Pzzzow Head

Pzzzow Head is a text bot that makes winding down and going to bed easy and fun.


You wake up groggy, drag yourself to the coffee maker, and tell yourself you’ll sleep earlier tonight. Fast forward to 12am, it’s been a long day and you just want to watch ONE video on youtube. BOOM! Before you know it, it’s 3 AM.

That’s called Revenge Bedtime Procrastination and it happens because you haven’t set a wind down and sleep schedule that works. 

Sound like you? You’re not alone.

Our survey showed that 86% of young adults struggle to get to bed on time- and the $430B sleep aid market doesn't solve their problem. Meditation and sleep tracking apps, sleep clinics, and mattresses are either catered to those already with sleep disorders, or address falling asleep and staying asleep. Apple sleep and traditional phone alarms also don't work- they're easy to ignore and don't take her downtime needs to account.

User pain points

Through user interviews, surveys and secondary research, our product manager boiled down why people delay sleep into 3 main insights:

  1. Not setting time aside to wind down, causing revenge bedtime procrastination 
  2. Not calculating appropriate bedtimes due to fatigue and difficulty
  3. Not listening to bedtime recommendations or alarms because they’re easy to ignore and not customized

Our hypothesis was: If we can help young adults set and stick to wind-down and sleep times, then they can get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. This in turn will improve their sleep quantity and their health, relationships, and productivity while reducing their risk of physical and mental health conditions.

Landing on the solution 

We prototyped 4 options with users- and although prototype 1 and 3 tied, we decided to pursue prototype 1 based on value to the user and technical feasibility, and to execute via a text-bot. Although we wanted a mobile-first experience given 80% of people are on their mobile phone before bed, a mobile app wasn’t necessary to test our hypothesis and would slow us down.

From competitive research, user insights, and multiple usability and value tests we landed on 4 key principles for our solution:

  1. Fun and easy onboarding process that communicated user value. 
  2. Education 📚 on the benefits and importance of sleep. Users reported that texts including sleep facts were most effective because it showed them WHY they should wind down and get to bed and what sleeping would do for them.
  3. Customization of Pzzzow’s personality & sleep schedules. Reminding users of their own sleep goal was highly effective because it reinforced their commitment and why they’re here.
  4. Gamification 🎮 and interactivity with streaks. All users wanted more motivation to keep going, and 80% of users said that they started ignoring texts if they weren’t effective after 3 days. We also split the user groups in two- one got check-in texts every morning, and the other received them weekly. People by far preferred the morning texts because it helped them visualize their progress, so in the final MVP we built out even more gamification.

The Solution

Pzzzow was created to fight revenge bedtime procrastination. It helps users set a CUSTOM sleep schedule so they can wind-down guilt free AND get to bed, and sends them texts that they’ll actually listen to. It educates them on the IMPORTANCE of sleep, lets them customize the 'personality' that best fits their motivation style, and uses gamification to encourage streaks and discourage bad behaviour.


Product Manager Learnings:


As a PM I learned to: 

1. Know my hypothesis- and drive the MVP towards that.

2. Test early and test often. We found out users preferred receiving check in texts every morning instead of weekly because it reminded them of their goal and motivated them to continue sleep habits. We leaned into this to develop our gamification components

3. Prioritize features that deliver user value + learning vs those that are ornamental.

Designer Learnings:


As a Designer in this cohort I learned...

1. Two heads are better than one, especially if those heads come from different backgrounds. I have usually just worked solo or with other designers. It was a valuable learning experience working with a great PM and Developer.

2. Prioritize. Since we had limited time to achieve our goals we really had to think about what added the most value to our product at that point in time. 

3. Trust the process. Going through a full iteration process with my team was awesome. Especially in my freelancing experience it's almost never the case. I can see where it really makes the difference. 

Developer Learnings:


As a Developer in this cohort I learned...

1. Full-Stack Development Rocks! It was an excellent confidence booster to be the sole developer for an app that has such a wide and varied tech stack.

2. “Teamwork makes the dreamwork”. Working with a UX designer and a Product manager taught me a lot about the benefits of working with talented people of varied skill sets.. 

3. Vanilla coding is empowering. Styling the app in Pure CSS was empowering and worth it for the level of personalization needed!

Developers Learnings:


Full Team Learning

Overall, we learned about the power of collaboration, and how to best leverage each other’s strengths.