Shambhala Meditation App

During Fall 2016, I had the opportunity to work with the Shambhala Centre in Halifax to improve the user experience of their meditation app.

With “mindfulness” becoming the latest buzzword for reducing stress at work and at home, meditation apps have surged in popularity in recent years. Apps like Headspace and Calm help people learn to meditate through guided meditation sequences that you can customize to your own needs.

The Shambhala Centre had their own meditation app that had great engagement levels from their users, but was lacking in providing a clear, guided user experience for their audience.

For this project, I examined three key processes for using the app:

  1. Signing up for the app as a new user (onboarding).
  2. Navigating the app as a signed in user
  3. Practicing a meditation

For each step, I did a full analysis of the user experience, compared the experience to competitors, then designed wireframe solutions for an improved experience.

The app had many moving parts and several interactive¬†features that needed to be audited. I’ve included some of those audits below.

Signing Up as New User (onboarding)

The Shambhala meditation app didn’t have an onboarding sequence for new users, and it wasn’t clear if you had to create an account before using the app.

I looked at Calm, another popular meditation app and compared how they onboard their new users.

05. Figure 1: New User Onboarding Sequence


Based on analysis from the current app and the Calm app, I redesigned the home screen to be more focused and less busy.

09. Figure 2: Revised Home Screen



Navigating the app as a signed-in user

The existing app didn’t show you any detailed profile information when you were logged into the app, which made it difficult to know if you had signed in already.


The redesign made it easier to see your own preferences all on one screen:


Practicing a Meditation

Practicing a meditation is the core function of that app and had to be a simple experience that didn’t require extra thought.

The existing design used blocks to indicate time, which could be confusing, and the buttons were all crowded at the bottom.

In my research, I looked at how other meditation apps were showing timers in their design. 


Based on this research, I designed a simple control interface, with a subtle list breaking down the meditation stages at the bottom of the screen.


To read the full analysis, send me an email.