Life has become stressful as ever in the past decades. The pandemic did not make things better either: almost 67% of workers reported having a higher stress level than before.
People are dealing with stress and anxiety in different ways, but meditation is mentioned in every single article on this subject.
An impressive number of over 52 million people have downloaded one of the most popular meditation apps in 2019. The usage of meditation apps is exponentially growing and its marker is expected to be valued at US$341.9 million by 2029.
If you want to hop on the hot trend and develop your own meditation app, read on to find out:
- why meditation apps have been gaining popularity recently
- features that meditation mobile apps should have
- how to make a meditation app step by step
Why Now Is a Great Time to Build Mindfulness Applications?
Mindfulness applications have existed for years already, but recently their popularity has drastically increased. The reason is that during the time of pandemic and global instability, meditation along with various breathing exercises, essential oils, and mantras is something that helps people deal with stress.
Let’s see what are other factors contributing to the growing demand for meditation and mindfulness applications.
Higher Level Of Day-To-Day Stress
Researchers have found that the level of stress today has risen compared to the 1990s, especially among middle-aged people. The reasons for such an increase include:
- the pressure to both raise children and take care of parents
- economic instability
- overwhelming amount of information brought by technology
- increase in divorces
- fear of missing out caused by social media
- environment problems
People have more stress, notice it, and start discussing it on all the available platforms. No wonder that mental health awareness became a new trend.
We might have had problems with stress before but after the pandemic started, it became alarming. People are reportedly feeling more depressed, stressed, and anxious, some of them are experiencing PTSD.
Such mental health problems were caused by:
- the stress of facing your partner/people you live with all the time
- restriction of personal freedom
- increase in domestic violence
- racism, particularly towards Asians
- lost jobs and closed businesses
- a growing number of bad news
Moreover, many people found more spare time to reflect on their life and mental health and research the topic more thoroughly.
Meditation Does Not Require Equipment
Or any investment if you opt to meditate alone at home rather than in class.
Because of the pandemic, people can’t visit gyms, but they also don’t have decent knowledge on how to exercise at home. Add to this the fact that 20,6 million US citizens lost their jobs in the first month of quarantine and most of them are not willing to invest in pricey home gym equipment. Meditation can become a real saver in such a situation as it helps people release stress and muscle tension.
Meditation Is More Than A Stress Relief
Meditation has numerous benefits and a lower stress and anxiety level is only one point on the list. This activity also helps to:
- spark creativity
- be more compassionate and kind towards others
- fight both chronic and acute stress
- increase attention span
- prevent age-related memory loss
- listen to the body and mind better
A person does one thing and gets the whole package that affects their life both long- and short-term.
What Are The Meditation App’s Features?
Every meditation app is unique and utilizes individual concepts but there are features that every app must have to provide the best user experience. They include the following features:
As we have mentioned before, users utilize apps to avoid doing research on the Internet. Therefore, it is essential to explain the basics of meditation and spread out its benefits to motivate the users even more.
User experience also depends on the onboarding process because it is where you explain how to navigate this big system of courses, motivation quotes, and progress pages.
Meditation apps usually track the progress of users, their patterns, and personalize the displayed content based on this information. Such simple things motivate users to meditate more and make them choose your app among other apps.
The trainer not only guides users through the sessions and instructs them how to do the exercises right. A trainer’s soothing voice should contribute to their motivation, facilitate relaxation, and help to tune the user’s inner voice to the atmosphere of calmness.
There are many types of meditation: they are suitable for different moods (angry, sad, anxious, relaxed, happy, etc.), employ different tactics (focusing on thoughts, repeating mantras, using essential oils, focusing on a candle or counting, exercising, and so forth), and are designed for different times (morning, lunch, evening, night, or immediate stress reduction).
Ideally, an app’s content library has to contain meditations for every mood, tactic, or time. It is essential to create a clear navigation system too.
Sounds play a big role in meditation. While some users prefer to listen to their breathing, many want to listen to relaxing sounds of ocean waves, dripping rain, or birds. Create a big sound library so that everyone can find their perfect relaxing tune.
It is easy to get lost in big content libraries or not know where to start from. Analyze user’s data and behavior on the app or include a small questionnaire in the onboarding process to give accurate and useful recommendations to individual users.
People may want to meditate in the woods, on a long car drive, or in retreats with no access to the Internet. Include an option of offline playback to give users an opportunity to practice mindfulness wherever they are.
Trackers And Statistics
Users are more likely to keep practicing mindfulness if they track and see their progress. Including day streaks, duration time, or other small achievements can boost user engagement dramatically.
It is also easier to motivate users when they have an additional goal of completing small tasks or can get access to the next part of an interesting story.
Notifications are yet another way to engage users who forget their mindfulness sessions.
Wearables, such as smartwatches, help users control their heart rate and the duration of the session. You can also use Artificial Reality and smart glasses to recreate beautiful landscapes in their bedroom or practice meditation with a virtual instructor.
If you decide to use subscription or in-app purchases, it is essential to provide secure gateways and clear payment policies.
7 Steps to Create a Meditation App
Now is the perfect time to develop a meditation app, so let’s see what are the main steps you need to take to create a new Calm or Headspace.
#1 Conduct a Profound Market Research
Over 2,500 meditation apps have been released since 2015 till now, so the market is highly competitive. In order to stand out from such an abundance of other apps, you need to define and develop your Unique Value Proposition which would differentiate you from the competitors. For example, you can create an app that is specifically targeted at young women or teenagers.
Focusing on a specific target audience would help you better serve their needs and consequently become a leader in the niche.
#2 Pick Your Platform
Making a clear portrait of your target audience would help you decide which platform to use for your app. Consider your customers; gender, location, and income in order to find whether the majority of them use iOS or Android.
If you want to have an app on both iOS and Android, developers have to do extra work and you have to pay extra. So when you are just testing waters, you might want to launch an app on one platform and decide on whether you want to develop a version for the second one. One platform is also suitable for startups who have a small budget.
When deciding on the platform, keep that in mind:
- iOS apps will be available to Apple users only
- Android apps reach a wider range of devices. At the same time, devices differ in size and resolution and developers have to work extra to create versions for different devices
- Apple users are more likely to buy an app or subscription
- Apple apps are harder to customize
#3 Select The App Features
After conducting market research and developing your app concept, you can easily decide which features are essential to successfully serve users’ needs and which ones are secondary. Include the feature into your app only if it would enhance the user experience, as doing that for the sake of adding more features would only make the user experience worse.
#4 Choose The Monetization Tactic
There are different ways to monetize a mindfulness app:
- Subscription: user gains access to a limited amount of meditation sessions or enjoys a one-week free trial. Then they are asked to buy a subscription to continue using the app or have access to further mindfulness sessions. This is the most common monetization tactic among meditation apps.
- In-app purchases: some courses or lessons with instructors are labeled as premium and users have to pay for them.
Some of the popular app monetization models don’t work well for meditation apps and here some of them:
- Paid downloads: it is unlikely that users will buy an app in the PlayStore or AppleStore without trying it first, but some businesses still use paid downloads.
- Advertisements: other categories of apps use this way actively but it is not common within meditation apps. Meditation means full concentration on inner thoughts and the absence of distractions. A loud ad in the middle of the session or a violently bright banner on the interface will not help users reach concentration and relaxation.
#5 Work On UX/UI
UX and UI are essential for mindfulness apps. The user experience should never be a source of stress and confusion: it has to be seamless and straightforward.
It is a common practice for such apps like Inscape or Buddhify to use a minimalistic design with pastel or blue-ish colors. Floral and other nature-related design elements may be embedded into the interface as well.
#6 Build An MVP Model
MVP is a minimal viable product. It means that a team develops a product with minimum functionality but which will meet primary customer needs.
MVP is needed to test whether the assumptions were true or not. After seeing how users interact with the minimum functionality of the meditation app and give feedback, businesses often change a product dramatically and get new ideas about what to add. Sometimes they refuse to develop a product at all.
Usually, an MVP of a meditation app includes:
- signing up
- user profile
- progress bar
- introduction to meditation
- a couple of mindfulness practices
MVP ensures that you deliver a great product that can meet market needs and not spend thousands of dollars on a project that will never be successful.
#7 App Launch and Improvement
After the product launch, make sure to gather and analyze user feedback to find areas of improvement. Constantly updating your meditation app, adding more useful features and interesting content would ensure that users get maximum value from your product and don’t get bored with it. Constant updates would also help you keep up with the ever-changing market and stay on top of your competitors.
The Bottom Line
As stress levels increase and people take care of their mental health more than ever, meditation becomes a common practice. While they lack the motivation to research meditation exercises or have no opportunity to visit group meditation sessions, people have turned their attention to mindfulness apps.
Meditation app should be a platform that has everything so that users should not browse for additional resources on the internet: big content library, relaxing sounds, recommendations, and trainer’s voice, motivation boosters as notifications, wearables, and trackers, etc.
The steps mentioned in this article would help you find a great idea for a meditation app and successfully develop it:
- Research competitors and market
- Choose the platform
- Decide on features
- Develop monetization model
- Refine UX/UI design
- Work on MVP
- Launch and improve your app
If you fancy the idea of developing a meditation application that is no worse than Calm or Headspace, please do not hesitate to reach out to Onix! Our team of experienced developers, talented designers, and innovative product managers will help you complete every stage of meditation app development with the best results.