Michelle Hessel

Urbamind: UX | UI


A social platform for urban people who are interested in having a more mindful lifestyle.


Categories: Self Initiated, UX, UI, Concept Design

Tools: Sketch, InVision, Photoshop, Illustrator

Role: Designer


Why this matters?

Big cities can drain you. And even though many of us are aware of the importance of bringing mindful experiences to our day by day in order to fight the stressors of urban life, there is very little time for thinking about spiritual practice.


The Challenge

Make mindfulness easy and accessible
for people who are very busy with the rest of their lives.


The Solution

A social platform that gathers mindful possibilities around the user, creates community and brings small moments of mindfulness to their day.



Marianne is a 28 New Yorker who works as at a fashion magazine in the experiential marketing team. She works from 9am until 9pm almost every day and feels guilty for not taking care of her mind and body.

Her excuses:
“I am too busy.”
“I wouldn’t know where to start.”
“I have more important things to do.”
"I don't know anybody there."

After talking to 10 potential users, I understood that it was important to offer solutions that are around them in the city itself as much as in-app mindful activities that can be done anywhere. Providing these 2 options in a unique platform lowers the chance of them coming up with the usual excuses and increases the chance of mindfulness being seen as a gift, not a burden.

Sketches and early prototypes: 



Discover what is around you

This is a key feature of the app. The goal is not to be just another meditation app, but to encourage the user to find unique mindful activities around them. 


The Events section of the app allows users to post/confirm presence/check-in in events and connect with other users. The goal is to create a sense of community in which everyone can change not only they’re habits, but also influence they’re environment. Also, the stronger the community in the app, the more likely it is for people to use the app more frequently.

In-App Activities

The built in activities are a way to provide a quick mindful moment to the user even if they are in a hurry and cannot go somewhere or if they just needs a quick break. These are fast, but the overall progress can be tracked and that works as a mechanism to bring users back. Each activity tackles a different point related to mindfulness:

1.    5 minutes self-awareness meditation - Body Awareness

2.    5 minutes breathing exercises - Body Awareness

3.    Buddha board - Relaxation, Focus

4.    Relaxing melodies - Relaxation


Personalized Notifications

If allowed by the user, push messages will be send according to their preset interests. For example, if the person says they are interested in yoga and there is a free class happening 0.5 miles away, Urbamind can make the user aware of that event a few hours before.

What else is out there

Location-based: The most similar product in the market is an app called “Mindbody”. The app shows the user what is nearby and can "make your life healthier and happier". The main differences between Urbamind and Mindbody is that their range of services go way beyond mindfulness. They have a list of places you can practice yoga but they also have indoor cycling spots, salons, skin care clinics, massage places etc. They also don’t keep track of events, don’t show temples, don't have any built in mindful activity and they do not try to create a sense of community among the users.

In-app Mindfulness: There are several options of Mindful apps out there, but these focus on one activity (mostly meditation). Some examples:


Design System