Calm’s Carefully Curated New User Experience
Calm is a meditation and mindfulness mobile app for iOS and Android that recently raised a $27 million Series B extension round.
Apparently, mindfulness can take a bit of money to both create and access. Yearly subscriptions to Calm cost $69.99 per year—but users can access the service for free for 7 days while they test it out.
So how does Calm show enough value to demand it’s hefty price tag without overwhelming the very person looking to relax?
Let's take a look:
Calm starts off by promoting users to take a big ol’ deep breath. If someone downloaded the app in a moment of mental anguish, this thing is working already.
It then prompts users to select what they are looking for—these kinds of inputs are sometimes called declared data.
Users can choose as many items as they want.
Now that users are relaxed from their deep breath and excited about all of the possible benefits, it’s time to create an account.
Next up, a bit of necessary friction. At this point, users agree to the $69.99/year charge, but the 7 day free trial helps to limit the concern. If we were betting people, we’d wager this is the biggest point of falloff in their onboarding flow.
Users have one more question before they start getting recommended content—how comfortable they are with meditation. Just a bit more declared data for personalization.
And then it’s time to jump in! Users get a screen of personalized content based on their previous statements.
Once users work their way through their recommended content, they land on Calm’s home screen and are greeted with a tooltip that indicates where they should begin. Since we said we were interested in meditation, we start our journey there.
The meditation section greets us with another tooltip that highlights content we might find useful.
Heading back to the main screen prompts us to check out yet another feature—sleep.
The sleep stories section greets us with another tooltip—but wait—is that Matthew McConaughey?
Yup! Wooderson himself is reading us a story that reminds us of these sage words: “Let me tell you this, the older you do get the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin' man, L-I-V-I-N.”
Why this is really good UX:
- Emotion management: Well-timed questions and mindfulness prompts in the onboarding flow sets expectations for a great—and calm—experience.
- Personalization: Users get super-targeted, personalized content recommendations using declared data captured during the onboarding flow.
- Clear UI patterns: Tooltips call out where to begin so the user doesn’t feel overwhelmed. Direction equals calmness.
- Delight: Matthew freaking McConaughey will read you a bedtime story. Worth $70 alone, to be honest.