Yawnie-Sleep Alarm
Interactive Product Design



Yawnie is a smart product that helps people develop good sleeping habits. It tracks users' sleeping conditions and reminds them to go to bed on time by "infecting" them with yawns. In modern culture, improper sleep habits are sometimes a point of pride.
However, too many people falter under pressure and suffer from lack of sleep, leading to poor health, low productivity, and depression. Yawnie capitalizes on the notion that yawning is contagious, and uses it to help improve the sleeping habits of its user.


Core 77 Design Award-Interaction
Fast Company

Role in team

Product Designer


Before we start the research, we made a mind map around the sleeping social movement. By listing out all the problems we care about and interested in, the map help us have a full image of sleeping industry. We categorize everything we came up with related to sleeping industry into six topics:
WHAT is the problem
WHY it matters
WHEN does it happen/effect on users' behaviors
WHO are the users
WHERE does it happen
HOW we could solve the problem

Problem Statement

After a rough research, we decided to focus on sleep quality. Many people falter under pressure and suffer from lack of sleep, leading to poor health, low productivity, and depression. However, in modern culture, improper sleep habits are sometimes a point of pride.

How might we improve people's sleep quality and help them inform a good sleep habit?

Why it maters


Lack of sleep is destroying people's health In U.S., 40% get less than recommended amount of sleep. An average adult needs between 7.5 and 8 hours of sleep per night. Americans currently average 6.8 hours of sleep at night, down more than an hour from 1942. Lack of sleep leads to poor health, low productivity, and depression.


Bad moods to work causes Economic damages Dissatisfaction, anger, and boredom felt by workers hurts the economy. It also costs the U.S. an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion per annum.


Waking provides the worst experience in the begining of the day Most of our interviewees have problems with getting up in the morning. It always causes bad mood, such as "morning anger", even worse, people bring the negative emotions to their work place or school.


There is great potential in sleeping industry $32.4 billion Sleep industry estimated market 31% increase Sleep aid sales Nearly 70% of surveyed office workers failed to meet daily physical activity guidelines

User Research


We collected the current problems people have with sleeping experience and categorized them into four groups based on the timeline.

"Waking in the morning is the most miserable time in my day."

Most of our interviewees have problems with getting up in the morning. But what makes waking a miserable experience is due to a bad sleep quality. Based on the rough user journey, we found that the biggest reason is they go to bed too late.


Two main reasons that people go to sleep late is:

People attend to sleep late. From the interviews and the observations, we found that many young users procrastinate to sleep. They spend time browsing social networks, watching shows and playing games.

People who have problems falling asleep.
Some people are hard to fall asleep because their brain are still too excited to sleep and sleep disorders.

User Groups

Daytime Habits

Eat before sleep
Not sleep on timeWork late

Daytime Habits

Bed Time



Afraid of darkness
Have problems falling asleep
Attend to sleep late
Being disturbed
Sleep walking / talking
Diseases / Bed wetting
Parents with  baby to take care of
Hard to get up
Get up at different times
People who used to sleep late, but want to have good sleeping habits.
People who have difficulty falling asleep (except sleep disease patients)
Sleep partners who have different bedtimes.
People who have loved ones that have bad sleeping habits.



People have bad waking experience.
People don't get enough sleep.
People go to bed / fall asleep late.


How Might We
help users inform a good sleeping habit and convince them to go to bed on time?


We did a research about the existing products on the market in order to locate our product in the sleeping industry. We picked up two groups of words to describe the core characters of competitors.
Aggressive:  They are very effective and funny that make people want to try it at the first place. As user keeps using it in daily life, the way that they make people have to get up on time is annoying.
Self- awareness:  They are user-friendly, make you aware of your body conditions with data and information but on the other hand, based on our experience and product review, they are not giving enough push to help people change their habits.
Smart and Low-tech: We picked up this pair of words due to class requirements and the trend of smart home devices.


We placed our product in between self-awareness and aggressive with high technology. Changing behavior and inform new habit is challenging. We set up the goal to We want our design to rise people's attention and convince them to actually take actions,  in a friendly way. It uses smart technology to empower people's everyday life. At the same time, we want to invisible the technology to create a more natural and pleasant experience.

Yawning is Contagious

We yawn when we are sleepy. Yawning is a signal sent by our own body, telling us we are sleepy and tired. Yawning is contigagious. We can be infected by hearing / seeing the word "yawn", looking at yawning pictures of both human and animals.

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