3rdi is an education mobile app targeted towards teens. This period of life can be conflicting for many of them. Hence to ensure that teens don’t digress towards a troubled life, 3rdi, was built to help them mindfulness exercise. This native android app allows teens to meditate and focus on their inner self.
The concept of mindfulness was brought to the western culture in 1970s by Jon Kabat Zinn. While doing a mindfulness exercise one does not have a goal to achieve, it is just about being aware of oneself. The 3rdi app has been crafted to assist teens experience the benefits of mindfulness and contribute to their emotional well-being.
The need for mindfulness, now, is more than it has been ever, especially amongst teenagers. It refers to the mental state of focusing towards your present without being judgemental.
One would rarely associate mindfulness with teenagers. However, the opposite is true.
The growing pressure of studies, peer-competition, drugs & violence, relationships etc. are some of the common issues faced by teens today. Teaching mindfulness, therefore, can bring about positive changes in teenagers.
There have been countless studies showing how mindfulness can reduce stress, anxiety, depression and improve concentration. It even helps teens perform better in exams. Can there be a better way to inculcate the concept of mindfulness in the daily lives of teens than mobile? With this idea, Daisy M. Pascualvaca, Ph. D. and Associates collaborated with Multidots to engineer the 3rdi mobile application for mentally and physically challenged teens.
Daisy M. Pascualvaca, Ph. D. and Scott Morgan run a Neuropsychology Center in Washington D.C. Area to help parents and their kids apply mindful techniques for improving their lives. Learn more about them here.
3rdi is a game-based Mindfulness app crafted to help teenagers improve every aspect of their lives ranging from academic to personal. The 15 short meditation exercises in this app allow one to channel his/her energy in a positive direction. The app uniquely combines the power of neuropsychology with mindfulness that improves a teen’s performance, stamina and focus. Moreover, 3rdi is designed in a way to reduce anxiety and stress too.
The app is divided into 3 levels namely:
Each of these stages has 5 meditation exercises each. With the successful completion of an exercise, one earns rewards.
Multidots has been the trusted mobile development partner for 3rdi for Daisy M. Pascualvaca, Ph. D. and Associates. We have provided complete support to them right from the design & development stage to the app’s launch & upgrades. We offered the following services
Crafting beautiful designs & animations for 3rdi mobile app was nothing short than challenging. Our creative team had to do a lot of brainstorming to build up the ideas provided by the client. It took about 3 months to finalize the design screens for the app. Our team used three tools for designing and animation tasks.
The black and white wireframes were provided by the client as a part of their creative brief. However, as we progressed, the design requirements improvised and a lot of changes had to be incorporated according. For instance, this was the wireframe given by the client for the very first screen. This was the original idea of having a bridge.
Our designers did a lot of research and took to the internet for inspiration. Next, they came up with this black and white design in corel draw.
However, as mentioned earlier, the ideas evolved, and finally it was decided to have stones instead of a bridge.
Similar was the case with avatar. Our designer created almost 9-10 variations of the avatar. The client wanted an avatar that looked neither male nor female. After a lot of brainstorming, we prepared these sketches and out of this, we took a photograph of one final avatar and sent it to client..
He, again, made some changes and sent it back.
So, this is how the avatar was finalized.
Implementing animations was the most difficult part. Each level of 3rdi app has various elements. For instance, the first stage consists of Cheery Tree. Designing a tree with cherries and the green landscape with squirrels and birds around was challenging. Each element was initially designed with different variations and animation was incorporated into those using HTML5 and CSS3.
Technical challenges faced
Crafting compelling animations and assets were the most daunting tasks faced by our team while implementing this project. The wireframes were already provided by the client. However, we were tasked to make the app look visually appealing and creative. Our designers used HTML5 and CSS3 to come up with eye-catching animations and UI design for the app. The coding for animations has been done in a way to deliver an optimal user experience.
During the initial stages of the project, our client wanted to ensure that all the 3-levels were provided to the users. Now, considering the 15 exercises and the type of options provided for audio and language (a user can choose a male or female voice and select from Spanish & English language options).
Now, when all the three levels were provided to the users, the app size was hefty as long as 700 MB. It didn’t make sense for someone to pay $2-3 for a700 MB application.
What happened was all the levels containing different assets (audio/video files) were downloaded for different options. For instance, if somebody selected a male voice-over and Spanish as a language, the app would also download the female voice-over and English language option. This increased the size of the app and as a result, there were fewer app downloads.
An APK, according to Google Play, must not be more than 50 MB. Because this app had large assets including heavy media files, expansion file had to be used. Google Play hosts those expansion files for the app.
The expansion files are saved to the device’s shared storage location (the SD card or USB-mountable partition; also known as the “external” storage) where your app can access them. On most devices, Google Play downloads the expansion file(s) at the same time it downloads the APK, so your application has everything it needs when the user opens it for the first time. In some cases, however, your application must download the files from Google Play when your application starts. (Source: developer.android.com)
This was still hurting the user experience. So, the client decided to make the first level free of cost and the other two levels paid. After using Google Play Service Library, we were able to bring down the app size to less than 50 MB. The assets were uploaded on the server-side.
Now, what happens is when a user downloads the app, he/she is asked about his voice (male/female) and language (English/Spanish) preferences. This means, if a user selects a male voice-over with Spanish language, only those files are downloaded.
The size of 3rdi mobile app in the initial stages. Large assets including media files for 15 exercises.
With two options each for voice-over and language preference, the mobile app download all the assets when the app was installed on a user’s device.
So, we decided to make the downloading of assets on-demand and moved the assets to the cloud. Now, when a user downloads the app, he/she is asked his/her preference for voice-over and language in the beginning. This means the assets of the selected option are downloaded, making the size of the app smaller.
The size of 3rdi mobile app at present
Using the Google Play Service Library and above mentioned approach, we were able to reduce the size of the app.