- Meditation app
What we did:
- Digital strategy
- Mobile app design and development
- Website development
- User experience
- Creative design
- Interactive web build
Bringing Tibetan mediation practices to the people
Samten is an exciting new meditation and mindfulness app. Grounded in Buddhist beliefs, the app supports beginners and experts alike with accessible meditation practice. Following a disheartening launch to market with their first offer, the founders approached us to reimagine their app and bring their dream alive.
Together we established their true vision and ambition for the app. Focussing on delivering exceptional user experience, we took the time to really understand their customers and as a result created an intuitive, beautiful and serene app that has seen exceptional growth since its second launch.
“Samten” is the Tibetan word for meditations or meditative state.
Samten’s ambition is to bring true Tibetan meditation skills to the people to create harmony, kindness and empathy for ourselves and each other. Their passion is to enhance the wellbeing of our communities by helping people to embed positive mindfulness as part of their daily routines.
Founded in 2016, Samten believe that meditation is a journey: one that should be embarked upon at the right pace, and available to everyone. Its dedicated service encourages users globally to work towards personal progression, with a programme that serves as the perfect antidote to hectic modern lifestyles.
With over 70 million working days lost each year due to mental health problems in the U.K. alone, costing employers more than £2.4bn per year, it was time to create an evidence-based self-help solution to enable people to develop their own mental health and wellbeing strategies, to cope with the world around them.
Samten needed to find the right digital partner to relaunch its meditation app solution to market, delivering an enhanced version that would build on key learnings from a disappointing first iteration and provide a better user experience.
With bold aspirations, Samten recognised the importance of a clear digital roadmap of activity to ensure its future success: one that would help the business realise its ambitions to grow at scale at a time when mindfulness was in high demand globally. Solid foundations needed to be laid for an innovative long-term commercial proposition, enabling Samten to look ahead with confidence.
Their intention is to compete and outpace some of the competitors in the market, so establishing success criteria from the outset kept us focused. Enhancing the user experience on both iOS and Android phone app, so it was bug free, elegantly designed, and intuitive for people to engage with was key.
Existing users needed to seamlessly transition into the new app, as ultimately, we are aiming to ensure future investment and scaling of the app.
Taking our time to explore and test the existing Samten app with the team, existing user and potential beneficiaries, we embarked upon the scoping phase. We quickly realised that there was a myriad of issues from a user experience standpoint that needed to be addressed - from navigation to content accessibility, the original Samten app, which broke with conventional wisdom, simply wasn’t connecting with audiences in a meaningful way.
Throughout the discovery, wireframe and solution design process, our focus was on the meditation journey that users would embark upon - making it as seamless and supportive as possible, with beautifully crafted technology that flows naturally for practitioners. A simple yet effective visual redesign of the app, by Inspiretec, provided the basis for what would become version two of the app, brought to life by Digital Wonderlab.
UX and UI is fundamental to the success of the new Samten app. We took the time to explore and understand user needs and their meditation motivations to deliver a digital solution that supports individual journeys towards deep mindfulness practice. This work resulted in identifying the following key features:
- A native app, available to mobiles
- An engaging and elegant design
- User access and sign up via open ID or email
- An onboarding process to ensure users gain the most from the experience
- Access to free and premium content
- Progression through sessions based on video introductions
- Personal progression support and encouragement via prompts, reminders, notifications, and insights
- Access to a catalogue of sessions based on different categories and ability levels
- Access content online and offline through downloaded audio sessions
- An admin area to manage app and user information
new users a month and growing
reach through education and corporate partnerships
invested support to ensure continued growth and impact
“It makes all the difference in the world to work with a partner company who really understands your needs, and that of the audience; Nathan and the Digital Wonderlab team have done a terrific job of grabbing hold of this project and bringing a creative vision to life. What we have now is ‘night and day’ compared to the first iteration of the Samten app: it’s completely revitalised our core meditation content and made it accessible and engaging to a far wider audience.”
Simon Delve, CEO, Samten
The tech behind the app
Our approach to the build entailed repurposing the database structure. Enhanced tables were needed to support the new native app and the API services alongside the auth server. It has been deployed through Azure through a series of iterations where we took time to “test and learn” with key users to understand their experiences of each section, gaining on-going feedback and deploying new releases in response.
The main application was built using Microsoft Xamarin which enables common language to produce cross-platform, fully native apps for both iOS and Android.
Subscriptions are handled using native in-app purchasing options provided by both Apple and Android.
For hosting provision and data infrastructure, Microsoft Azure was chosen as a platform due to its ability to quickly scale to suit demand on the system and the ability to automate tasks and services.
The website was built using Umbraco CMS which gave Samten a feature rich and easy to maintain website to support the app.
“Working with Digital Wonderlab has been a breath of fresh air. They listened and worked with us to develop version 2, offering ideas along the way. The work that they have done on the UI and functionality is second to none. The values of Samten and Digital Wonderlab are very much aligned in wanting to help and make a significant difference in people’s lives. Digital Wonderlab are not just a partner, they are a trusted part of our team."
John Jepson, Sales Director, Samten