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Designing an iOS lifestyle app to help people build healthy sleep habits


Remadely is on a mission to help people check, change, and celebrate healthy habits in their lives. Josh, its founder, wanted to work with a designer to do some initial thinking on a start-up idea. The idea was centered around behavioral health change with a variety of tracks: sleep, sobriety, and the environment. My focus was the sleep track.


The initial goal was to build an app that helps people begin healthy habits to improve their quality of sleep. 


  1. Design the sleep track for a lifestyle app

  2. Conduct research to build an initial prototype of the sleep track of a mobile app, keeping in mind that the sobriety and environment tracks will be included in the app

Client: Remadely

Duration: January - October 2021

Role: UX/UI Designer

  • Research

  • Information Architecture

  • Interaction Design

  • Visual Design


  • Josh Spry - Founder

  • Melanie Ratchford - Product Manager

  • Simon Sotelo - Branding


  • Figma

  • Adobe Illustrator

  • Mural

  • User Testing



Learning about the mHealth Industry, Building Habits, and Sleep

By conducting market research, I learned about the current trends and pain points in the mobile health and habit building app industry and gained a better picture of mHealth users and people who track their sleep. I formed a deeper understanding of habit formation by diving into the psychology behind it and looking into strategies to build better habits. Because my focus was on sleep, it was also important for me to learn about the factors that contribute to high-quality sleep and the benefits of sleep.

Taking a Peek at Our Competitors

To get a feel for what other players in the mHealth and habit building app industry are doing, I conducted a competitive analysis. I focused on the strengths and weaknesses of these apps to observe what was appealing to users and what steered them away from using the apps. From our competitor research, we knew that we didn’t want reminders and notifications to be too overwhelming.

Stepping into the Shoes of Our Users

My goals during 1-on-1 user interviews were to tap into participants’ goals, needs, motivations, and frustrations when it comes to improving their quality of sleep and their overall health and wellbeing. I tried asking questions that elicited stories about their experiences. I recruited 5 participants between the ages of 18 to 49 from User Interviews and Upwork. I conducted the interviews through video calls using Google Meet.


  • 5 out of 5 people are motivated to have good quality of sleep because it affects how they feel the next day.

  • 4 out of 5 people are motivated to have good quality sleep in order to be the best versions of themselves.

  • 3 out of 5 people discussed the importance of the time they sleep.


  • 4 out of 5 people try to relax their minds to fall asleep.

  • 4 out of 5 people try not to look at screens before bed.

  • 4 out of 5 people have tried sleeping medication before.

  • 3 out of 5 people read to fall asleep.

  • 3 out of 5 people use sounds to fall asleep.

  • 3 out of 5 people have tried counting sheep to fall asleep.


  • 4 out of 5 people use the way they feel as motivation to improve their health and wellbeing.


  • 4 out of 5 people are inspired by other people’s stories.

  • 3 out of 5 people talked about watching Youtube videos to improve their health and wellbeing.

  • 1 person mentioned using Pinterest to improve their health and wellbeing.

  • Other types of content mentioned included articles and blogs.

Recognizing Patterns

By transcribing my 1:1 user interviews and creating an empathy map, I was able to gather similar observations and pull insights from these patterns. Here is what I found:

​People use the way they feel as motivation to improve their health and wellbeing.


People are motivated to have good quality sleep because it affects how they feel the next day.

People are motivated to have good quality sleep because it affects how they feel the next day.


People are inspired by other people’s stories.


People are willing to keep track of their habits in order to improve their health and wellbeing.


People use the way they feel to motivate themselves to continue practicing new habits.


There are many recommendations on ways to fall asleep.


People enjoy learning how to improve their health and wellbeing through consuming content.


People learn differently, and everyone’s journey is different.


Defining Our Target Users

By gathering insights from my 1-on-1 user interviews, I was able to define our target user, Matt. Matt is proactive about improving his health and wellbeing. He prioritizes his sleep because he knows it not only affects his health, but also many other areas in his life.



Asking the Right Questions

I created POV statements to frame the problem from my target user, Matt’s perspective and asked HMW questions to ensure I would approach the correct problems during my brainstorming session.

HMW #1

How might we help Matt reflect on his experience?

HMW #2

In what ways might we keep Matt engaged?

HMW #3

How might we inspire Matt?

HMW #4

How might we make Matt feel unique?



Coming Together to Brainstorm

In order to generate as many solutions as possible to my HMW questions, I led a Note and Vote workshop with 4 people from the Remadely team. After presenting my research findings, we spent 15 minutes on each HMW question to brainstorm individually, present our ideas, and vote for our 3 favorite ideas.

Planning Out the Information Architecture

Melanie and I looked over the ideas from our group brainstorming workshop to prioritize the most important features. Then, with my persona, Matt in mind, I created a sitemap to plan out how to organize the features within the app. I observed the relationships between the screens to ensure that the flows would feel intuitive to our target users.

Walking Through the Task Flows

From user research, we discovered that people use the way they feel to motivate themselves to continue practicing new habits and they are inspired by other people’s stories. Therefore, I wanted to highlight a Matt, our target user, starting a challenge, reflecting on how he feels after the challenge, and sharing his insights with his community. This ensured that I would design the screens that Matt would need to carry out these tasks.

Looking at the Possibilities with User Flows

Because Remadely users can interact with the app in different ways, I wanted to make sure I highlighted the various routes they could take by creating user flows. This helped me design the screens they would need to meet their goals.

Putting It All Together in a UI Requirements Doc

As I was planning out the structure and organization of the Remadely sleep track, I was also creating a UI requirements document to ensure that I wouldn’t miss any high-level and detailed requirements.

Using our research, we started writing content to help people improve their sleep. We created challenges with tips for each type of challenge. The themes we came up with were: The Fundamentals, Your Body, Food & Drink, Circadian Rhythm, Staying Consistent, and Building a Routine. Because there are things you only have to do once to build a foundation for better sleep, like installing blackout curtains or air conditioning and buying a high-quality mattress and pillows, my product manager and I decided to create a Fundamentals category that all users would have to complete before moving onto other categories. Users who want to complete challenges must complete The Fundamentals Challenge first and users who want to go through resources at their own pace will need to go through the resources in The Fundamentals category first.

Although we had people responsible for content on our team, we needed to decide what type of content we would need from them, if we wanted to outsource instead, and how we wanted to display the information. We had to ask if we wanted to be content creators or content curators.

Our research also showed us that we had to distinguish between falling asleep and staying asleep. We had to cater to users with both types of issues.

Mid-Fidelity Wireframes

After sketching out my ideas, I allowed them to come to life digitally in my mid-fidelity wireframes. Here, I was able to experiment with typography, icons, and sizing. This helped me visualize the layout, structure, and hierarchy of these screens before adding actual content.



Putting Together a UI Kit

By referring to our brand guide and adding elements of my own, I created a UI kit of Remadely’s brand elements and assets. This helped me use consistent elements that align with Remadely’s brand. It continued to be updated based on changes that were made to the app.

High-Fidelity Wireframes

With feedback from my project manager, Melanie, and Remadely’s founder, Josh, I created my high-fidelity wireframes. Because there is so much copy within the app, Josh suggested that we add a chatbot feature as an option to users who want more interactivity.


Using the App




I created a prototype to observe the interactions on each screen and to ensure that the flows made sense and users can achieve their goals.


This was my first time designing one track within an app. There were multiple UX designers on the Remadely team, each working on a different track, so we had to think about consistency and approach. How would sleep fit in the app with sobriety and environment? Did we want to completely keep them separate or tie them together somehow? We decided it would be best to design our own tracks and come together to discuss. It was nice working with other designers during this project. We got to collaborate through group brainstorming sessions, design reviews and our Slack channel.

Another challenge we faced was how to approach personalization. From user interviews, we learned that people like personalization, but sleep can be a little limited. We decided to personalize it based on what the user would like to try, how often they wanted to be reminded, and what resources they liked and disliked within the app. I was reminded that personalization can look a little different, depending on what the product is.

The initial idea that Josh had was to help people begin healthy habits in 30 days. However, we had to find out what the best route was for the user. Ultimately, we decided that users would be able to build a foundation for better sleep in the beginning and then branch off to types of habits that they wanted to try. This was also a reminder that we never have to stick to the original idea, and we can use our research to point us in the right direction.

It was awesome working with Melanie because she knew so much about marketing. Something we focused on was engagement. How did we want to keep users engaged? That’s where the Remadely community came in. She suggested creating a roadmap. We were thinking of adding an in-app community after the first 100 users joined and before that, we would challenge people to post on social media about their Remadely sleep journey.

Building the sleep track for the Remadely app was a wonderful experience. Building healthy habits is a topic I’m personally interested in. At the time, I was reading Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg. I found myself listening to podcast episodes about sleep and habit formation. It was great working on something I was so interested in and collaborating with such a talented team.

Next Steps

Originally, we planned to conduct usability testing next, but as we were working on this project, Josh was also exploring and testing ideas. He found that there was a ton of interest in his Getting in Touch curriculum on a text based beta to help people connect with others, so he wanted to pivot in that direction. He kept all the work we did in case he wants to refer back to it. If we were to pick this project back up, I would improve it based on findings for usability testing. I’d also want to create a product roadmap to see how we could continually improve the Remadely app and keep people engaged. That being said, I can’t wait to see what Josh has in store for the future!

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