Sleep Foundation Rebrand & Website
Sleep Foundation believes that sleep is a pillar of health and that quality information about sleep promotes overall wellness. At the group’s website, SleepFoundation.org, you’ll find comprehensive health information drawn from high-quality sources. An advisory board and a review panel consisting of respected sleep experts ensure that the information Sleep Foundation publishes is accurate, evidence-based, up-to-date and trustworthy.
Improving Sleep Foundation’s website was a unique challenge. It already functioned extremely well, achieving high SEO scores and leading the way for the industry. Rhythm needed to make subtle changes that didn’t undermine the masterful content that Sleep Foundation had already created. We focused on finding ways to reinforce and broaden the site’s resources, make it friendlier and more navigable, augment its credibility, and connect consumers more effectively with subjects that interest them.
Analytics, Content Strategy, Responsive Website Design and Development, User Experience (UX) Design, Strategy, Brand Strategy, Brand Development, Logo Design, UX / UI Design
Rhythm re-imagined the Sleep Foundation brand and its website, SleepFoundation.org, preserving the best qualities and enhancing what already worked well.
Visitors can now effortlessly engage with relevant content, delve more deeply into their sleep issues, and make better use of the site’s two greatest assets:
its credibility and the high degree of expertise that supports its information and consumer advice.
Rhythm worked closely with Scout, our sister agency, to bring new life to the Sleep Foundation brand. We spearheaded the overarching strategy while collaborating with Scout on the new brand look.
A vibrant new logo was created, serving as the building block for a scalable design system. This provided a strong foundation for the new color palette, typography choices and image direction, which added much needed personality and expression to the brand and website.
Sleep Foundation’s website already attracted more traffic than almost any other site of its kind.
But it could be difficult to navigate and overwhelming to users—there was plenty of information to explore but it wasn’t always at your fingertips. The site was also text heavy with too few visual elements.
We aimed to create a more accessible and vibrant experience by improving the navigation, increasing reader engagement, and freshening the look.
Sleep Foundation has an abundance of helpful articles covering a wide variety of topics. Yet they were often buried deep within the site and hard to find via a hamburger menu that only provided limited access to the site’s rich content.
Rhythm improved the burger by developing a simple menu bar – Sleep Solutions, Sleep Topics, and Sleep Disorders – that opened to a wealth of sub-menu topics. The menu bar provides almost all categories of content in an easy-to-scan format. A “View All” button at the bottom of each sub-menu provides a simple way to see topics in detail.
Most subjects on the Sleep Foundation website are single-topic oriented—they’re addressing issues exclusively for people seeking answers to specific questions. Rhythm aimed to improve that experience. We posed two questions for the strategy team: “How do we better engage people who are on the site for one purpose? How can we go more in-depth?”
One solution for greater reader engagement was creating the Sleep Quiz.
The short questionnaire identifies each user’s sleep issues and questions, using that information to guide them to different parts of the Sleep Foundation website.
Most people who finish the questionnaire discover they have multiple sleep concerns, so it’s an effective way to increase user interaction and improve the process of discovery.
The Sleep Quiz was meant to not only help diagnose a participant’s problem but to find additional issues of interest. We suggested asking questions that would lead to multiple avenues of exploration: “What issues are you having? Do you need a new mattress? Are you also having problems with X, Y or Z?” As the participant selects these questions, it’s crucial that the end result gives them several relevant pages that are easily found on the site.
The questionnaire was a new way to approach the challenge of maximizing user interaction with a website. It’s undeniably a hand-holding experience, but participating is meant to be fun and absorbing.
One of the latest challenges for digital marketers has been the arrival of “dark mode”, a supplemental display mode for both desktop and handheld devices that swaps the typical white background and black text (light mode/traditional view) for a predominantly dark background with contrasting text and graphics. The aesthetic promises less light emission and increased comfort when viewing devices at night — but it can also disrupt default designs.
To help Sleep Foundation cater to audiences day and night, Rhythm created website pages that display flawlessly in dark mode. Site visitors now find reading easier in low light with less eye strain—and enjoy attractive web pages as well.
Sleep Foundation’s detailed and sometimes lengthy articles presented the usual design challenges associated with text-rich pages. One of our main goals was to break up large blocks of text to include imagery and videos. We recommended putting images between paragraphs as well as at the top of articles to provide visual variety.
This approach was especially helpful for articles that involved instructional steps, such as tried-and-true methods to help people fall asleep. Rhythm implemented design elements that helped augment and break up the content. We were able to drill down and illustrate finer details such as steps within steps.
Sleep Foundation’s product reviews are among the website's most popular and respected articles. From mattresses and pillows to sleep trackers, the reviews include construction specs, side-by-side comparisons, and detailed ratings based on comprehensive in-house testing. They often provide detailed explanations for the choices as well. The approach is less about “Buy this now” than “These are our top five mattresses based on the stated criteria and expert assessments.” Sleep Foundation never wants to give the impression that it’s profiting from its recommendations.
Rhythm suggested ways to convey Sleep Foundation’s ethically high-minded point of view with greater impact. We modified the copy to make it clear that Sleep Foundation was simply helping users make informed decisions without influencing them to buy one product over another.
Sleep Foundation’s articles are medically reviewed by respected professionals. Each one is preceded by this claim: “Our dedicated team rigorously evaluates every article and guide to ensure the information is factual, up-to-date and free of bias.” Sleep Foundation’s rigorous fact-checking process is explained in a detailed guidelines page.
On the Sleep Foundation website, each article includes the name of both the author and the medical expert who reviewed it for accuracy, with a link to biographical information on each. When Rhythm conducted user testing, we found that aspect of the site was vitally important to people. The high-credibility approach was one of the best ways to convince visitors that the information they were reading was useful and valuable. We recommended making that credibility even more prominent throughout the website, since it was such a strong selling point.
To that end, some basic design revisions were recommended. One of the issues that Sleep Foundation struggled with was appearing to the casual observer to be a tabloid-type website, filled with clickbait that would take them somewhere useless or shady. We knew it was important to eliminate that impression and keep the entire site as clean and professional as possible.
Rhythm also suggested a clean and elegant graphic-design style for icons. The simple line illustrations, each clearly indicating a unique subject, made the site more approachable and professional.
Sleep Foundation’s improved website is a welcoming portal into the world of better sleep. Its homepage greets visitors with a cheery message: “Good Morning! How can we help you get better sleep?” Attractive icons lead to popular landing pages that address insomnia, sleep apnea, and finding the best mattress and pillow.
There’s also a simple guide that outlines a two-week program to better slumber. Together with news, updates, and quick links to more than 500 articles and 1,000 product reviews, Sleep Foundation’s redesigned website is the ideal tool to help people find the sleep solutions they need.