Meditation companion app for beginners.
- Problem Learning to meditate can be challenging and tough-to-stick-to
- Solution A mobile app and Internet of Things device that uses biometric feedback to provide a customized auditory mindfulness-meditation experience.
- My Skills/Roles User experience designer, User interface designer, User researcher, Prototyper
Meditation is one of the simplest things people can do to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. It has the power to lower blood pressure, decrease tension-related pain, boost your immune system, and reduce the overall psychological effects of stress.
Even though most people are aware of the benefits of meditation, many people have a tough time incorporating meditation into their lifestyle over the long-term.
I reached out to a number of people with varying degrees of meditation experience: from the complete beginner to the seasoned daily practitioner. I wanted to understand the barriers to starting meditation and what habits keep people consistently meditating.
Customer Journey Map
Understanding the User
Meditation is an intimate experience that ideally involves a complete detachment from any form of technology. Therefore, the Mindfull device needs to:
- Communicate with the phone so that the user doesn't have to use the mobile interface while they meditate
- Be unobtrusive so that users aren't distracted while they are holding it
Similarly, to combat some of the issues people have with meditating, the design of the app needs to:
- Be friendly and approachable
- Reinforce good habits (rewards system)
With that, I decided to leverage mindfulness meditation as the guiding force behind the app. Mindfulness meditation is a particular meditative practice that involves focusing attention to a particular aspect of your surroundings. There is already an abundance of mindfulness-based guided meditations. Guided meditations are great for beginners because they verbally guide the user, thereby eliminating a lot of worry and self-judgement that accompanies beginning meditation.
The Mindfull app and companion device uses heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature to measure stress. These are all simple physical markers that can be used to identify stress. Mindfull detects minor variances in these markers to adjust the audio.
Physical & Digital Prototyping
Parity between the physical device and the app was essential so I ran users through several basic usability tests to understand points of friction. I uncovered some potential usability issues relating to labels and directions. Not everyone understood the significance of properly holding the device and taking measurements.
View the First Digital Prototype
Testing the Prototype
I also ran through some tests of the physical device to make sure the device compact, comfortable to hold, and not too intrusive.
Something I hadn’t realized until halfway through the design was the difficulty of designing an app when the primary interface was actually audio-based. It is important to not be accessing the phone when meditating, and trying to design around this fact proved challenging when trying to articulate how that functionality might work while prototyping.