Creating the ⌜Sleep⌟ experience

This week, we launched a new feature ⌜Sleep⌟. It took a long time to reach the clarity needed to create something original in this space. We also embraced a very open innovation process. Here is a reflection of how the ⌜Sleep⌟ experience came together for Pause.

Strong customer needs

The original Pause was not designed to help people fall asleep. It had bright colors and required continuous interaction. It was the customers who discovered that it is very effective as a sleep aid. Many customers asked for optimizing the experience towards sleep, with calm colors, and allowing the music to keep playing for a while after the finger stopped moving (this is the moment of falling to sleep).

APPLE AppStore story promoting Pause as a sleep aid

Beyond Sleep stories?

Calm pioneered the Sleep stories with huge success. It brought the concept of bedtime stories for kids to everyone, with celebrities mesmerizing voices. In 2018, the Sleep section of Calm had reached 140 million times of listens. Sleep stories make sense for guided meditation apps like Calm. Most mindfulness apps copied it.

Capturing the essence of letting go

As human beings, our default mode identifies our thoughts and feelings as who we are. An essential practice in mindfulness is to become aware that those inner phenomena are merely passing visitors, just like clouds.

Reflect, interactively dissolve thoughts and feelings, and slip into sleep with soothing background music

Practice openness

Dissolving thoughts and feelings seemed like a radical idea. I did not know how people would react. As soon as we made the 1st visual prototype, I shared on Linkedin and later posted an update. I got enough positive reactions, and most importantly, some very insightful comments from meditation practitioners and user experience researchers. Most of them were not in my network, yet they spent the time to write thoughtful reflections and suggestions on this topic. I thank all of you who reacted to my early posts. It has been a crucial encouragement to help us move forward.🙏

Some insightful feedback I got from my early LinkedIn post

Launch, measure and learn

We know the 1st iteration is not perfect. We have not even done a proper usability test. But as a startup that tries to open up new perspectives, we think the most powerful act is launching. We look forward to learning from the real reactions from the world and rapidly iterate to improve.

Founder at PauseAble