Case Study: Smiling Mind App Redesign

Research + Design (2017)

Cheryl Paulsen
Dec 13, 2018 · Unlisted
Stock photo for illustrative purposes only


A few years ago I consulted on an app redesign for Smiling Mind, a non-for-profit meditation program located in Melbourne. A start-up at the time, the organisation was working to grow is audience and compete with other meditation apps. They were adding new content to the app rapidly, and the design and structure was suffering as a result. The internal team was small with no design function. The founders had strong opinions about what the app should look like, but no insights from users to back it up.

Process + Research

I started by reviewing what we already knew about users and their meditation habits. There wasn’t a lot of information — Previous research was minimal and hadn’t been documented well. I brainstormed with the team what we wanted to learn about our users, and decided a diary study would give us the best insights. I ran and analysed the diary study over a number of weeks. Insights from the study informed new design concepts, which I socialised with UX colleagues at our agency for feedback. This project was a pro-bono initiative by the agency, so our resources and time on it were limited. To keep things lean, I sketched a low-fi prototype which I used to run a usability study with customers. Insights from the study informed further design iterations.

Outcomes + Value Delivered

New validated design wireframes. Rich insights and understanding about users meditation habits and how they use the product.

Lessons Learned

Debating design options with founders can be challenging. Get user research insights on the table and let them lead the conversation.

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