Create a companion experience to support Gaia’s yoga members in creating a lasting yoga routine
For this project I lead design from ideation through implementation. I had a small but solid team that included a PM, UX researcher, and an offshore iOS developer. I collaborated daily with my design lead, marketing creatives, and content teams to align and work towards meeting business and stakeholder goals.
Context and Opportunity
Gaia’s yoga members have expressed a desire to create a habit around their practice. Establishing and maintaining a habit can be difficult, and a few small barriers can quickly create major roadblocks on the path to success.
Gaia’s current experience and technical capabilities have fallen short when given our yogis the best experience possible. Members who do not already have established relationship with Gaia or certain teachers and practices have expressed major pain when trying to find a starting point - many of these pains have led to increased churn rates.
Create a hyper focused, practice only experience that delivers on the three elements of habit: simplicity, consistency, and utility.
This habit equation was thought up by our Product Owner, Jesse, and we would use it to evaluate out competitors and let it guide our design and feature set. Our goal moving forward was to leverage our existing library and technological capabilities to deliver a highly simplified experience with consistent high quality content. We wanted to test the hypothesis that if we delivered a consistent practice to you daily and removed choice fatigue we would see video engagement increase.
A UX process can be in depth of light. Highlighted below are the methods and tools we used for this project.
The yoga app environment is not small. There are some very successful yoga apps delivering great content. However, using Jesse’s “Habit Score” we quickly pin pointed opportunities in the market that Yoga Every Day could own.
We found that apps that delivered on simplicity fell short on usability and utility. Apps that were a delightful user experience held hundreds of practices - which upped decision making and in turn decreased the probability of habit formation. Many of the apps that did include a “starting point” had many starting points which still qualified as a decision barrier for the user. Price point was also an opportunity for us. If we used the same subscription model as Gaia ( existing Gaia members automatically would have access to Yoga Every Day ) we would still fall at the lower end of the spectrum for yoga app subscriptions.
Data Before Design
Our team works closely with our data analytics team, and we leverage data to drive key features and decisions. When working on the content strategy for this app we analyzed the engagement of our yoga content, and most successful yoga campaigns. The most successful series was Yoga Every Day, and the most successful campaign, Morning Ritual.
From earlier testing and user interviews, we had basic understanding of where pain points arose. I created a user journey to pinpoint where these pain points occured, and the opportunites we could take advantage of. This helped guide my design decisions within the app. To test the flows I relied on quick and dirty hallway testing for feedback.
The purpose of building user flows for this app was mostly for our team to get aligned and helped when presenting to our developers. For this app the flows were so short that we were able to capture most of it in one chart.
The Sign Up and Log In flows were actually the longest, but we were leveraging the existing framework and template as our Gaia App so many of the unknowns were already answered.
Design and Test
With a small but solid strategy for this project, and a lof of the research already completed, I was quickly able to jump into designs. I relied a lot on hallway testing to get feedback on the flows, UI, and if the app was intuitive. The remainder of our testing will be with a live app and a portion of our yoga members.
With the goal of minimal to no decision making, and dead simple UI I designed a home screen that lets user access the daily practice with little to no effort - launching their practice in one tap. I stripped away unnecessary meta data descriptions and worked with our copy editors to trim down practice titles and descriptions.
Utilizing existing Gaia GUI elements and common iconography, the learning curve and wayfinding barriers were set very low from the beginning.
Focused Yet Flexible
While you could access the daily practice with one click, we recognized that each yoga journey is unique and many members find success while only engaging with a few practices. Building favoriting functionality gave users the control to save their practices without the disruption of curating multiple lists.
Create A Habit
Tracking progress is critical in understanding how one builds a habit or routine. While some apps use negative feedback to forcefully change behavior, I have found that positive reinforcement has led to high habit building success. How could I design a delightful progress feedback that did not force the user into seeking a reward, but rather a small the feeling of a small “win” encouraging them to continue on their path.
When we launch the app it will be a living prototype. We want to track how many Gaia members use this experience, and does it drive more engagement and qualified views? We will test acquisition capabilities and marketing to both members and non members. This data will not only give us insight for Yoga Every Day, but we can take our findings back to the Gaia ecosystem for iteration and improvements for the yoga experience and evaluate if we are going after the right problem and creating lasting value.