Case Study: Mobile App
In 2022, I helped a new telehealth brand rewrite their digital therapy program for a mobile app audience.
The Challenge: This telehealth brand's core product was a digital therapy program available via an app, which would teach users better sleep habits to improve insomnia. The program was created by an expert clinical psychologist but was not optimized for the mobile app format in any way. The team knew the user experience would be much better and users would be more likely to continue with the program if the copy was rewritten to fit the digital experience.
My Role: As the UX writer, I worked with the Product Designer to develop a set of recurring components that could be used to separate out the copy, then created a system for which elements would be used in which situations. I worked with the Instructional Designer to edit the copy to fit these components as well as to read more conversationally.
This program ultimately consisted of over 300 screens worth of educational content. Here is a short sample of this content before and after optimizing it for the app experience:
Most people would agree that a shorter night of solid sleep is more refreshing than a longer night of interrupted sleep. Your sleep window will help you consolidate your sleep so that you are spending less time awake at night.
Many people make the mistake of spending more time in bed in an effort to sleep more, but for most, this approach makes your sleep difficulties worse! The extra time in bed doesn't lead to more sleep, it leads to more time awake in bed. (much more on this to come)
So while you are working to improve your sleep, your sleep window will be a max of eight hours throughout the program. You’ll decide where this eight-hour window best fits in your life.
Make sure to think about your life responsibilities in the evening and morning when you decide where you believe this schedule best fits. Once you decide your window, you'll stick to it for at least a week.
Your wake time will be fixed and stay consistent no matter how you slept the night before, but your bedtime will be flexible based on how you feel.
You can get in bed when you feel sleepy, but not before your sleep window starts. So you'll get in bed no earlier than your bedtime, but if you're not yet ready for bed- wait until you feel sleepy.
My Approach: My first priority in working with the copy across the program was to make it feel as interactive as possible, since app users would expect interactivity and were meant to relate to the "voice" of the program as a sort of therapist. However, this MVP version of the app had no real interactive functionality within the educational content itself, and we were also limited in our use of imagery because we did not have enough design resources to create custom imagery for every page of the program.
My solution was to develop a "patient voice" that could speak to the main voice of the app and stand in for the user by asking the questions they likely had. My other priorities were breaking up the text as much as possible so it would never feel like you were reading a textbook and explaining complex concepts in language that was as straightforward and relatable as possible.
In this example, the lesson is explaining the importance of only staying in bed eight hours per night, even if that means getting less total sleep in the short term, to retrain the body to fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. I used the "patient voice" purple callouts to explain the idea in a question-and-answer format, "tip boxes" to highlight the most important takeaways from the lesson, and added in an example to help users visualize the idea.
The Outcome: For user confidentiality reasons, we were unable to look up data on specific users to measure if they were actually restricting their sleep as the program dictates. However, in the initial group of beta users to make their way through the program, 64% logged their sleep in the app, which can be considered a proxy measurement. The team was quite satisfied with this rate as a baseline, and as further app functionality is developed (such as push notifications to remind users to log their sleep and personalized feedback on their sleep efficiency), we expect these numbers to continue to improve.