Sono App

Encouraging millenials to sleep good and feel good about their sleep behaviours

Project Year 2017
Area of Work
  • UI/UX
  • Product Design

With almost half of the adults suffering from poor sleep, with stress, money worries and mobile devices often to blame, the cost of these sleepness nights is more than just bad moods and lack of focus. We can all benefit from improving the sleep quality of our sleep, but how can people work out how much sleep they need and learn to achieve this?

This is a brief set by RSA Awards under the category of Sleep Matters. This project gather students from various faculties to form a multi-disciplinary group. We're required to use the "Design Thinking" methodology as an approach to the solution.


Project Lead. Guide and lead the team through the Design Thinking processes to gather insights. Conducted User Interviews with audiences. Crafted the UX for the application. UI design for inner pages.

Project Team:
  • Chen Zhi Liang. UI/UX. Project Lead.
  • Chen Xuan. UI/UX.
  • Nikita. Copywriter.
  • Kean Lim. Interior Design.
  • Jerold. Interior Design.
  • Zi Kai. Product Design.

  • Market Research

    Before embarking on the ideation, 3 of our members did up a market research to know the existing products that help to improve sleeping habits.

    The products have a similar pattern whereby it is expensive to be acquire and they serve more as an additional product to the user. It doesn't tap on the available resources that the user already have to achieve a change.

    Smart Nora

    Nora is a snoring solution designed to help both snorers and people who are disturbed by snoring.. Nora helps by detecting signs of initial snoring noise and slightly elevate the snorer’s head to helps clear the airway to a non-snore-inducing position.


    The mask helps to track your pulse, temperature, and muscle movement with in-built sensors. An app will analyze all the data and generate results of your sleep pattern. The app will suggest a time for you to take naps and give tips on improving your sleep.

    Future Sleep Kit

    A series of objects for people to interact with before they go to sleep. The products aid in creating a comfortable ambience for a sleeping environment. The scent helps to promote relaxation that can put users into a calm state of mind.


    By using breathing regulation, sounds, and affection the sleeping robot offers a natural way of improving the night’s rest. The mobile application can be used to set your personal preferences during the day to have a tailored approach to solving sleep at night.

    Drift Light LED

    With a few flicks of the light switch, the warm spectrum bulb goes into a Midnight Mode, simulating slow sunset that helps sleepers ease into sleep instead of being thrown into darkness, mimicking the gradual disappearance of the sun.


    Luminette is created to get light therapy on the go. It is worn like a pair of glasses which allows you to carry on with daily activities without hindering. It works by releasing a light beam into your eyes simulating the sun that does not dazzle your vision.

    How might we encourage Millenials to adopt a healthy
    sleeping behaviour without disrupting their lifestyle?


    The persona became an important aspect of the project to determine the functionalities, needs and wants of our solution.


    What goes into the Product System?

    It become clear that the solution towards a healthier sleeping habit is beyond just an application. Our solution must be a system that encompassed both a product and an application. This have become a norm for the market products.


    The product must be cost-efficient. It should not be a totally new product for users and the functionality should revolves around the things that users are familiar with. A good example will be the massage capability that every Singaporean are accustomed with.


    The application serves as a controller and a tracker for the main product. It should be capable of tracking, analysising and provide better sleeping pattern for the user to refer. Most importantly, it should allow user to interact with their peers.

    • Idea 01
    • Idea 02
    • Idea 03
    • Idea 04
    • Idea 05

    • Idea:

      A multi-functional app that track and record sleep progress. It have a build in social media chat messenger that users can interact with. Weekly challenged will be launch and users can compete with their friends to reach the top tier.


      There is not much of a benefit for the users to participate or even to download it at the beginning. The marketing factor is a consideration.

    • Idea:

      The application works like a Tamagotchi. The longer you sleep the more you will be able to feed the virtual pet.


      Lack of freshness for the users to join as the current market already have apps with similar characteristics.

    • Idea:

      Clocking sleep hours = Reduce Ads appearance. The more they sleep the more seconds they can deduct from social media ads such as Youtube or Instagram.


      Social Media Channels may not want to collaborate with us as the ads is their source of income.

    • Idea:

      Entering a virtual world after you sleep to experience new adventures. MATRIX!


      This does not help to slow down and let the brain rest. This activity simulates the dreaming process where the brain activity is still active.

    • Idea:

      Healthy sleep = Money. The better sleep you get, you can choose and donate the hours into monetaries donation for the charity.


      Where will the money come from? Venture captalist? or Angel Funding?

    Key Features for Product

    White Noise Player

    White noise is proven to be beneficial as a sleeping tool. The sounds produced can quiet your brain and calm down your brain. White noise will drown out all disruptive sounds that might wake the user up.

    Massage Capability

    Acupuncture has been proven by World Health Organisation to solve the problem of insomnia in 2003. Massaging is also a common relaxation method enjoy by Singaporeans. The massage point of "Anmian" have been proven to promotes deep relaxation and can help to improve insomnia.

    Smart Tech

    The product should be able to capture and translate the data into an application. The product should also have the ability to adjust the preferences and setting just like a normal massage chair.

    Cost Effective

    Targetting the Millenials, majority of their concerns still revolves around the issue of money and cost-effectiveness. Major sleep products in the market are rather expensive to acquire and thus, the value of our product relies heavily on the material choice.

    Key Features for Application

    Data Tracking

    As mentioned in the product, the data transferred from the product should be able to be capture and provide helpful insights for the user to understand their sleeping patterns.

    Sharing and Communicating with Friends

    Friends are what makes Millenials to be daring to try new things. They are also the reasons why many of them continue to stay loyal and trust the brands. Gathering their friends into the system helps to create a mini-community that promotes healthy sleep behaviour.

    Multiple Selection of Functions

    The functions should be customiseable for each user depending on their preferences.

    Built in Alarm Clock

    This is a need for the users as we do not want them to exit the current app to set another alarm. This help to reduce their distractions level before sleep.

    Product Sketches
    Based on the results and requirements gathered from our interviews, research and idea testing, the features were added and built into a product.
    • Wireframes

      Based on the results and requirements gathered from our interviews, research and idea testing, the features were added and built into a product.

    User Testing

    With the prototype in hand, we bring the application out for testing with a group of 30 Millenials. We are unable to test out our product prototype as it is hard to manufacture based on the condition and time of the project. However, we did provide an overview of the mockup images to gather opinions.


    Product Feedback

  • Looks comfortable and easy to use.
  • Like the grey colour of the product as it seem minimal.
  • Worried on the cost of the product. Suggest to look into reducing some of the space around the product to reduce material cost.
  • The edges of the product look very stiff and doesn’t seems to appeal for purchase.
  • Functionality of the product seems to be appropiate for daily use.

  • We discover that the form has a lot of unnecessary material used. We rounded out the edges of the product. This reduces the cost of the product and also appeal more to the users as it looks less rigid.


    We observed that the users have the habit of tapping on the homescreen and expecting an interaction to occur. They also overlook the menu button, located at the top left corner.

    We shift the menu to allow the user to navigate through the bottom navigation. In addition, the user can also see their daily sleep insights by tapping on the screen.


    Users commented that the sub pages of the app doesn’t contain visual elements from the home page. The design seems to be boring without the graphics.

    Similar graphics were implemented to the internal pages where the clouds are covering the moon. This provides a depth to the pages and consistent styling throughout.


    Users commented that the alarm page is too similar to the iPhone alarm. It is boring.

    Icons were introduce and wordings were change to reduce the clutter. This encourages a better reading flow.


    Users questions on the “Sleep Cycle” counts as they think it is redundant. The “Avg Time Taken to Sleep” is also redundant as they don’t see the need for it. They would rather know what time do their friends usually sleep each night.

    Based on the user feedback, we introduced new layout and graphics. Removing the “Sleep Cycle” and “Avg Time Taken to Sleep”, we added in the “Avg. Sleep Time” according to the user preferences.


    Design Direction

    The design direction takes reference from colour tone of the sunrise and sunset. Taking on the colours, the app changes from dark to light theme based on the timing. Design was kept minimal and direct as the application need to be straightforward, and does not aim to get the users to be hook on it.

    The prototype was created with Adobe XD with working functionalities for testing purposes.

    The Home page allow a quick overview of the user sleeping insights.

    The Insights provide a more in-depth reading to the daily and weekly datas.

    The Settings page allow the user to control their Massage frequency and patterns.

    Getting to know if your friends are asleep and what functions they are using helps to build a level of trust and healthy comparison between the users.

    The ability to set an alarm inside the app is a neccessary function.

    The project consist of the first time experience working with a multidisciplinary team. The process of the project was never linear and the development of the app wireframe was not easy. The biggest setback for this project was the lack of opportunity to do testing.