The benefits of meditation are many. From increased focus to stress and anxiety relief, it is a definite route to self-care. It was a great opportunity for us when we worked on a guided meditation app called Black Lotus.

About Black Lotus

Founded by Om Swami, a monk, and a meditator par excellence, Black Lotus is a rapidly growing meditation app that offers guided meditation and assists in inner transformation. The app includes engaging mindful activities using a framework called RARE (Reflect-Act-Reinforce-Evaluate).

Backed by deep research along with a propriety framework, the app has transformed over 250 K lives worldwide (and counting). Black Lotus’s ambassadors include – Nithya Shanti, Vidith Gujrati, and Melissa Stuart.

Features and Functionalities

The app covers a range of topics including –

• Daily guided meditation of 15 minutes
• 1-minute relaxation techniques
• Better sleep
• Better focus
• Stress management
• Mindfulness
• Daily wisdom
• Self-improvement
• Self-awareness
• Self-love
• Healthy habits formation
• Mental health
• Mental wellbeing
• Kindness

Problem Statement

Black Lotus emphasizes creating a spiritual mystic vibe in accordance with harmony and peace, which is associated with the discipline of meditation. The UI design of the app needed to reflect this very strongly.

Black Lotus partnered with Pepper Square to overhaul the app’s UI design using a range of universal iconography and symbols in sync with the app’s Global appeal.

We were tasked with:

• Aligning the new UI to other sections of the existing app
• Providing the symbolic representation of 10 unique stages of a user to gain spiritual attainment
• Designing an interface that will help the user measure and attain spiritual progress

The Pepper Square Difference

We reimagined the UI and UX design of the app with the following actions.

• Ideation, strategy, and UX &UI design for Black Lotus iOS and Android app.
• Extensive research on ten stages of meditation and their representation.
• Studied user behavior of the target audience to ensure the design elements resonated with the meditator’s physical, mental and emotional aspects in a particular stage.
• Created a design inspired by Buddhist symbols that point to qualities of an enlightened mind.
• Defined and designed ten categories of the Rak (Random Act of Kindness) feature to help create the largest community of kindness champions.
• Provided intuitive icons for universally accepted, clear visual communication.
• Conducted usability testing for app icons to ensure the users correctly perceive them.

The Approach

Pepper Square rose to the occasion by employing the following techniques to lend Black Lotus a modern look and feel:

Gamification – A gamified approach encouraged the users to gain spiritual attainment through Mahamudra progression. To complete each stage, each user had to complete specific tasks, including meditations, Random Acts of Kindness, reading books, chanting, etc.

Iconography – Symbolic representation of ten unique stages to gain spiritual attainment, drawing inspiration from Buddhist symbols.

iOS app design – Ten categories of Rak (Random Act of Kindness) featured as a part of the iOS app design, which helped create the largest community of kindness champions. A morning welcome screen, which allowed the users to plan and track their spiritual progress every day. Also, users could earn Karma points for each act of Kindness performed. At the end of each day, users received their daily activity summary and a reminder to accomplish the tasks left for the day.

We succeeded in increasing the customers’ interest in using the app through the unique design and development strategy.

The Value Delivered

We helped Black Lotus address its unique challenge, drive significant growth inactive users, and establish it as a modern-day meditation app. The new designs were received well by their target audience. When the app hit the stores, there was an outpour of positive responses.

Within 30 days, the app achieved astounding results:

• 72% Increase in New Users
• 15,796 Raks logged globally
• 30% increase in app downloads

Going That Extra Mile

Apart from driving conversions through the app, we also assisted Black Lotus in launching a Random Acts of Kindness campaign on #WorldKindnessDay. We designed a kindness card for them along with a webpage aimed at triggering a wave of gratitude. We also helped them with the onboarding wireframes and visual designs, along with revamping the self-screen icons. Including hand-drawn illustrations on the card lent it a unique personality. For this campaign, over 224 cards were mapped from the origin to different locations in the city.

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AuthorAlka Jha
Alka is a Lead UX Designer at Pepper Square and she has defined the user experience for some of the finest global brands over the last seven years.
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