Design research & UX/UI design

Sleep well

System design solution with CPAP(sleep machine) and mobile APP to improve the quality of sleep for sleep apnea patients


product-service system(PSS), design research, UX/UI design, design scenarios

MEK-Ics, KIDP, Nextcore
Apr. - Nov. 2017 (9 months)
5 design researchers

Project Overview

In South Korea, It is known that about 10 million of the adult population snore habitually, of which about 100,000 are estimated to be sleep apnea patients. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and restarts. CPAP (Continuous Positional Airway Pressure) is now known that the most effective method to help with sleep apnea. However, most of the patients do not know the seriousness of their symptoms. In addition, they are not aware of their need for active treatment with medical devices. Hence, the development and popularization of snoring and sleep apnea therapy was essential to improve the quality of life through healthy sleep.

This project set out to develop new CPAP products linking with mobile APP for sleep apnea patients. For the initiative, the project was supported by the R&D programme for Design Innovation Capability of the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology(KEIT) for 3 years (2017-2019). To push ahead the project, a manufacturing company, software company, design agency, and public design institute were formed as the consortium.

In the first year, our design team was charged with tasks for the user research such as identifying tourist segments, discovering their needs, and creating new opportunities. Design scenario and UX/UI design were conducted by the visual design team.

My Role

Research assistant at Dongseo University, and undergraduate graduation project(individual work)
: user research, scenario drawing, visualisation(mobile UX/UI design was done individually after the project)

Opportunity Identification


In order to understand the given context, we received help from two university hospitals located in City of Busan and Ulsan because most of recommendation to purchase CPAP machine was taking place in hospitals, especially advised by doctors. A total of 6 patients who visited the hospitals were observed for their use of facilities and medical checkups. Their behavior and psychology were also recorded. Interestingly, most of the patients who visited the hospitals were more likely to come at the advice of their spouse or family, not of their own accord because symptoms of sleep apnea cannot be self-diagnosed.


We tried to better understand the user’s perspective by using the CPAP product. we rented a CPAP machine and used it for a week in home. We recorded its experiences and difficulties on a diary in a daily basis. Also, we visited to the hospital because an accurate diagnosis of sleep disorder requires a polysomnogram, otherwise known as a sleep test.

Contextual interview

Interviews from stakeholders were intended to identify problems and issues. A total of 8 people were interviewed, followed by patients, medical staff, and CPAP sellers. However, it wasn't easy to recruit participants because very few patients were receiving sleep apnea

treatment. Furthermore, to clearly identify the relation of stakeholders and service contexts, an initial service blueprint was embodied with feedback from experts (nurses and doctors).

Service blueprint

The Service Blueprint was created to define the context based on research data. However, creating the Service Blueprint was not easy due to the scope of the service covered houses, hospitals and cafes where patients were provided with treatment.

Affinity diagram

Issues were grouped by compiling basic research including the service blueprint. Target persona and key problems could be defined.



Symptom occurs during sleep


Do not know the need for treatment

High Price

Dependence on 100% income


The treatment process is long and complicated

Conceptual Design


Depending on who was actively receiving treatment, five types of personas could be classified. Because we thought all of these personas were important, we searched for commonalities and differences, therefore finding opportunities for ideas.

Co-creation workshop

We held two co-creation workshops for generating ideas and evaluating them.

  • The first co-creation workshop was done to create ideas with experts because of a difficulty to invite patients.
  • In the second workshop, we evaluated generated ideas through the KANO model method with patients and experts to create priorities. KANO model is an evaluating tool to prioritizing features on a product or service based on the satisfaction of usage.

Value Proposition

Key concept


Diagnose their own symptoms and induce hospital visits


Provide manual service for long-term use of CPAP for after service


Provide information on treatment via mobile APP


User-centered product that is easy to use on the move and easy to clean and store

Product-service system (PSS)
to Improve the Quality of Sleep for Sleep Apnea Patients

Development of system with CPAP (sleep machine) and mobile application for proper treatment and management of sleep disorder.
The outcome was illustrated by design scenarios. After the project, the UX/UI design for the mobile application was carried out individually as my bachelor's graduation work.