Did you know that 35 percent of Americans regularly suffer from stress? One proven way to combat stress, as well as several other common mental well-being issues like anxiety, is through meditation. In fact, meditation has been practiced since at least 1500 B.C. in eastern traditions as a way to stay grounded and spiritually connected with oneself.
Back then, meditation was a practice reserved for monks and gurus, unknown to the western world. Now, there are over 2,500 meditation apps available, making the practice accessible to anyone with a smart device. One of the most popular meditation apps is Calm–but if you’re reading this, you probably already know that.
This guide aims to help you get started in building your own app like Calm for mediation. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Calm?
Founded in 2012, Calm is at the forefront of guided meditation apps. The premise of the app is simple: select a guided meditation that suits your reason for downloading the app, whether it be to reduce anxiety or stress, improve mood, sleep, or focus. Users then choose from a catalog of Calm’s meditation audios. Though, that’s not all the app has to offer. Users can upgrade their accounts and receive access to original daily audio, sleep soundscapes, and master classes.
Why Do People Use Meditation Apps?
So far, we’ve touched on a few key reasons as to why people use meditation apps like Calm, but let’s take a deeper dive.
Maintain Mental Well-Being
While meditating, users are guided to focus on the present moment, reducing apprehensive thoughts about the immediate and long-term future, as well as the past. This helps to give users a respite from mental stressors, which translates to a better mood throughout the day.
Studies suggest that meditation emulates the brain waves typically created during sleep, causing you to fall into a relaxed state and making falling asleep easier. Meditation puts individuals into a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping and has been shown to increase melatonin levels, which help regulate sleep, therefore making sleep more restful.
For reasons similar to maintaining mental well-being, meditation also helps to improve focus. This is because meditation is a tool that can be used whenever necessary to clear your mind, ultimately boosting concentration. Having an app on your phone makes doing so a simple and convenient process.
Popular Features of a Calm-Like App
Meditation apps like Calm have many features popular among users, some of which you should consider implementing in your app. Here are just a few.
Including a meditation that can be used outside of guided sessions is an important feature for users who wish to practice mindfulness independently. A quality meditation timer will include a customizable meditation bell and countdown that sounds at the end of the session. Some apps also allow users to set background music that plays during their meditation exercise.
Meditation is often a challenging habit to build, so including a progress tracker is an excellent way to encourage users to stick to their goals and keep returning to the app. It should track the number of independent and guided meditation sessions and streaks and also allow users to set their own goals.
Featuring a solid library of guided meditations and sounds for users to listen to while meditating is essential when building an app, especially for those new to meditation. It’s also a good way to help all levels of users learn new techniques and utilize meditation apps for different purposes like sleep, focus, and well-being.
5 Steps to Develop a Meditation App
Now that you have a better understanding of the basics of meditation apps, let’s discuss the vital steps in developing a meditation app like Calm.
1. Choose Niché
First, you should determine the niché in which you wish to operate. Do you want to build a multi-purpose app like Calm that’s suited to different types of meditation or would you like to focus on one area, such as sleep? Understanding your niché is instrumental in identifying which features you need in the next step.
You should also collect data on your target demographic to understand what features they expect from a meditation app. Doing so will help you to build an app that serves its purpose and appeals to your audience.
2. Determine Features and Design App
Based on your earlier research, the next step in the meditation app development process is to determine its features then create a design mockup focused on outlining its functionality. Clearly identifying features in your mockup makes it easier for developers to understand how the app is supposed to work, which will result in a more accurate development of your vision.
Figma and MockFlow are two valuable tools for designing your mobile applications, as they offer many features that will help you outline functionality and design a smooth user interface (UI). However, it’s best practice to first create a wireframe for your project before utilizing any design tools.
Related Article: What Are Wireframes in UI/UX Design and Why Are They Important?
3. Develop Your Mobile App
The next step is developing your mobile meditation app. This is usually the longest part of the development and requires extensive technical knowledge. If you lack the expertise to build a functional mobile app, you can either use a no-code development platform or hire an expert development agency.
Related Page: No-Code Development Services
If you elect to hire a development company, be sure to scrutinize their portfolio and experience to ensure that they are a good fit for your project. You should also inquire as to whether they offer post-release support options to keep your application maintained throughout its life.
Related Article: How to Hire Remote Developers the Right Way
4. Beta Test
After developing your app and its necessary features, it will require testing to ensure there are no obvious bugs. It’s impossible, of course, to create a completely bug-free mobile application, but through testing, you’re able to keep it functioning correctly. Doing so will improve your users’ overall experience and retain their attention.
Beta testing is an excellent way to trial your application, as it involves sending your meditation app to various individuals to use your app as if it was live. This will highlight any functionality and UI errors which can then be fixed prior to its release.
5. Deliver Product
Finally, it’s time to deliver your meditation platform to app stores. You can do this yourself through iOS and Google Play distribution services or you can consult a developer for assistance.
Once the app is live, you must work to maintain its quality by monitoring for bugs and actioning user feedback. Doing this will help keep your user base satisfied and ensure your app is properly functioning.
Guided Meditation Framework Considerations
If you choose to provide users with a selection of guided meditations, there are some factors to consider when creating these recordings.
Guided meditation is meant to be a relaxing experience, meaning the pacing needs to be slow and well-planned. Generally, a guided meditation will start with an introduction and a “body scan,” wherein the listener is asked to acknowledge different body parts. This helps to ease listeners into the session then, as the meditation progresses, the instructor should reduce their presence and allow the user to take over.
Adding a soundscape to the guided meditation helps to improve the atmosphere and absorb the user’s attention. Your soundscape choice must match the mood you’re trying to create; otherwise, the listener may lose interest. You could also explore binaural beats, which operate on certain wavelengths to supposedly affect mood. However, the jury’s still out on their effectiveness and authenticity.
Mediation App Development Cost
The cost of developing a mediation app will vary depending on several factors. Here are some costs to consider.
If you plan to feature guided meditations, you will need to hire meditation instructors or voice-over artists to record the meditation narration. Professional voice-over artists can be expensive with the average price of 0-40 sitting at $60. However, there are many amateurs willing to provide their services at a lower cost or even for free. You could also record the guided meditations yourself.
MVP vs. Feature-Rich
Do you want to build the minimum viable product (MVP) or a feature-rich application? At Idea Maker, we recommend developing a scalable MVP. This means building an app with essential features only so that it’s poised for further development once a deployable base is created. Doing so means your app gets to market sooner and at a lower cost. However, if you’re absolutely certain of your app’s required features, building a feature-rich application is viable.
How to Market a Meditation App
Once your app is available in app stores, you’ll need to generate a solid user base in order for later monetization. Here are some ways to do so.
App Store Optimization
Like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), App Store Optimization (ASO) involves positioning your app’s store pages for maximum visibility. This is done in a similar way to SEO by using relevant keywords, in-store page titles, and descriptions. There are also several ASO ranking factors to consider, including keyword usage, reviews, ratings and conversion rate.
If you’re already familiar with SEO principles, you can apply them to ASO. Otherwise, check out this Idea Maker article to get started.
Google Search Ads
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads can be placed on Google search results targeted at users with specific interests and who search-relevant keywords. Generally speaking, PPC ads yield high impression rates but low conversion rates. Still, they are an excellent way to create brand awareness and can be placed on a small budget. Remember, it’s always best to run a few test ads with low budgets before running long-term, expensive campaigns.
How to Monetize Your Calm-Like App
Once you’ve marketed your app to a solid customer base, you can then work toward a monetization strategy.
Offering in-app purchases is an excellent way to generate revenue from existing and engaged users. As a meditation app, for example, you could offer additional guided sessions for a small fee or access to a greater library of meditations and soundscapes.
Following the SaaS business model, you can also offer users access to a basic version of your meditation application for free, then give them the option to unlock more features by upgrading. This provides users with the opportunity to get better acquainted with the app before deciding if they want to upgrade.
Related Article: Understanding the SaaS Business Model and How It Works
For simplicity, offering your app for a one-time fee is another viable option. While this does reduce your opportunity to generate additional and passive income, paid apps are a good choice for low-feature products that are unlikely to require additional features.
Idea Maker’s Experience In Mobile App Development
At Idea Maker, we have extensive experience in mobile app and software development. Some of our projects include: I Am Available, a messaging app for people who work irregular hours, and Cover Fields, which allows app users to learn more about cover fields in their area.
If you need help building a meditation app of your own like Calm, schedule a free consultation with our experts today.