Zenti Meditation Timer. Available in the AppStore.
Create a meditation app that prioritizes ease-of-use while providing options for detailed customization.
1 person team
Product Design, UI Design, Engineering
Aren’t there enough meditation apps out there?
I’ve been trying to learn iOS development on and off for years. It never really stuck. When SwiftUI came along, everything changed. It just made sense to me. I had fun with it for a while following along with Recreate UI. Then, I decided to get more serious and committed to doing 100 Days of SwiftUI. When I finished those courses, I couldn’t wait to build my own app.
This all happened in the middle of the pandemic so I’d also been learning more about meditation as a way to relax and cope with everything going on. I found myself constantly frustrated by the apps on the market and decided that would be a great target for my first app.
There are tons of apps in the meditation space and while this was a learning exercise for me, I figured I should at least try and make something that others would find useful. Otherwise, what’s the point? So, I started thinking about what frustrates me in the other apps and how I could stand out. I found my answers very quickly.
Get out of my way, I just
want to meditate.
My biggest problem with the existing mediation market was the flood of distractions. The apps had content feeds, tutorials, social media, events, and other features that I cared nothing about. I also struggled with the focus on beginners. They simplified the timer so much that you couldn’t dial in specific settings.
In short, if you wanted to do a simple, unguided meditation, it was a pain. I was going to try and fix that.
If you wanted to do an unguided meditation, it was a pain. I was going to try and fix that.
I went through many design iterations but they all shared one core idea. Make it as easy as possible to start a meditation when you open the app. That meant surfacing details like the duration and interval settings on the main screen.
To keep things user friendly I tried to find a balance between simplified options that would make starting a timer quick while also providing advanced settings for those that needed them.
Zenti ended up in a pretty good spot. I was able to incorporate all the main features I wanted and I’m pretty happy with the results.
Of course learning a new programming language is going to be hard but that was expected so it didn’t stand out as a big deal. It’s always the unexpected challenges that stick with me.
One of those was dark mode. I’ve been designing UIs for years but haven’t had to tackle dark mode before. Even for an app a small as this one, it was tough because I had to combine it with themes. For every color theme I wanted to provide, I needed to think through how that would work in light and dark mode on every screen.
Here are a few of the ways I tackled this problem:
I have a new found respect for the work that goes into creating dark mode especially for bigger apps.
How’s it going? So, so.
Overall, I’m happy that people are using it. Some enjoy it enough to give me money. If this wasn’t the case, I’d still make the app because I find it useful and building things is an incredible way to learn.
There are some insights I’ve gained from that data though.