understanding of the sleep market, including key stakeholders, market shares, various market segments, and emerging trends. This analysis aimed to identify demands, opportunities, and the ideal niche for the solution, ensuring its sustained success in the long term.
Among the four identified segments, the landscape of sleep tracking apps appeared densely populated, with many addressing similar issues in comparable ways. Conversely, sleep tech devices exhibited the greatest potential for future growth and opportunity. Recognizing the intersection of these two segments as a promising niche, it was identified as a secure landing space for the product.
The brainstorming phase encompassed translating the gathered insights and synthesized data into prompts aimed at inspiring potential solutions. These prompts spanned from purely theoretical and scientific to wildly speculative and abstract, encouraging a comprehensive exploration of ideas. Among these, the concept of “Sleep as Currency” emerged as particularly intriguing. Despite its speculative nature, its potential to gamify and incentivize behavior made it a compelling avenue for further exploration.
The feature definition process was guided by meticulous reasoning, where each component of the solution was carefully addressed to ensure overall effectiveness. Central to this was the ability to track users’ sleep, enabling the calculation of sleep debt and providing personalized tips and suggestions to mitigate its accumulation. Additionally, the speculative aspect of a sleep marketplace, akin to a science fiction concept, envisioned a world where such technology existed. This concept entailed the existence of a sleep stock market and economy, allowing for exchanges where sleep serves as a currency. Within the application, a virtual store was created, enabling users to purchase a variety of products using this unique currency, distinct from traditional money and confined to the application framework.
“In a world where sleep isn’t just a necessity; it’s a valuable currency you can share, trade, and thrive on, introducing Sleeponomy.”
As the envisioned application was targeted for use on mobile devices and wearable technology, the initial mock-ups and prototypes were crafted utilizing the iOS and watchOS design systems, aligning closely with Apple’s Human Interface guidelines.
High Fidelity Clickable Prototype (Click to Test, R to Reset)
A mock-up of the mobile application was crafted, featuring several indicative screens and flows to provide users with a preview of navigation and access to the various features. The primary emphasis was placed on developing a home screen, a marketplace screen enabling basic interactions for buying and selling sleep, and a Store screen, each designed with potential for future expansion in mind.
High Fidelity Clickable Prototype (Swipe to Test, R to Reset)
A mock-up of the watch application was also created, incorporating swipe-through interactions between various screens, including an overview screen, a data screen, and visualizations of sleep activity screens. The watch is envisioned as an extension of the mobile application, providing added functionality such as tapping other user rwatches for NFC-enabled purchase and sale of sleep.
Moving forward, it was crucial to conduct an in-depth analysis of the market potential and size from a business point of view. A financial projection was created after an extensive exploration of existing market data, statistics, and available research. By examining trends and assigning values based on available information, a comprehensive understanding of the market landscape was gained. This insight allowed for the establishment of initial business targets, and numerical goals.
After identifying the broader market scope and pinpointing the most manageable market segment, the goal was set to attain an 6.6% market share within the Sleep Tech and Tracking segments over a two-year period. With these benchmarks in place, strategies could then be formulated to achieve and exceed these objectives.
In the long term, the ideas for expansion ventured into adjacent realms of sleep, including dreams and more lucid experiences. However, in the short term, the focus remains on capturing user interest, collaborating with artists and other professionals, and leveraging Sleeponomy’s unique currency, while also exploring its integration with other domains like healthcare. While predominantly speculative, many aspects of the project remain grounded in reality. Given recent advancements in technology and anticipated progress in science, this concept may not appear as implausible as initially thought.