Apps such as Headspace allow us to marry our love for technology with our passion for mental peace. As of today, WHO estimates that 1 in 4 people suffer from some sort of mental illness, and this is expected to grow. An app like Headspace can play a significant role in calming people down, and this is why they’ve been able to taste success. Positioned as a “monk in your pocket,” Headspace was founded by a Buddhist monk. Well, sort of.
Andy Puddicombe from the UK, traveled to India to study Buddhism as he felt unhappy inside about his life’s purpose. After spending a decade with the monks, he returned and created Headspace with the idea of allowing people to enjoy better mental health, with a little help from their smartphones.
Everything about the app exudes calmness from the smooth transition to the colors to the push notifications. With the idea to help the restless millennial and Gen-Z generations find some semblance of inner peace, Headspace has been successful in convincing people to take a few minutes every day or week for the benefit of their mental health.
Headspace has also led to the creation of other similar apps like Oak and Calm, and they, too, have features that promote mental health and happiness, among others.
What are some top features of meditation apps like Headspace?
To successfully build an application such as Headspace, you’ll need to craft a user experience that will slowly introduce the customer to the product before you talk about other features.
- Onboarding –
Introducing the app is a crucial aspect if you’d like them to stay on-board and interact over the long term. As meditation grows in popularity, more people would download the app, and the first impression must be positive. You can follow the steps mentioned while creating a short, 1-2 minute onboarding video:
- Don’t talk about all of the features in one go. The onboarding process must highlight features that you feel are important, and users can discover the rest on their own.
- Just introduce the app, what it does, and how they can navigate its many parts.
- If you’re planning to mimic Headspace, you can use a similar one-minute animated video option to introduce the features to the general audience.
- Design Elements
From a design perspective, as mentioned before, you can use calming pastel colors. Bright colors trigger excitement and other moods in the brain, and that’s why you must opt for options like green, blue, brown, or purple. Most of them are earthy colors, and you can take a leaf out of Headspace’s app for this.
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Apps like Headspace and Calm make use of the pink and purple well, and you need to ensure that the design isn’t too cluttered. Keep it minimal, introduce cute or funny illustrations, and you’re set.
If you’re planning on having video elements in your app, you must ensure they are dull and smooth. Users must be impressed with the style of animations you’re using, and they need to be used functionally rather than just to fill the gaps. You can have calming fade-in effects with the sounds of nature, for example, if you’re planning on displaying quotes.
To create a specific mood, try to tap into designers who are known for their minimalistic, simple illustrations because, in this case, less is more.
You will be able to catch a proper wave and also help users enjoy an after-effect from the meditation sessions with the help of the right animations.
In today’s data-driven world, personalization is vital. It is essential if you’re creating an app like Headspace that you personalize it for the user to enjoy –
- Tailor their Experience –
While people come to the app for different reasons, it’s essential that they can see some value in it. By tailoring their experience based on their activity – whether they spend five minutes to an hour a day, you’ll be able to provide them with some personalized features. Figure out what they enjoy when they’re on the app, and you’ll be able to retain as well as engage them over the long term.
- Gamification –
Everybody loves a reward system, and it’s a great way to keep things interesting. You can help users traverse a path of self-realization by giving them points and badges for their performances. Incentivizing their visits means they keep returning, and Headspace does this well by allowing users to track their daily performance on the app. This can also help you create a loyalty program and, thus, smartly weave these users into a paid subscription as well.
- Familiar Sights and Sounds –
Using calming sounds like the ocean, breeze, jungle sounds to personalize the experience for the user. Depending on what seems they prefer, you can offer them with packages they can use while meditating. This can also be extended to visual effects, with nature-inspired imagery and pictures used to enhance the whole meditating experience for the user.
Familiar sights and sounds give the user a more enjoyable experience, and they’ll look forward to visiting the app on a more regular basis. You can also use voice actors who have soothing voices to read out some of the material or content or have podcasts narrated by life coaches and other purveyors of serenity – like monks.
- Discovery Option –
As a user discovers the app and arrives regularly, you need to have a section where you’re beta-testing or even introducing newer features. This will give them more reasons to fall in love with the app, and you can provide them with access to these features on the side. Free trials or discounted subscriptions are two of the options you can consider as rewards for users to discover more about the app.
- Push Notifications –
Even when they’re not on the app, you need to keep them engaged and interested. You can have reminders every day before their scheduled session to prep them before they enter. You could also push them for a 5 to the 10-minute session to take their minds off work.
Notifications about new packs and subscription reminders can be done via push notifications. Discounts and giveaways can also encourage users to keep coming back. Also, motivational quotes and congratulatory notes about their progress are other ways to use push notifications well. Make sure that these notifications are in line with the overall design aesthetic discussed earlier!
- Time –
You need to factor in the time it takes to create the app as well. From onboarding or recording the sounds, to actually coding all of the integrations, it will take time to get off the ground. Typically, an app like Headspace with all its functionality would take a few months, but a simpler version could take around 3 to 6 months to build, so factor that when you begin.
So, now you know the top features that you will need while developing an app like Headspace. Now going to dive into what will be the cost and timeline of building a meditation app.