mobile app prototype UX/UI design
The app that helps yogis to feel asanas in their own body.
Perfecting yoga asanas
In 2019 yoga is one of the most popular physical activities in the world. It does not only help us to keep our bodies strong but trains our mind and teaches us to be more present in our everyday life. Most of the time we do not have a slightest idea how our body position and correct breathing can enrich our soul.
I designed a prototype of an app to help casual yogis improve their everyday practice.
Yoga for the people
How many times during yoga class you thought “Am I doing it right?”, “Why back hurts now?”, “What if I do it wrong?” Welcome to the club! Due to the nature of our busy everyday life, we always need to choose if we want to deepen our knowledge or just have time to relax and enjoy ourselves. Let’s face the truth, we usually go for the latter.
Whatasana is designed to help yoga lovers deepen their knowledge in yoga asanas by using a playful app. It feels like an extension of your everyday practice.
The goals are:
To make Whatasana easy and fast to use for everyone;
Provide a tool for deeper engagement in practice for yogis of all levels;
Spread yoga knowledge for practice improvement.
Firstly I was a researcher, following similar apps and communicating with yogis and yoga teachers. I put all the data I gathered in paper and then digital prototype. Loving visual design I’ve created custom illustration for this project as well.
Pen & Paper
Mobile App Prototype
Choosing the direction
Firstly the idea was a lot broader and the working name of the app was “How to Yoga”. This app would contain a lot more than asana description and instructions but the whole yoga journey for a newbie. But soon after I built a road map of this project I understood that I prefer to start with something simpler, not so complex. I still believe that Whatasana can grow into a more sophisticated yoga tool with time.
What I’ve learnt from the people (personas)
I decided to change the app not only because my personal analysis but mostly because of people’s feedback. More often when we think our ideas can be reworked because of a valuable feedback.
It was interesting to see that people changed their expectations over time. Now it is not enough just to repeat a movement, it is important to understand it and if it is right for you.
What I’ve learnt from other apps
There are several apps on the market which pursue a similar to Whatasana’s goal, to empower personal yoga practice by advancing yoga knowledge.
I found some of those apps brilliant, loaded with useful information and easy to understand. However, most of the time it felt like reading a book. Most apps required additional effort to arrive at their final step, where you could learn about asanas.
Whatasana was designed to make the whole experience more playful and intuitive. I want people to feel that this app is a part of their day, not a learning exercise. Even though you do learn and you do exercise.
Reframing the problem
People need constant assistance in their studies
People are not aware about how they should feel during their practice. I see it everyday at yoga classes, I hear it from yoga teachers/students, I read about it online. This particular problem brought me to the idea of Whatasana. People shared their insecurities with me, telling that they are shy to ask for help from their teacher or they don’t have time/money to go to a yoga school, some people feel anxious being around other people and can’t accept any physical contact. There were many other stories, which made me think that Whatasana should not be just one more workout app or a yoga textbook, it should be a helping hand for those who need it.
Essential design details
Illustrations to represent yoga poses. This choice was made to create a generic yogi style, so people won’t take the real people looks seriously.
Level the information. The information will be grouped into: intro information, attention points and full description for practice. It allows every person to decide how much they want to know at this particular moment. Perhaps, only a quick scan is available at the moment, then current asana can be added to bookmarks and explored later. But, if they have enough time, the asana can be explored fully straight away.
Attention points. To point out common mistakes in poses I added red marks on every illustration. This playful detail will help to draw attention to necessary asana specifics. Every point is tappable.
Quiet or vocal mode. While practicing a certain pose, people can choose if they want to hear the instructions or they just want to read the information from the screen.
No login necessary. You can browse the app without logging in, until you decide to add an asana to your practice.
Intro to Whatasana. Initial screens will explain what is the main goal of the app.
People can achieve various goals with Whatasana (user maps)
As I mentioned previously, not only I want people to use Whatasana as a textbook, it should rather become their yoga tool. From first time knowledge to creation of a personal custom practice.
One of the important parts of this project is to make the app convenient to use. A new customer does not need to log in, if they simply want to browse yoga asanas. Log in form is available everytime they want to like something or add an asana to their own practice. Many people feel uneasy about sharing personal data while trying a new app for the first time.
Personal Practice is one more valuable feature of Whatasana. Depending on prefernces, every customer can create their own practice by simply adding new asanas. The suggestive nature of the practice builder would help to organize the sequence.
Whatasana Usermap. New customer.
Whatasana Usermap. Existing customer.
Reimagining online yoga
The final prototype proves that yoga can be approached differently through well-known online resources. Whatasana is a perfect app for beginners and pros because of various reasons.
If you just start your yoga path, Whatasana will help you by providing the necessary knowledge.
If you are a mature yogi, Whatasana will help you to create and customize your own practice.
Social issues are more important than ever
Building information hierarchy/information groups is essential for any app that has spreading knowledge among its goals.
Being compassionate to future clients is important, especially when working on a mindfulness app.
Generic personas, used in the app, help people to feel more confident.
Giving options, depending on customer’s proficiency is a must.
What if this elevator pitch works
Work with global yoga teachers to create an extensive database of asanas.
Make the Custom Practice Builder more suggestive.
Include voice controls.
Create app version for Home Assistant devices.