Simple Habit: Redesign
Simple Habit: Redesigning Meditation
"I had the opportunity to be a client of Taylor's team for a project at Simple Habit. As a team lead, Taylor was indispensable - he has a natural talent for creating a supportive environment in which designers can excel. From the research phase through HiFi, he demonstrated an unparalleled understanding of design from a user-first perspective. Taylor is an exceptional designer and an outstanding leader that would be an asset to any team." - Elina Lin, Design Lead at Simple Habit
Simple Habit operates out of an increasingly competitive meditation space. To differentiate themselves, they offer a large library of situation specific meditations. The model enables users to turn to the application no matter the scenario: a working professional before a big presentation, a parent after a long day chasing a toddler, or a student before a big exam.
Simple Habit has a loyal following, but suffers from a problem that afflicts many startups: finding and retaining new users. To discover what was leading to their retention problem, the team at Simple Habit wanted a different perspective, so they looked outside of the company to our team of designers.
After our initial consult with the Simple Habit team, we set out to find the friction that prevented people from starting to use the app. To uncover pain points new users encountered, we asked prospective meditators to go through a series of tasks
Combing through the data the team at Simple Habit shared, we learned there was a considerable drop-off after 7 days of using the app. After taking a sample of users through traditional user tests, we decided to conduct a diary study to track how people interacted with the app over the course of the high-attrition period. We sent out a daily survey to 5 users that mirrored Simple Habit’s user base.
Though the user base of Simple Habit is diverse, women - aged 20 - 40 years old - make up their core audience. While experienced meditators enjoy the platform, the team at Simple Habit are primarily concerned with onboarding and retaining people new to the practice. Armed with his information we developed a persona for a typical user of Simple Habit:
Competitive and Comparative Analysis
Simple Habit operates in what is becoming an increasingly competitive meditation app space. We scoured the market to learn how others served guided meditations to a varied user base. Though valuable, few competitors were attempting to deliver the amount of content Simple Habit was.
We turned outside of the meditation space for inspiration to see how we might break down the immense library we were working with.
Because of Simple Habit’s targeted meditations, their library is immense. Filled to the brim with content created by an extensive network of teachers, the volume delivers continuous value for Simple Habit veterans, but meditation rookies must wrestle with a wealth of information in order to reap any value. Unfortunately, many fail at this initial step.
Our testing confirmed this when we examined and mapped the collective results of our research. By affinity mapping insights scribbled on post it notes, we uncovered underlying patterns we were able to group into the following pain points:
We had our pain points, now we needed to find out how to solve them. To kick off the ideation phase, I led a series of design studios. Design studios might look different dependent upon the design team, but I typically structure mine as follows:
Sample of Design Studio output
Coming out of consecutive design studios, we had a clear direction going forward. We decided to address the pain points uncovered through the research phase through the following methods:
With the original design, the majority users were either overwhelmed and confused by the content presented to them. To judge the success of our new direction, we performed comprehension tests with 5 users that were within the demographic of Simple Habit’s user base.
Results of our Testing
Blue sky thinking has its place, and designs that mirror the process do as well, but working with an established company comes with constraints. In order to redesign Simple Habit without alienating existing users, we performed an audit of the UI of the app and created a makeshift style guide:
With the guide as our compass, we translated our lo-fi sketches into a hi-fidelity prototype that we took into the wild to validate our designs.
Working with Simple Habit and the team we assembled for the redesign was a rewarding experience. As a lead for the project, I enjoyed motivating my team through the dog days of research and ideation. Working within the constraints of the company’s style guide forced us to adapt while we were sure to maintain the thrust of our designs.
In order to onboard and retain prospective meditators you must educate them and reduce any friction. Meditation is a foreign subject to many, and most feel they have little time for self-care. If you present its benefits upfront through on boarding and allowing users to start meditations as quickly as possible, the content will bring them back repeatedly.