If you’re curious about the app making process but not sure where to start or what's involved, check this out! ✌🏽
Josef Wilhelm and I decided to make the ez Meditation app as a fun side project this year because we wanted a minimalistic solution for tracking unguided meditation. We believe in transparency and community. That's why we're sharing our code(coming soon), design and process with you. We're always willing and open to learn, so let us know what you think about our process! 🙂
Timeline: May 25th -> June 26th 2021
TLTR: ~140hrs of sweat and love
Available for: iOS & Android
Note: This app is written in Flutter ✌🏽
Marcella Traynor (me):
This is arguably the most difficult part of the process. Having a clear vision that meets your budget and time frame can be difficult, and often times sacrifices have to be made; that's why creating a solid feature list is key. Once you create your feature list, then you can decide what's important and what's nice-to-have. Luckily for us, we were both on the same page with what we wanted, and we were able to swiftly get the ball rolling. Here's what what came about in our Concept meeting:
We want to create an app specifically for unguided meditation. Most apps on the market are extremely bloated and hard to navigate. We want a no-nonsense, minimalistic app that tracks our meditation progress over time so we can see our progress.
Similar apps include:
We actually didn't create any personas. 😬 We wanted to get this app out as quick as possible, so we skipped this part. Our main reasoning was that we were creating this app for ourselves, and therefore we were the end user. 😅
Designing started after we worked out the concept. The initial design, including user flow mapping, took 9hrs. The rest of the hours worked went toward iterations, cleaning up the design, creating the style guide, creating and exporting assets.
Check out our Style Guide.
Link to User Flow Whimsical chart here.
Link to the full Sketch Design here.
Building on the design, we created stories which detailed the:
Take a look at our calendar to see how we worked:
We underestimated this the most.
We thought it would be easy to find looped songs or at least make them ourselves, but we couldn't have been more wrong. After trying a lot of different tools such as Garageband and Audacity, we finally found Envato Elements and found some sounds there.
We also ran into the issue that the sounds looped perfectly on the phone but not on Quicktime Player or VLC player. This was really frustrating. 😅
Some 20 hours and a-lot-of-grey-hair-later we were able to find, what we think, some great sounds for meditation.
This won't be the end of this though. There will be more sounds in future releases, but for now, we need a break from it! ^^
Don't know why we mostly did animal themed codenames; it just happened. 🐼
This was super easy and fun and there will be many more to come. Stay tuned!
Yep, we weren't kidding about the transparency. Here's detailed breakdown of how Joe spent his time.
This is probably the most important but also by far the most tedious part of the process, and I think that anyone who has developed an app or a piece of software before would agree that testing is the worst! Going over the same part of the app many times because of new bugs, is just not fun. 😓
We don't bulk-test. We try to keep testing as part of an individual story. This means that we only test small parts of the app as we go along → to keep our motivation high. 😅
We were actually surprised that almost 10% of the whole process was spent on testing. ^^ And we're sure the app is still not 100% bug free, so if you find any, don't hesitate to send us a message! 😎
This included a lot of tedious work and repetitive mouse-clicking in App Store Connect and the Google Play Console, but with we got through it all with the help of our beloved friend, Caffeine. ☕️ 🥰
We are still working on ASO. Actually, the ASO-fun never stops. We've signed up for an ASO tool, and are going to get stuck into some keyword hunting/optimising very soon! There will also be some A/B testing in the future. 🙂 The one we're using is:
We pressed a button. It was epic. 🤓
The ez Meditation app is available as of June 28, 2021! Download it, give it a try and let us know what you think!