MoonDust is the first ever clinically-validated, psychology-based insomnia solution designed for the consumer market.
1 in 3 American adults suffers from insomnia—it’s one of the most common and debilitating health complaints. Insomnia is very treatable through psychology, but the right help is often inaccessible.
A clinically-validated insomnia solution that is scalable, elegantly-designed, and resonates with digital consumers. MoonDust guides users through a multi-week CBT program, and supports long term sleep health.
As co-founder and head of product of MoonDust, I was the sole designer on the project and handled all elements of the product from start to finish.
A silent epidemic
Hundreds of millions of people experience the struggle of insomnia every night, and they’re desperately searching for answers.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a proven solution, but it’s never been packaged effectively for consumers. So they’re currently forced to rely on sleeping pills, or just deal with the effects of poor sleep.
Clinicians are struggling to meet demand, insomniacs are left in limbo.
Additionally, insomnia is so ubiquitous that it often isn’t viewed as a behavioral disorder, so sufferers aren’t even aware that help exists.
Existing CBT programs written by clinicians are medically-focused, and don’t resonate with modern digital consumers.
I resolved to draw on my experience as a chronic insomniac, and a product designer to develop a solution that spoke effectively to the target user, and would serve as not only a one-time intervention but long-term sleep health companion.
To resonate, with MoonDust we had to reframe insomnia for users as a treatable disorder, while maintaining elegant design and lifestyle market positioning.
A trusted, attentive, long-term sleep companion.
With so many options and unhelpful guidance around sleep, MoonDust had to be authoritative and communicate content based on clinically-validated CBT methodologies.
But to work in the consumer space, it was important to craft a tone that met users where they were at and catered to the emotional vulnerability of someone exhausted struggling to sleep.
So I worked with our clinical partners on adapting clinical CBT-I content to be more warm and conversational, which was an enjoyable content design challenge.
The typical CBT program is dense and antiquated—broken into big chunks for each week, but through user testing I found this to be a barrier to program adherence.
So we converted the MoonDust CBT program into engaging, balanced daily soundbites to bolster both engagement and retention through a coherent, bite-sized experience.
The first ever clinically-validated, CBT-I-based insomnia solution for the consumer market
Chronic insomniacs, predominantly Millennial and Gen-Z
Mobile - iOS
Inspired by the pink and purple gradient of the lower sky at dusk, I designed MoonDust with a glossy, modern look and feel that was trendy, cozy, and sleek.
All of the app's visual assets followed MoonDust's general color scheme to create a holistic, immersive product experience.
MoonDust's interface adapts to the time of day to mimic a user's circadian rhythm.
This was inspired by my past experience as a chronic insomniac: there's nothing worse than being lulled in by the caress of a dark, starry sky when you're exhausted and trying to stay awake at work. So with this in mind, I designed the app interface itself to accommodate a user's biological wakefulness.
Upon entering the app, users take a 3-minute sleep assessment to create a profile of their unique needs and precipitating factors of sleep difficulties.
I designed the assessment to be clinically-relevant, frictionless, and resonate emotionally.
MoonDust CBT-I Program
MoonDust's core product is a 4-week CBT-I program: where users are taught psychology-based strategies to unlearn the habit of insomnia and restore a life of healthy, restful sleep. Each week of the program contains daily Audio Lessons and 2-4 "Activity Guides" to support users with resources in implementing the weekly sleep exercises.
I designed the content to be bite-sized and accessible, rather than formatted like a long book or podcast which often serve as the medium for CBT programs.
In what might have been a world record attempt for quantity of graphics incorporating deep round shapes, glowing gradients, and cool colors - I enjoyed leaning on my background as an artist to craft MoonDust's 28-piece set of lesson visuals.
Comparable to other wellness content apps, I designed and helped curate a media library of meditations, bedtime stories, pep talks, and guided journals that felt elegant and inviting.
I strategized MoonDust's guided journals as a product featured focused on user retention: my thesis was that if users created meaningful personal content and stored it in the app, they would be more tied to their subscription.
The journals section had a very different look and feel from the rest of the app - matte, flat, and understated to evoke gentle book pages.
Adherence to treatment between sessions was noted as one of the biggest challenges to patient success by our clinical partners. Because as we all know - dragging yourself out of bed after a poor night's sleep can be really, really difficult.
So I devised an NLP companion to support and guide users through the more difficult touch-points of psychology-based insomnia treatment.
Because we all need a bit of emotional support from a robot from time to time ¯\_(ツ)_/¯