Omvana: Meditation for all

Oflaviav Veranez
Nov 30, 2019 · 5 min read

Mindfulness has come to the point where it integrates with our daily lives, our doing, conversation, and way of living. A state where everyone wants to be in order to feel content and happy about their lives and surrounding.

Mindfulness even landed a major cover on Time Magazine back in 2016.

Ever since that, there are so many emerging apps and platforms trying to give their take on the subject.

Omvana is one of the pioneers in the industry trying to incorporate the habit of meditation into our lives. Other than giving meditation tracks, it has also allowed user to mix ambient sounds into the meditation tracks. It was created back then in 2015 and due to a shift in priorities within the company, it was put on hold for several years.

Below is the past app design.

Omvana 2015 app visual
Omvana 2015 app visual
Omvana app design back in 2015

Earlier this year (2019), the company decided to relook at Omvana because we noticed that there are still around 8000+ daily active users even though the app hasn’t been updated for years. This shows huge potential for the brand also with various of brand exposure Omvana has been getting from multiple articles raving about the app.

After deciding for an MVP, gave the design a facelift and updating the technology, Omvana is finally relaunched and below are some of the visuals👇🏽

Omvana app visuals
Omvana app visuals
Omvana app 2019 visuals

Challenge 1:

One thing is to update the app, another thing is; with the various choice of meditation app out there, how does Omvana maintain its core feature at the same time giving bigger value to the user?

1. Stories

After various talks, research internally, we realize that we want to add value to the meditation track itself. We want the user to understand what the meditation is about by adding stories to certain tracks that we want to highlight before they entering the meditation.

Here is an example we did for 6 Phase Meditation track by Vishen Lakhiani

2. Today

A go-to place to get to a meditation immediately and as a personalized recommendation for users to discover new tracks.

How we want to position Omvana is to be a companion, as a friend that checks on how you feel, which is what the user will see on this screen. Not what are you feeling but how do you want to feel. Based on the feelings that they choose, we will recommend them a specific meditation that they can play immediately.

One of our biggest revelation after our initial interview with people who meditate is that people tend to repeat the meditation track that they love over and over again. With that in mind, we know that it’s important for a user to see their last meditation played and that’s why we are putting it at the top of Today tab with a subtle background animation according to the time they opened the app.

Today tab for Omvana
Today tab for Omvana

note: currently this screen is being developed. Will update this section once the prototype is ready :)

3. Mixer

This is the core feature that differentiates Omvana with a lot of meditation apps out there hence we want to keep and improve on it. We are creating a personalized mixer where users can edit their mixer set out of hundreds of ambient tracks and have it placed immediately on their mixer.

Achievement

Omvana has gotten some recognition for being in the wellness industry, here are some of it:
• Featured on WWDC back in 2015 for integrating it with HealthKit

• Featured as part of Healthline Best Meditation App of 2019 https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/top-meditation-iphone-android-apps

• Featured on Appstore for several categories, such as Apps for Self Care and Find Your Zen Place

My role

This project has opened my perspective on how big the role of a product designer could be. The way I think previously was that product designer can only go as far as designing a web or mobile app and that is about it, but during my time working on Omvana, I manage to do things beyond designing the app.

• I led a Today tab feature project where I run an experiment of adding a section to ask users how do they feel to recommend them a track to listen immediately. This is based on a question we asked within the team — “How do we make the user open Omvana every day?”

• I contribute & collaborate on ideas. Having a small team definitely benefit me to have more ownership in what I do and have people really relying on my expertise. During my time so far on Omvana, waiting for Product Owner to come and instruct me to design the app is not even an option. We group together as a team, present a problem, share our ideas and collaborate together on setting our action steps. This proactiveness & mindset is definitely something that I’ll implement towards any of my upcoming projects

• I experiment and embrace growth. One of the books that change the way I think as a product designer is Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis. His idea of experimenting to achieve growth result for your product has stuck with me ever since. I tried to apply his idea of maximum impact, minimum effort towards my work at Omvana.

One example is: When the user tries to close an ongoing meditation, by asking them: “Are you sure you want to leave the session? This meditation will end in 2 mins.” perhaps it will give them a second thought and ended up continuing the meditation itself. This is a relatively simple work from designer and developer but could result in an increase in completion rate.

This similar type of experiment is something that I’m using towards more within the team.

If you made it to the end of this, thank you for reading patiently, and I’m always open for suggestions & feedback to improve on my case study and or the app itself.

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