Meditation is no longer an exclusive practice of Tibetan monks. Since its benefits are getting recognized by science, meditation is taking over offices and homes. Mobile applications like Calm and Headspace are spearheading the trend. The meditation industry first raked over $1 billion back in 2015, and since then it’s been gaining devotees. As proven by an NHS survey, the number of potential meditation practitioners is growing year on year. So, there’s plenty of space in the mindfulness niche for startups looking to make a name for themselves.
While the app-building strategies are similar in most niches, some aspects of meditation app development stand out. Let’s take a look at four differentiators setting meditation applications apart.
Mindful and Calming UI/UX Design
According to the latest Google updates UI/UX design has become a more significant indicator in web and mobile development. Before selecting among the variety of serene colors, you need to focus on making every screen and menu as straightforward and intuitive as possible. The transitions must be smooth and fast without causing irritation or annoyance. Those are the last emotions a user of a meditation app wants to experience.
Focus on user personas and stories for drafting wireframes. Don’t proceed with mockups before every last hiccup in the flow is smoothed out. Once the user experience design is ready, clean up the interfaces and remove useless clutter. Let every screen focus on one action instead of overwhelming users with choices and options. The feel of the app should support the users’ ultimate goal of tranquility.
Motivational Gamification Elements
Regular meditation comes with plenty of perks, from higher energy levels to improved concentration, attention scope, and creativity. Unsurprisingly, most new users of a meditation app are trying to get into the habit of meditating daily. Providing customers with an entertaining and unobtrusive way to incorporate meditation into their daily routines can become a competitive differentiator of your app. Gamification is a valid approach. Introducing meditation streaks, badges of honor, or bonuses for daily, weekly, or monthly goals is the easiest way to keep users motivated.
Notifications (push, email, or other types) are a crucial part of the gamification system. They remind users to open the app and start a meditation session. For the best results, push notifications should be highly customizable to fit users’ lifestyles and provide a necessary reminder at the right time of the day. If you make notifications too insistent, you could get the opposite result and lose users to other apps.
Subtle Monetization Approach
The subscription model is the most common in the meditation app niche. Both Calm and Headspace rely on it with a short trial period to hook users. However, other monetization strategies can work just as well if they are implemented subtly. For instance, in-app ads might not go over well with users if they distract from the calming experience and disrupt meditations. The same is true for in-app purchases and the pay-per-download approach. As long as the payment process is unobtrusive, the customers will be more likely to pay for using the app.
Lifetime subscription plans are also an option, along with one-time purchases. However, once the initial influx of new users dries up, you will need to look for creative ways to get more money from existing customers. You can introduce new paid products or services or additional user levels with extra perks.
Nice-to-have Bells and Whistles
Once the app gains the deserved popularity, you can think of introducing the extras users are clamoring for. Some of these might be present from the start, though most aren’t necessary at the early stage:
- Online customer support. Having a direct line to a meditation guru or technical expert can make your customers more loyal and ready to pay higher subscription fees. Chat is the most common option, though voice or video calls can be incorporated too. Chatbots can also be a valuable asset as long as you put enough thought into them.
- Integration of wearables. Fitness trackers and smartwatches can provide extra data and add value to meditation apps. Wearable gadgets are great for delivering push notifications and meditation reminders. They can also share sleep or physical activity information that may further be integrated into a holistic wellness routine.
- Social aspect. Simple social elements you can implement are sharing buttons. They will connect social profiles with in-app achievements like the meditation duration or an extra-long daily meditation streak. You can also include chat features for users to exchange messages and stories. Besides, you can incorporate live group meditations to build a stronger community.
According to predictions, the mindfulness application market will grow at an 8.5% rate through 2029. North America and Europe remain the biggest markets, for now. But new markets such as China, India, and other South-Eastern Asian states will become more active in the coming years. Moreover, meditation isn’t only a millennial-driven fad. All age groups, from children to senior citizens, engage in mindfulness practices. Therefore, targeting individual categories of users can be to your startup’s advantage.
Android remains the leading target operating system, though iOS users aren’t far behind. Cross-platform development with React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin offers ample opportunities for getting a larger market share from the project’s launch forward. If you remember the four building blocks we’ve discussed and find an experienced technical partner to take over the development process, your meditation app will have a head start.