How to Create a Wellness App like Headspace?

How to Create a Wellness App like Headspace
Faiza Khalid
CIS engineer | Developer | Tech Writer

Are you wondering how to create a wellness app?

The digital fitness app market is continuously expanding, and the revenue of the wellness app market is expected to reach the value of 47.70 billion USD in 2027, with a CAGR of 15.16%, according to a Statista research report.

The market segment includes fitness apps, health monitoring apps, nutrition apps, workout apps, meditation apps, physical activity tracking apps, etc. 

The variety of digital fitness applications and their popularity among the masses to look after their health in an otherwise unhealthy lifestyle; offer numerous opportunities for business owners to invest in the market and mark their share in the profits.

Create a Wellness App like Headspace

Headspace is a mobile app that helps users improve their mental health through guided meditation, mindfulness, and guidance for cultivating life-changing habits. 

The app helps people reduce stress in extreme situations, improve their sleep quality, and focus on tasks for increased productivity.

Headspace offers mindfulness practicing options like daily meditation, sleep meditation, stress and anxiety relief, meditation for kids, etc.

The app offers a 14-day free trial period. Users can opt for monthly or yearly subscriptions to avail app’s services for their mental health support.

You can create a wellness app like Headspace by going through the following steps:

Research your Wellness App Idea and Decide on the Project Scope

You will perform health app market research to analyze the feasibility of your wellness app idea. You need to analyze the competitor applications, end user demographics, limitations in the current mental wellness apps, app users’ expectations, etc.

You will finalize how your wellness app will address users’ concerns, validate your proposed app solution against market risks, and decide on the features of your wellness application. 

A mental wellness application has the following key features:

User Sign Up/In: A simple app registration process that lets users sign up through an email address or a social media account, like Google or Facebook. A sign-in feature that lets users use an app without entering their credentials on every app visit.

User Profile: User can save their basic profile details and health progress, bookmark wellness content for later, invite friends, etc.

Content-Base: A mental health knowledge base, including articles, audio clips, and video tutorials, on meditation, mindfulness exercise programs, stress management activities, mental health tips, etc. This also includes courses on mental health activity with various difficulty levels and time durations.

Push Notifications: This feature is necessary to keep users active on your app. You can send personalized messages, app alerts, daily health tips, etc., that compel users to click and engage with your wellness app.

Social Media Integrations: Users today are fond of sharing their life updates on social media. Wellness app integrations with social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., allow users to share your app content and their mental health journey with their social media contacts.

Gamification: Gamification features like leaderboard, progress bars, achievements, etc., keep users engaged with app content and increase user retention rate, return on ad-spent (ROAS), etc.

Progress Charts: Reports and charts show app users their progress in the mental health journey. 

Payment Gateway: A robust payment gateway integration allows app users to seamlessly make in-app purchases and subscribe to services.

Create a Wellness App Development team

You will require a professional app development team to create a feature-rich, secure, and scalable wellness app. You will need the following roles in your team:

  • A UI/UX designer designs an interactive and intuitive app user interface.
  • An iOS developer makes mobile apps for iOS mobile devices.
  • An Android developer creates apps for Android phones.
  • An application tester conducts a quality assurance process for mobile apps.
  • A business analyst studies the user market, explores business development opportunities, and proposes solutions for business product limitations.
  • A project manager manages the entire app development process, team members, etc.

Select App Development Methodology

Your development team will follow a software development methodology to develop your wellness app.

A software development methodology refers to a series of processes to define, design, develop, test, and deploy a software product.

Agile methodologies are quite popular in the software development industry.

Scrum, an agile development and project management framework, helps developers accelerate the mobile application development process with quick time-to-market, smaller development iterations, close collaboration with end users, etc.

We would advise you to form a scrum team to create your wellness app.

A scrum master (project manager) manages your developers/testers and maintains close communication between team members in sprint planning, task assignment, etc.

Moreover, the scrum team conducts daily standup, weekly scrum, and retrospective meetings to discuss overall project progress, team members’ performance, lessons learned from mistakes, etc.

You can read our article on best project management frameworks for more details.

Provide Software Application Infrastructure

The next step is the provision of software app development infrastructure to your development team, including backend support, memory management, security frameworks, database solutions, etc.

Cloud computing is popular among software business owners due to the various benefits cloud-based computing and storage resources offer.

Some benefits include easy access to cutting-edge technologies, fast setup, minimum startup costs, no maintenance expenses, etc.

For example, Microsoft Azure offers robust cloud-based tools and services to help developers code and deploy your wellness app. 

Your developers can use Azure Functions as a serverless backend of your wellness app, Mobile Apps, a more comprehensive cloud platform that offers a backend server, data storage, offline data synchronization, user authentication, push notifications, etc. 

Our article on Azure vs. AWS provides a detailed comparison of the two leading cloud service providers.

Design your Wellness App

Your UI/UX designers will design your wellness app frontend layout and UI components. They will decide on UI elements placements, typography, color palette, and overall visual design according to UI techniques, such as consistency, minimalism, uniformity, etc.

They will also follow user experience practices to produce a desirable, intuitive, and easy-to-navigate app user interface.

Your app designers will create low-fidelity wireframes that explain each app screen design in a logical order and high-priority prototypes that describe visual details, the functionality of each app component, etc.

Tools like Sketch, Adobe XD, Figma, etc., will help your UI/UX designers with visual designing and wireframing of a wellness app.

Create your Wellness App as an MVP

Your mobile app developers will create the front end and back end of your mobile application according to your decided specifications and design prototypes.

We would suggest you build a minimum viable product for your wellness application. A minimum viable product or an MVP has all the essential features to deliver the core functionality of your software product.

An MVP helps to validate your app idea in the user market and is improvised in successive development stages per user feedback.

You can opt for two types of mobile applications, native apps, and hybrid apps.

Native App Development

A native app is for a specific device. Native apps use device-specific hardware and software features like GPS, camera, processor, etc., and give optimized user experience and app performance. 

The two popular mobile operating systems with the largest market share are Android and iOS. You will create separate apps for both mobile platforms.

Android Application Development

Your Android app developers will use the following tech stack:

Java or Kotlin as a programming language, you can read our article for a detailed comparison between the two;

  • Android Studio or Eclipse development IDE that helps code, compile, and test app code;
  • Android SDK, a collection of development libraries, utilities, and tools like Android debug manager, Android device manager, etc., to accelerate the app development process;
  • Gradle as a build automation tool;
  • SQLite, an open-source relational database technology;
  • ML Kit by Google to make your wellness app more engaging through advanced app features based on machine learning algorithms, such as NLP-based chatbot support, personalized meditation courses, etc.;
  • Features and APIs by Android for media controls, authentication, accessibility, push notifications, etc.
iOS App Development

Your iOS developers should be familiar with the following tools and technologies:

  • Objective-C or Swift programming language, Apple recommends Swift for iOS app development. Our article on Swift vs. Objective-C gives a detailed comparison;
  • Xcode, a development IDE integrated with compiler and source control, helps code and compile app code;
  • RxSwift, a comprehensive reactive programming library;
  • CocoaPods as a dependency manager;
  • Parse to manage backend storage, file management, auto-scaling, etc.
  • APIs by Apple for push notifications, in-app payments, audio kit, video toolbox, etc.;
  • Core ML, a machine learning framework, to implement ML algorithms in your wellness app and build features like personalized app experience, perform data analytics, etc.;
  • Core Data, a persistence framework, SQLite, Realm, etc., as database management systems.

Hybrid Fitness Application Development

Hybrid applications are cross-platform. Developers write code once and run it on every device. The app performance is not very optimized compared to native apps as the app code is not for specific hardware and software specifications.

Developers wrap code in a native container to run on multiple mobile operating systems. 

Hybrid app developers use the following development technologies:

  • Standard web programming technologies, like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5;
  • App development frameworks, like Nativescript, Apache Cordova, Xamarin, etc.;
  • Database technologies like Realm, SQLite, Amazon DynamoDB, etc.;
  • Open-source libraries, like jQuery, moment.js, etc.;
  • Cloudflare network for app security against DDoS and other cyber threats;
  • APIs like Twilio SendGrid, Stripe, IBM MobileFirst, etc., for features like emails, in-app purchases, push notifications, etc.

Test your Application

Your app developers will write unit and integration test cases to test the functionality of individual code components and how accurately they interface with each other. 

Local test routines in Android Studio allow developers to perform unit and integration tests. Android Studio also supports a Java testing framework called JUnit. 

AndroidX Test by Android offers several libraries to run tests on android devices, including functional, performance, accessibility, and compatibility. 

Your testers will also use Espresso, an open-source UI testing framework, to test the application interface and interactivity.

Apple offers a comprehensive XCTest framework to test iOS apps. 

XCTest integrates smoothly with the XCode testing flow and allows testers to write unit and integration test cases, and perform asynchronous tests, performance tests, UI tests, etc.

Multiple open-source tools are available for testing hybrid mobile and web applications. 

For example, your developers can use Jasmine by IBM, QUnit, expect.js, etc. 

Most hybrid testing tools help automate quality assurance routines to ensure app security, functionality, performance, scalability, etc.

You can consult our guide on how to write QA documentation for more information.

Deploy your Mobile App

Once you are satisfied with your application performance and are sure it meets its functional and non-functional requirements, your app developers will initiate the app deployment plan.

Your developers will follow DevOps practices to ensure faster delivery of your app features with continuous testing and delivery, collaborate closely with each other, and monitor app performance.

Apple and Android provide app publishing guidelines. You can find them here and here. Your developers will ensure that your wellness application meets all the requirements and ranks successfully on Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Monitor Progress and Provide Support

App store reviews and in-app surveys will help gauge your wellness app performance among the target audience. You will collect user feedback and suggestions and improve your mobile app accordingly.

No mobile app survives without regular technical support. Your developers will follow a maintenance plan to periodically test your app and upgrade it with new software versions, hardware updates, etc.

Ready to Create a Wellness App?

You will require a professional team of software app developers and project managers to deliver a wellness app that makes its mark in the competitive mobile app landscape. 

If you, as a business CEO or CTO, do not find expert talent on your team, we would advise you to partner with a software development company with experience in mobile application development.

Why not hire software engineers from the field-expert software developers and project managers community at DevTeamSpace

All our developers are vetted for their software development skills and have experience developing software solutions for multiple industries.

You can partner with these software developers by sending us your initial project specifications.

One of our account managers will get back to you to discuss further details on how we can help you create a wellness application.

FAQs on How to Create a Wellness App

1. How do I make my own fitness app?

You will need to perform a market analysis to validate your own workout app or fitness app idea, understand end-user requirements, etc. Next, you will decide on application specifications, monetization strategy, marketing techniques, etc. You will require a team of fitness app developers and testers to build a competitive app. Your app development team will design, develop, test, and publish your health app.

2. How much does it cost to create a fitness app?

The actual cost of a fitness application, workout plan app, or health app development depends on the complexity of your app features. Such apps for the fitness industry can cost anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars. You can consult DevTeamSpace to get a more accurate estimate for your fitness app development.

3. What is a wellness mobile app?

A wellness app helps users adopt a healthy lifestyle through meditation, mindfulness, nutrition management, sleep therapy, etc. A free fitness app for mental and physical health has few features as compared to paid apps.


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