Headspace drive business growth by investing in Android app quality

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Background

Headspace was created with one mission in mind: to improve the health and happiness of the world. Reaching 70 million users in 190 countries, Headspace was one of the first meditation apps in the world and remains a leader in mindfulness and mental training. Headspace is committed to advancing the field of mindfulness through clinically validated research, with one of the largest research pipelines of any digital health and wellness company. Headspace is available via the Google Play Store, and their Android user base represents a diverse global population.

What they did

Headspace’s mission is to improve the health and happiness of the world. They realized that mindfulness practices could vary for different people and envisioned offering services beyond daily meditation. They wanted to make this content widely accessible to more Android users, and the quality of their app was front and center.

Expanding the offering to meet more diverse user needs led to a review of the overall app experience and quality across platforms. App quality matters because their customers rely on them in times of stress and anxiety. An uninterrupted experience with an intuitive design that helps acquire and retain diverse users was a priority.

So, the app was reimagined to include new layouts and navigations to accommodate three new modules - sleep, move, and focus. It also aimed to provide a segmented and frictionless experience to the app’s core functionality for a wider range of users. The design team at Headspace referenced the Material Design libraries to add rich components, icons, navigation structures and other templates.

“The Material Design documentation on color, available tools, and components are just top-notch. I fell in love with the approach, and we are still using it as a reference to this day.” - Ken Seeno, Sr. Manager, Product Design, Headspace

When the design team presented the prototype to engineering, it was clear that to introduce all these content modules at scale, a complete rewrite of the code was necessary. The engineering team tapped into the Android tool ecosystem leading them to leverage Kotlin for a full rewrite. They also referenced several Android Jetpack and Google libraries to rewire the core functionalities of the app. The Google Play Console was used for release management and staged rollouts to minimize the risks, quickly react with patches, and improve the app metrics. The in-app review API was used to manage the app review process - a goldmine discovery of user insights according to Headspace.

"The Android ecosystem is so mature at this point. Kotlin is a modern language which paired with Android Studio increases development velocity. Then, with Jetpack and other APIs we got clear guidelines to build a robust new app. When it came time to release and monitor the app, the Play Console had all the tools we needed, in an easy and intuitive interface." - Greg Rami, Android Lead, Headspace

Results

Headspace’s goals were ambitious, but they achieved stellar results within a few months of launching their revamped app.

  • A significant increase in MAU (monthly active users) across the globe.
  • A 31% increase in app rating from 3.5 to an impressive 4.7 between quarter one and quarter two of 2020.
  • A decrease in crash rate from ~99.8% to 99.91%

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