Calm: Group Meditation Feature

Calm (Speculative)
UX/UI Designer

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the world have experienced significant disruptions in their daily lives. Many face feelings of isolation and depression as a result of quarantine restrictions. In order to improve psychological health during this time, mental health professionals are encouraging people to find ways to maintain connections and develop healthy habits. Given this need in the current climate, I was inspired to add a synchronized group meditation feature to the Calm app, providing people the means to form healthy habits and maintain their connections with others.

The Challenge

I wanted to find a way for meditators to build healthy habits and also connect with others despite the social-distancing restrictions imposed by Covid-19.

Understanding the Problem

Primary research was a crucial part of this project as I wanted to gain insight into meditators' psychology and understand how Covid-19 has affected their lives. I interviewed five meditators over Zoom to do so.

Secondary research was also an important aspect of this product. I looked into the shifting psychological and social needs of people during quarantine as well current meditation and group streaming apps. All of this research helped me create a persona and define a major problem statement.


Defining the Problem

Problem Statement

Users need to participate in synchronized meditation through the Calm app in order to increase accountability, thereby strengthening their meditation practice and reaping its full benefits.

Creating Solutions

User Flows

After defining necessary features, I mapped out three different user journeys. I focused on users wanting to schedule meditations, users joining a pre-scheduled meditation, and users proposing changes to a scheduled session.

Link to User Flows

Flow 1: Schedule a Group Meditation

Flow 1
Flow 1

Flow 2: Join a Group Meditation

Flow 2 v.1
Flow 2 v.1

I created high-fidelity prototypes to test out each flow

Prototype: Flow 1

Prototype: Flow 2

Testing the Feature

I conducted usability testing with five participants over Zoom in order to test out the two flows.

General results:

  • 100% of participants completed both tasks.
  • Three participants didn’t realize they could scroll down on the mobile screen, so they missed the “join session” button in Task 2; however, they all reported that this was an issue with the prototype, not the actual “join session” flow.
  • 100% of participants reported that the tasks were relatively straightforward.  
  • The time to complete Task 1ranged from 1:00 to 1:40 minutes. The time to complete Task 2 ranged from0:15-0:35.

Task 1:

  • 4/5 users encountered issues of low severity surrounding the durations for solo sessions on the anxiety release page. 4/5 users encountered issues of low severity surrounding touch targets.   3/5 users encountered issues of low severity surrounding group meditations tag in the browse section.

Task 2:

  • 5/5 participants clicked on the anxiety release card from the home screen.

Priority Revisions

Given the results of my testing, I focused on the following revisions:

  • The group meditations tag should be re-labelled—it’s confusing because users thought they had to go thereto schedule meditations rather than see the ones already scheduled.
  • To counter the issues surrounding the durations on the anxiety release page:
  • The invite friends icon should be more prominent.
  • There should be a pop-up reminder to join the group meditation in case users get confused by the durations of the solo meditations. The pre-existing layout of the meditation page should remain the same to keep consistency with the app.

Revised Flow 1: Schedule a Group Meditation

Revised Flow 2: Join a Group Meditation

Final Thoughts

It was really interesting to work within the confines of an existing app. I had to discover ways to be innovative without disrupting the existing structure. I also really enjoyed the process of creating a feature that addressed the needs to many in quarantine.

Interested in talking?

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