After we helped Yoga International transition from their print magazine and expand into an online community, they reached out to our team again to see how their new material could be communicated in a native mobile app. As established leaders in their field, Yoga International counted on us to ensure that their new app was top of the line.
Cultivating the App Experience
As a reputable resource within the yoga community, when Yoga International made their transition from print to digital, the next logical step for them was to make an app for users on the go. The team at Yoga International had several different ideas for their new app, so they called on the our design team to create a discovery process with them to focus their insights for desired app features and functions.
What were their goals for the app? How should it feel? What should their app do that other yoga apps don’t? These were the questions our design team sought to answer. As we moved through the discovery workshop process, we drew mock ups of features, sorted through printouts of visual exercises, and looked at current reading and yoga apps to compare and contrast. Our design team then grouped their ideas together based on type and overall feel for the app to guide the direction of its layout and development.
Uniting the User Experience
With the design direction laid out, our development team stepped in to make Yoga International’s vision a reality. The goal was to have an app that was available for iPhone, iPad, and Android. Since these platforms have different user experiences by design, the challenge was to create essentially three versions of the same app while maintaining the well-balanced user experience. Several aspects were taken into account for cohesive development, from differences in menu display (at the bottom for Apple vs. slide-in options for android) to how shadows work and elements interact, and what users expect from each platform.
The sleek app starts with a survey that determines the customized content that is unique to each user. The app then assists users with setting goals, encouraging engagement through video classes, workshops, and daily challenges. The background animations feature graceful demonstrations of yoga poses, and there is space to log outside classes to keep motivated. Curated tabs guide the rest of the user experience and are dictated by the user’s unique settings. The built in search is incredibly robust: anything that exists on Yoga International’s website can be found on the app. Looking for a specific article, topic, or author? There are search options that make those easy to find and read, download, or save to your favorites. All mobile activity is linked with the full website and all activity is tracked through your profile in the same database.
Presenting Content in a Balanced and Pleasing Way
Based on our findings in the discovery workshop, our design team presented Yoga International with several options for the “base” of the app: emotional-based (how do you feel before, during, and after yoga practice), kosa-based (the “sheaths of being” in yoga, progress is measured as you “shed” kosas), condition-based (what do you want to do to improve your practice?), yogic journey-based (where are you in your skill level?), time-based (how much time do you want to spend on yoga, daily streaks) and site-based (comprehensive, functions similarly to the website).
Yoga International picked the elements that they liked from each base, and we combined them to form a new design that suited their needs. While the majority of existing yoga apps focus solely on exercises to work the body, Yoga International’s intention was to have an app that works the body, mind and soul. In addition to exercise videos and classes, they also wanted to provide access to the thousands of yoga history and philosophical articles in their comprehensive database. This balance of mind and body echoes Yoga International’s mission and guided our design of their mobile app experience.
A Stunning Companion App for Yoga International That Balances Body and Mind
In addition to their new, beautifully redesigned website, Yoga International now has the ultimate yoga app complete with yoga classes, challenges, in-depth workshops, guided meditations, tutorials, and feature articles. We mirrored Yoga International’s website paywall strategy to the app. Adjustable over time, new users are able to get 10 classes/articles per month for free to get a sense of the valuable content before requiring a paid subscription. With a unified database that updates dynamically, users can seamlessly transition between the full website and the mobile app experience. And highly responsive settings ensure that the user experience is constantly updated to reflect their unique preferences. Within the first week of its release, downloads far exceeded expectations and made several of Apple’s top download charts. By launching a beautifully designed, comprehensive, and well-balanced app, Yoga International is once again able to stand out in their field as the ultimate yoga destination.