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Using a yes / no principle to improve your product! 🥸

Updated: Jan 30

Welcome back to my weekly newsletter. This is going to be a series of articles covering how we came up with the idea of Calm Sleep, scaled to over a million users in less than a year, and all that with less than $1,000 worth of total investment. 🌱

I’m Akshay Pruthi, an entrepreneur who loves to build products from the ground up. Over the past 6 years, I’ve built multiple products from scratch and scaled them to millions of users. This is my attempt to share our most important lessons from building one of those apps - Alora (Android) and Alora (iOS) . 🤗

Every week I will publish an article about a different challenge we faced while building Calm Sleep.

Last week, we discussed an incident which brought tears to my eyes.

What is in this week’s read

  1. Understanding the user journey phenomena

  2. Applying a yes / no principle on your user journey to improve your product

Human beings don’t always act rationally. Think shopping. How often do we end up buying something we don’t need only because it was half its original price? We go against our interests only because we are made to believe in the benefits of doing so. Keeping the same impulsive human behavior in mind, as a product person, I have assessed & understood that by creating experiences that align with us, we can make our end user’s decision-making simpler.

A few days back, I was chatting with a friend about Calm Sleep. He asked, “Does Calm Sleep help in providing a sleep experience?” I asked him what he meant by ‘sleep experience’. After some discussion, I discovered that the expectation was to provide an experience that helps them fall asleep or puts them in the mood of sleeping.

His question made me wonder, why calm sleep doesn’t provide a complete sleep experience - Which means, experience before going to the bed, at the time of sleeping and just after waking up. I decided to map out the entire user journey and see where we can add extra value to our users. In this course, I stumbled on an amazing framework to help users make better choices while using the product. I mapped the entire user journey with a yes or a no decision.

Isn’t that how we all think? Aren't most of the quick decisions like a yes or a no?

Do I want to pay for this service? Yes or No

Do I want to play a sound? Yes or No

The journey looked something like this:

This is not a complete journey but something I used to have a reference for the read.

When I was doing this exercise, I realized I was missing out on a lot of opportunities. Opportunities to engage with the users, to get them back to the app, or use the app in a way it will help them. And this is when I knew it was high time we started exploiting these opportunities.

Just for instance:

We ask our users to set up alarms and bedtime reminders at the time of onboarding. If the users don’t set up the alarm or the bed time, we don’t urge the users again to set it up.


Users who set up alarm and bedtime are more likely to convert to power users than those who don’t.

It was evident that we are losing out on an opportunity we can automate. This can lead to further growth in our numbers.


For users who don’t set up the alarm or the bedtime reminder, we remind them again while using the app. This may happen just before starting a sound or on the home page itself.

But the key aspect is to help them know the immediate benefit they get by setting it up. When users are making a swift yes or no decision, we need to remind them again and again - How will this action provide an immediate benefit to them?

In the next article, I will go into details of what solutions we explored into loss opportunities which improved our numbers by over 100%. Till then, keep calm! :)

Fun game: Guess the % increase in the people opting in for a timer on screen A vs screen B.

That's a 146% increase. Wonder how little changes can improve your product multifold?


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