January 2012 - August 2012
About the Company
Zeo was one of the early pioneers of the quantified self movement. Having raised $27M the Boston based startup built a headband you wore when you went to sleep, the headband could track your REM, deep and light sleep and based on your results give you suggestions for improving your sleep quality.
Product Manager & Business Development. I worked on business development in my first two months with the company closing a deal with Virgin Atlantic and conducting an extensive analysis of the competing sleep apps in the App Store. As a product manager I lead the design of a new feature, conducted usability studies, and lead the marketing launch of our free sleep tracking app.
I joined Zeo in January of 2012 as my first Co-op at Northeastern initially as a business development intern. However I took a strong interest in the product team early on and ended up joining them as a product management intern two months into my Co-op.
During my time working in business development I did an extensive analysis of the competing sleep apps in the app store, made a case for a potential relaxation feature in the app, and closed a partnership with Virgin Atlantic on a jet lag app.
When I first joined the product team they were conducting concept tests for one of new features: Sleep Advice. While sitting in on the concept tests, I noticed that most users had no idea what the three sleep stats we reported meant (Deep, REM and Light sleep). I raised a flag to the team and we began discussing the way we set context within the app. The only form of context we had was the screen below that was tucked away in the settings menu:
We then spent time wireframing different ways to better illustrate the concepts in a way that was more visual.
I brought this into Omnigraffle (there was no Sketch at the time) and created higher fidelity wireframes that were to be used in usability testing.
I took the wireframes animated them in Prototypes App, loaded them up on a couple iOS devices and I went out the next morning to conduct a usability test. Since we wanted to conduct a quick test I didn’t have time to create a formal Interview guide. Instead I focused on two things:
- Do the screens help users understand each stat?
- Do they know how to navigate from one screen to the next?
I drove down to Newton Center (a shopping mall nearby) and recruited a total of 8 people for the study. To test question number 2 I handed them the phone and had them slide through each screen. As they got to each screen I would ask them what they thought of the picture, and the description. However the real test was at the end, once they swiped through each screen I took the phone away and had them go through each stat and describe to me what they learned. This allowed me to test several things:
- Do the images help with defining the terms?
- Are they retaining the basics of each stat?
- Are we overwhelming them with text?
We found that the images helped the users make a correlation between each sleep stage and its benefits. For example when I asked them to define REM sleep, although they couldn’t repeat the whole definition, they immediately knew it correlated to mental recovery.
With the help of illustrations from our creative director we cleaned the screens up and came up with this final design:
Sleep 101 App Marketing
Around the fifth month of my Co-op Zeo was getting to launch their first free sleep tracking app that used the iPhone's accelerometer. Being a late comer to the market, after Sleep Cycle (then and current leader) the plan was to offer an app that was more accurate and free in order to bring more users into the Zeo sleep ecosystem, where we could up-sell them on sleep accessories/the Zeo headband later. Having spent the beginning of my Co-op doing a thorough evaluation of the current state of sleep apps in the app store, I was put in charge of taking the wireframes that the marketing department had created in order to bring them to completion.
This was the first version of the landing page that the previous marketing department had created. It had way too much copy to the point where it made it harder to understand the primary benefits of the app.
Here is the first (slightly embarrassing) crack I took at redesigning it:
Working with our creative director we arrived at the final version.
To wrap up Sleep 101's marketing launch I worked on the app store screenshots, providing all wireframes and copy. Final designs created by our creative director.
After the launch of Sleep 101, I returned to classes and remained at Zeo in a part time consulting role for the following three months. I spent the majority of that time conducting usability studies and helping the product team decide what to prioritize in Sleep 101 v2 based on what we had learned since the launch.
Zeo, in conjunction with Notely, taught me how much I loved working in product. When I set off to search for my second co-op I wanted to join a company that was in the process of improving a product it had already launched. I wanted to understand what it takes to improve an existing product dramatically and all of the processes, prioritizations and tradeoff that come with that. Luckily, I joined the Kicksend team that had just launched their photo printing product.