Krsna— ISKCON’s Official App
Product design process
ISKCON — International Society of Krishna consciousness. Many of us must be knowing about it and it is truly a huge international brand. On the contrary, there are very few people who know that there is actually a legit Tech team that operates from Juhu, Mumbai.
People often ask me how I got involved in the whole process? How did they get in touch? So basically, after my 2015 summer intern @ Bewakoof.com, I was referred by the co-founder to one of his friends who was a volunteer at ISKCON, Juhu. Thus the relation.
Read about the case study of the work done at Bewakoof here.
Whom does the app serve?
The previous app available on the Play Store was a clear counter-example that banished stereotypical arguments and proved that devotion apps don’t just serve only a specific cult i.e. senior citizens, temple devotees etc. The fact worth mentioning is that among the earlier 10,000(approx.) users of the previous version, a huge chunk of them were teenagers. Thus the analytics gave us a push to cater to the multiple faceted user-base and ship an app for everyone.
What does the app do?
The previous app was divided into four major sections only — feeds, images, music, philosophy(books, quotes, teachings, Gita etc.). But in the new version, we decided to handle much more quality content and in a much more organized way.
Keeping all the previous sections we broke down the app into 4 major parts in terms of content :
- Feeds — Curated content for the user everyday with bits and part of the app displayed as cards and other updates including events related to Krishna
- Gita — Considering this section playing one of the most important parts of the previous app, we decided to give it a section of it’s own and make the whole section more efficient, attractive and retention worthy.
- Krishna — Dedicated section related to Krishna’s life — stories, facts, philosophy, quotes, names etc.
- Library — The collection/hub for content pertaining to media, books etc., further subdivided into — music, videos, gallery and books.
And the further a section was added to the app for more options related to account and extra services in the future.
To demonstrate what the whole app comprised of, here is the information architecture. The cells marked in purple is the main task flow.
During the process of visual explorations, I felt a bit bound when because I did not have a Mac at that time, and that means no Sketch. Further it would be really difficult for me to co-ordinate with the developer for giving resources and metrics. I also did not have the luxury of using Zeplin or purchasing a Mac for at that point of time.
It is just then Figma was released and it became the ultimate weapon of choice for all Windows users. Figma gave an edge over Illustrator in multiple ways:
- You could export assets with multiple resolutions just through one object
- The developer can easily access the source file and find out all the dimensions of every element himself
- It has a web-based app of it’s own (Figma mirror)which can be used to mirror designs to your phone.
- Cloud based application made it easier in terms of auto saving and the version history option also gave the liberty to revert back.
There are multiple other advantages for a Windows user and thus I decided to utilize it to the fullest extent and after completing one app, I totally shifted from Photoshop and Illustrator to Figma. It was by far the best treat at that point of time. Although I still love the pen tool of Illustrator and went back for illustrations.
We made sure that right from the person is on-boarded, he imbibes the essence of the app. The on-boarding give a quick peak to what he might expect in the app and thus divided it into 4 sections as one would find in the app.
As explained earlier the whole app is divided in to 4 + 1 parts for navigation. We chose lower navigation over a hamburger due to the obvious reasons. And every category was then divided into subcategories as shown. Thus making it very convenient for somebody to just swipe across every sub-section for accessibility.
The feed is the section where one can take a glimpse of the whole app in a curated way. The most exceptional feature of this section is that you get to see the Morning Darshan from very famous ISKCON temples every morning. Yes, these are actually shot and uploaded so that people interested can get a glimpse every morning. Further, if you want to straight away dive into a particular section, you can click the tags on top of each feed item.
Chapters and About
This is the section where you can track your progress of reading the Gita chapter/verse — wise. There is a continue reading option so that one can skip all the intermediate steps. There is a catalog of the verses, present in each Chapter along with a chapter overview. The about section gives information about where all the content has been taken from and the disclaimer about the content present.
At a Glance
Don’t like to read? This section is exactly for you. This is a translation of every verse of the Bhagavad Gita and you can view them in a minimal image view.
This section is dedicated to Lord Krishna. One can learn about Krishna, his divine pastimes, his childhood tales and explore more about everything that he did that awestruck everybody. There is also a subsection devoted to all the Krishna names and quotes that Krishna said.
This was probably the most challenging part of the whole project. The library section has got songs, videos, books and a gallery.
Gallery and Books
P.S.: Almost every image and music is downloadable. You can share every content right from the app and since the app uses Firebase, you would have most of the content available offline, so that you can enjoy the content anytime you want.
You can download the app from the Play Store from here.
It is totally free and I promise you a retaining user experience. For the iPhone users out there, stay tuned… WIP!