Reve Project Book | Dream | Sleep

T H E N E W MEDIA INSTITUTE P RES EN TS

:

Fall 2012
Holly Sweat Will Linto Paul Merrill Katie Weimer

TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Idea Research Technology and Key Features The Rêve Experience Challenges Testing Meet the Team

2 3 4 5 6 7 8

1

THE IDEA
A recent poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that around two-thirds of Americans say that their sleep needs are not being met during the week. While most Americans are aware that they should receive seven to nine hours of sleep per night, many do not consider that the quality of sleep equally important. A consistent sleep routine is absolutely crucial, according to UGA nutrition counselor Amy Ruhlen. Twenty-somethings are known for having busy schedules and consequently putting sleep on the back burner. The Sleep Foundation wrote, “Approximately half [of respondents] rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on the weekdays.” Therefore, the purpose of Rêve, which means to dream in French, is to get twenty-somethings to prioritize sleep. In order to achieve our goal, we want to gamify sleep through the concept of lucid dreaming. A lucid dream occurs when the dreamer realizes he or she is dreaming. At this point, a dreamer can manipulate his or her dreams. The experience has been described as limitless, exciting and insightful. Our mobile application provides helpful tools that promote lucid dreaming. However, attaining the lucid dreaming state is not guaranteed with any application. With an incentive to prioritize sleep, Rêve users could improve their overall health. Studies have shown that sleep has numerous beneficial effects. People who have good sleep patterns are more productive during the day, have better metabolisms and are less likely to experience an illness. In addition, sleep disorders and poor sleeping habits can increase a person’s risk for chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

2

TH E RESEA RC H
The concept of lucid dreaming is not new, but many people are unfamiliar with the concept. We knew that lack of awareness would be problematic and could potentially inhibit users to try our product. To assess the situation, we conducted a survey over the course of two weeks. The results highlighted some potential issues and revealed some surprising information. Roughly 62% of people are getting seven hours of sleep or less on weeknights. Furthermore, we learned most people are going to bed between 12–2 a.m. and waking up between 6–9 a.m. People cope with sleep deprivation with naps, nearly 61% of people reported taking naps lasting between 30–90 mins. This lack of sleep is also regained on the weekends, which is when the majority of respondents getting more than seven hours of sleep. Another issue we noticed in this study was sleep quality. 82% of respondents stated they never or only sometimes feel rested after waking up. Possibly a contributing factor to these sleeping issues is the use of technology before bedtime. 97% of people said they used some sort of technology. Among the most utilized technologies are televisions, computers and smartphones. One of the more interesting and surprising discoveries related directly to lucid dreaming. 52% of people said they had experienced a lucid dream, but 87% said they believed they could experience a lucid dream. This last statistic is particularly helpful to use because it validates that this idea isn’t something people will reject as myth; lucid dreaming is something people believe they can experience themselves.
Have you experienced a lucid dream? Do you believe you could experience a lucid dream?

Yes No

Yes No

18%

48%

52% 82%

Much of our primary research reaffirms our findings from our literature reviews and secondary research. The secondary research was a bit broader; for instance, it discovered that people rely on caffeine in addition to naps to cope with sleep loss. After completing these various forms of research, we were able to design an application that met the needs of lucid dreamers and those who hope to become lucid dreamers. By using this information to design an application that is simple and fun to use, we will be able to meet our behavioral change goals in the long term. 3

T E C H NO LO GY A ND KEY FEATURES
Rêve is a native mobile application that has been created using Red Foundry. We have created this application based on the features experts have cited as the most important steps to lucid dreaming. Rêve has three key features that guide the user along the lucid dreaming experience. The first feature is the dream journal. We’ve designed the dream journal as a recorder to make the process easier than traditional pen and paper journals. When the user wakes, the user can easily and immediately recall any dreams and quickly record them. Journaling one’s dreams forces people to analyze their dreams, which is why it’s commonly cited as the most important feature. Another important step in becoming a lucid dreamer is conducting reality checks. Reality checks can be as simple as reading a few lines of text or looking at your hands. Once reality reminders become habitual, the person ideally will remember to do them in his/ her dream as well. Rêve offers the user a reality check reminder that can help implement the reality checks. This feature can be personalized for frequency and type of reality check. Rêve also has Twitter integrated into the application. The hope is that the user will gain a sense of connection and community with the tips Rêve and its users provide through tweets.

4

THE RÊ V E EXP ERIENC E
Daily use of Rêve will lead to long term benefits such as a consistent sleep routine and more exciting, vivid dreams. The following is a hypothetical case that shows what an experience with Rêve may look like. Abby heard about Rêve when she complained to a friend about always putting social life and school work before getting a good night’s rest. Her friend recommended that she download Rêve on her iPhone. At first, Abby was skeptical about the concept of a lucid dream and how that could possibly make her get better sleep. For the first week, she wondered if the application would help her at all. She visited Rêve’s website to learn more about lucid dreaming and the application itself. Remembering her dreams became much easier the second week because she had been recording them each morning. She noticed that many of her dreams were about natural disasters, such as earthquakes. Out of curiosity, she tagged Rêve in a tweet asking if anyone else had experienced these dreams. Someone replied saying that natural disasters may mean she is overwhelmed with a situation in her life. Each day at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. an alert on her phone goes off to remind her to check if she was dreaming. While it seemed pointless at first, she started remembering to frequently question reality. During the third week of use, Abby had another dream about a natural disaster. Because she had previously noted this as a common theme, she remembered to conduct a reality check. Once she realized she was dreaming, she was able to manipulate the dream and put an end to the natural disaster. She felt it was a personal victory. Now that Abby has been using the application daily for several weeks she looks forward to sleep. Not only is she prioritizing sleep, she is also getting better quality sleep. She has learned a lot about herself by noting dream patterns and is in a better mood more often. Rêve definitely improved Abby’s health and it could do the same for any other user.

5

CHA LLENGES
We faced a few obstacles while creating Rêve. The most difficult challenge may be convincing people that lucid dreaming is real. Many people are skeptical of the concept. However, we have found that younger people are more willing to accept the idea, which is why we’re targeting college students and young professionals with this application. Another obstacle has been integrating Twitter with the application. The programmer had difficulty getting Twitter to work within its full capacity. For a period of time, Twitter wasn’t working at all, but we were able to fix the issue. As of now, users are unable to tweet directly from the app. However, they are able to read anything Rêve has tweeted and retweeted to help them in their lucid dreaming quest. Finally, we believe there is one obstacle that any health-related app developer would face: creating behavioral change. While we hope that our application will motivating users to consciously evaluate their sleeping habits, there is no way to be certain without more significant testing. Motivation and willingness to change must come from the user, but we think Rêve provides a great incentive for users to change behaviors.

6

TESTING
The user testing experience provided our team with beneficial feedback on various aspects of Rêve. Overall, we learned that lucid dreaming was an incentive to use this application and people thought the dream journal was the most useful feature, with 63% ranking it as their favorite feature. Also, nearly 88% of people rated the application’s quality as good or very good. This rating affirms that we have made great progress in the production of Rêve.
Favorite Feature Overall Usability of Rêve

Dream Journal Reality Checks Twitter

11% 22% 67%

Bad Good Very Good

33%

11%

56%

Unfortunately, during the testing process, there was an issue with the Twitter integration, which prevented the user from scrolling through the feed. Thus, many people reported issues with Twitter integration, and this contributed to its ranking as the least favorite functionality of the application. Another major issue users reported was the recorder. They noted that the lack of a timer (or some indication that the recorder was working) was a problem. Most people didn’t realize that recorder had started and some people thought the recorder wasn’t functional at all. For the people who did understand, they said the feature worked well. This confusion on how to use the application could be solved by including a how-to feature when the user first downloads and opens the application. Finally, the most interesting feedback related to the idea of “gamifying” sleep. A few users felt that although lucid dreaming does provide an incentive, it does not provide a good incentive for long term use. They suggested we go further in our attempts to gamify sleep. After compiling the information from this feedback, our team discovered a few things. Fortunately, Rêve does not need an entire redesign, but it does need a few tweaks. We need to improve the recorder function by adding some sort of indicator that the recorder has started recording. It also needs to eventually have the ability to tweet from the application. Finally, we need to develop a strategy for long term use, which could include earning badges like Foursquare.

7

M EET THE TEA M
Holly Sweat, Project Manager Holly is a third-year digital and broadcast journalism student pursuing a minor in Spanish and a certificate in new media. She oversees all aspects of the project, and she maintains a sense of order within the group.

Will Linto, Quality Assurance Will is a fourth-year public relations major and a communication studies and anthropology double minor. He is responsible for maintaining the website, facilitating beta testing and evaluating all aspects of the project.

Katie Weimer, Graphic Designer Katie is finishing her last year as a magazine journalism major. She is in charge of the creative and visual aspects of the project.

Paul Merrill, Programmer Paul is a third-year student majoring in Mass Media Arts and minoring in Film Studies. He is in charge of understanding and utilizing the technology behind the creation of our application.

Visit our website at: reve.mynmi.net
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