Less Stress. More Success – Whil: A manfulness training program
Whil’s mission is to help professionals live healthier, happier, and more engaged lives. They develop digital training programs to help working professionals improve their mental wellbeing, performance, relationships, and sleep. As the pace of modern living becomes more intense, Whil is helping their members develop repeatable skills to calm and focus the mind, relax the central nervous system, develop emotional intelligence and get the most out of life.
Their business model is to sale this program to healthcare and employer benefit management compines like Magellan Health, Virgin Pulse, Limeade, and CVS health, just to name a few. They will then integrate and sale Whil’s training program to their clients, typically enterprise companies like Toyota, Square, Harvard Business Schools.
In January of 2019, I was brought in to support Whil as a consultant, as they were revamping their product and design org. At the time, the company was focused on shipping product features to support the integration of their program with employee benefits portals such as Magellan Health, VirgenPulse, TriNet. But there was a lack of strategy to take their core product which is the consumption of mindfulness meditation sessions to the next level. Their existing experience was clutter with features that were not user-centric – although the sales team used them to pitch this product to new clients. They also didn’t have the proper metrics in place to measure engagement and retention; which was a concern because they needed to report on how this program was used by the workforce of the clients they were working with. We didn’t know how this program was helping their members adopt a new habit about mindfulness and meditation and how this program was impacting their lifes. Therefore I was asked to conduct an audit and make recommendations to achieve the following
- Help new members adapt a habit around mindfulness
- Recommend ways to messure and report on the outcomes of this program
For the purpose of this conversation, I will be focusing and how a digital product could help new members create a habit around mindfulness and meditation. Also, since the company was going through a transitional period within their product and design org, we didn’t have a product leader. Therefore I had to take on the function of head of product and design while being the sole designer driving a complete product overhaul.
Below is what their old product looked like:
Empathize & Define
My overall assessment of the product let me conclude that Whil needed to focus on improving their core offering, which is providing access to great mindfulness introductory audio sessions to help new users get started, and stop shipping features that will only please Whil sales team. To help the company realize this, I had to partner with the CEO to help him re-imagine Whil and get his support toward overhauling the core product. For this, I conducted the following activities:
Below is an earlier proof-of-concept of the dashboard we build in looker
1) Wrote functional requirements to develop a Looker dashboard. This didn’t exist so we could not make data-driven decisions for prioritizing product features. Part of this exercise was to identify engagement metrics that will allow us to understand this product was used. Below are the engagement metrics I proposed to measure.
- User activation (a new member enrolling and consuming a one mediation session within 5 days)
- Daily session completion
- Weekly Session completion
- Daily streaks
Outcome: Our new dashboard revealed that new users were not engaging with Whil’s concept. My hypothesis was that if we can get someone to do a 1 to 5-minute meditation session from Whil’s introductory course to mindfulness, users will not see the value of this product and will churn. To this end, we started to play close action to what we call “Activation Rate” which was below 10% (Activation rate = A new member consuming a meditation session within 5 days”). The new dashboard also revealed that we had product features that were not used by our end-users, these features were driven by our sales team, but were ill-conceived and not aligned with the needs of their end-users. This was helpful because it allowed me to make the case that we needed to simplify the experience.
2) I facilitated a workshop with the CEO, where we did a comparative analysis of other digital products in the behavioral change space:
This lets us identify one key product feature which was based on the idea of promoting new users to do a 1 to 5-minute meditation session as part of their onboarding experience. Before this, the experience was focused on prompting users to complete courses of 6 to 10 sessions per course. Through this exercise, I also realized we needed to apply gamification technics to our design thinking to help users to create a new habit around mindfulness.
3) Define Whil brand attributes:
I used this exercise to benchmark Whil’s current experience, which allowed me to convince the CEO that we needed to redesign this product from the ground up. I also used this as a point of reference to benchmark the redesign of this experience.
Designing and developing
At this point, I was very clear that we needed to do the following, in order to start helping new members create a new habit around mindfulness and medication.
- Overhaul the visual language based on Whil’s brand attributes
- Improve activation by prompting a daily meditation practice – and help members focus on completing individual sessions, rather than courses with multiple sessions.
- Reorganize the content and experience of Whil to help new members to mediate more often
- Redesign the audio and video player for users to listed to guided meditation sessions or watch a yoga class.
1) Overhaul Whil Visual language
We started out by exploring a new visual identity system (color scheme, typography, photography and illustrations). I put a lot of empansis on photography and illustrations since they were major visual elements of the overall Whil experience. For started I presented several “brand tiles” to show all the different elements of Whil’s visual lenguage. Below is what we went with.
2) Helping new users get started with a 5 minute guided meditation session:
We thought that the best way to bring forward the value of this product was by getting new users to do a short meditation session as soon as possible. For this, we prompted users to select a topic they wanted to work on, like reducing stress, from there we will prompt them to do a session, give them a daily streak to keep them motivated, and ask them to set a time to meditate the next day.
3) recategorize their content by the section that reflects specific outcomes.
Users can now choose to do a daily or complete training coursed based on areas they will like to work on for their wellbeing.
- Learn to meditate
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Be happier
- Focus and grow
- Improve relationships
- Boost your physical health
- Build emotional intellignace
- Take one-minute breaks
- Thrive at work
- Practice yoga
- Sleep better
4) Redesign the audio and video player of their mobile and web app
Within 2 weeks we were able to observe the following
- Improve activation rates by 20%
- Improve daily usages by 35%
- Improve weekly usage by 44%
- Overall app and reviews rating at the app store went up from 3.5 to 4.8
- Defined metrics to measure overall engagement and outcomes
- The new experience that is user-centric helped sales close new contracts with Magellan Health and Cornerstone
- Streamline our sprint cycles since now we have a unified code-base for the mobile native and web app experience
You can see a demo prototype of this product here.