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Reimagining the Navigation on Content Rich Mental Health App 

What This Project is About

Headspace Health is a mental health and mindfulness provider. They have found that members have a difficult time finding content that is relevant to them. I was called in to perform a UX Audit and discover alternative navigational pathways and content structures for the Explore Tab in the app. My task was to introduce a more nuanced and strategic solution. The outcome of this project was 4 unique usability problems with solutions in content strategy, and structure. each solution was presented in a phased approach.


Priyanka Malaware


3 Months

Product Designer/ Strategist


I had full ownership of this project and collaborated closely with my product manager, research team, and design team. My responsibilities included conducting a comprehensive UX audit, performing heuristic evaluations, designing and executing a research study, delving into analytics, conducting stakeholder interviews, and proposing conceptual design directions.

Current Problem with Explore Tab

Headspace has changed their bottom Navigation from a 4 tab model to a 3-tab model. This has attracted more attention on Explore tab. 66% of today tab bouncers go to the Explore tab to discover new and relevant content.


Members are feeling frustrated as they are unable to find relevant content, leading to churn.


Content creation is continuously ramping and our content library is not conducive to discovery.


Members are finding the Explore tab inconsistent and confusing due to a disorganized presentation of different content formats.


Discover & Define

  • Stakeholder Interviews

  • UX Audit

    • Review existing research and design proposals

    • Review Quantitative Analysis

    • Heuristic Evaluation

    • Qualitative Research 

      • 3 existing members ​

      • 4 new members

    • Synthesis - Problem List


Product Strategy + Design

  • Explore conceptual directions for the content pages, Collections, Courses, and Programs

  • Light user testing

  • Finalized Designs

  • Share the final proposal with stakeholders

What We Wanted to Learn?

  • When/why do members encounter confusion when looking for content? What are the pain points?

  • To what degree do members understand our content before interacting with it?

  • “How much information should we provide? Is what we currently have not enough? Is it too much?”  -Ken Seeno, Director of Design

  • “Our mantra at headspace is to always move forward, are we explicitly explaining that in our experience?” - Cal Thompson, VP End to End Design

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Discover & Design

Understanding Member Pain Points from Research

After synthesizing my findings, I pin pointed 4 areas of improvement in users' journey through behavioral Mapping. ​

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Members don’t have a clear mental model of content formats 


Members select content based on their needs


Members are feeling frustrated as they are unable to find relevant content, leading to churn.


Members require more guidance when interacting with Collections


Members encounter information overload on the course info pages

Finding // 1 

Learning 1

Lack of Clear Mental Model of Content Formats

A lack of distinguishable formats and clear navigation leads to member's inability to differentiate between a Course, Guided Programs, and a Collection

Which leads to confusion between progression-oriented contents and collections.

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  • HMW distinguishes content with progression from content without it?


  • What design strategies can be employed to communicate the content formats more effectively?


Headspace had recently released a framework for understanding their members. As seen on the graph headspace members are categorized in four persona's, based on the way they managed care (structured vs. fluid) and what brings them to care (maintaining vs repair.) 


Currently, Headspace organizes its content into three main categories. To gain insight into these categories, I began exploring them from the perspective of member mindsets.


This exploration involved assessing the degree of structure versus fluidity within these content types, aligning them with the varying mindsets of our members.

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Upon delving deeper into these three categories, I discovered distinct experiences within each of them.


Within the Course category, which offers a progression-based experience, there exist two subcategories: Guided Programs and Meditation Courses.

Similarly, within Collections, there are those designed to be experienced in a linear format, following a specific sequence, while others are intended to be more browsable, allowing users to explore content in a non-linear manner.

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  • Categorizing linear experience collections as Courses enables the ecosystem to effectively meet the diverse needs of all members.


  • Creating a distinct format for all experiences that involve progression.

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Design & Strategy // 1

Current Information Architecture 

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Recommended Need Based Information Architecture 

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Finding //2

Learning 2

Need is the Primary Driver of Content Selection

Our study showed that members rely significantly on their interpretation of content titles to identify suitable materials.

“Because when I opened I saw Shine collection, I looked at it and I was like, what does that even mean?”

PS 4, New Member | 25, (N/A), Orlando,FL

Members expressed a preference for content with a specific focus to be presented to them.

“Let’s find out what can benefit me best first and then present me with options related to that.”

PS 6, New Member | 45, (He/Him/His), Branchburg, NJ


  • HMW design an intuitive content discovery interface that aligns with different stages of members’ mental health journey?

  • HMW strikes a balance between a content-oriented company and a mental health provider?


Make titles explicit and provide a consistent structure under each title

Structure the Explore tab content based on explicit titles to meet members’ contextual needs.

Example: “Sleep in nature” instead of “National Park Collection”


As members delve deeper into the explore sections, the content categories should become more specific and allow members to narrow down their choices.

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Design Recommendation

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Design & Strategy // 2

To achieve a Tab- Based Navigation, I recommended a phased design approach where we can continue to iterate on final navigation.

Version 1 // Enhancement 

Enhancing the existing design of the Modes to address immediate UX issues.

  1. Change Hero design 

  2. Separate and organize topics based on content type 

  3. Adding a "View More" Button to avoid infinite scroll 

Version 2 // Evolution

Validating the changes from V1 and build upon the positive enhancements.

  1. Change Header design

  2. Change collection tiles for more clarity 

  3. Adding logic to collections order

Version 3 // Filtering

Implement filtering within Modes to assess and gain insights into members content preferences and their mental model. 

Version 4 // Tab-based Navigation

Implement filtering within Modes to assess and gain insights into members content preferences and their mental model. 

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Finding //3

Learning 3

Lack of explicit guidance when interacting with a collection

The descriptions of a collection fail to provide clear guidance about the collection's intent and contents.

Members reported a lack of a clear starting point when interacting with collections.

“Labeling that top experience as an introduction to the collection would be useful.” 

PS 1, New Member | 27, (She/Her/Hers), Cedartown, GA

Members are unable to easily find relevant content when overloaded with extensive text and unorganized content types.


  • HMW design a cohesive and unified structure for collections that effectively supports and guides members with varying needs?

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Designing a collection page that caters to all aspects of our member’s needs: 

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Design & Strategy // 3

Design-build phases for Ideal Collection structure

Version 1 // Guidance

  1. Indication of starting point 

  2. Organization based on content type 

  3. Sticky Header for each Category 

Version 2 // Dynamic 

  1. Updating the hero section to offer clear introduction to collection

  2. Adapting hero based on members first or subsequent entry

Version 3 // Category Selection

  1. Incorporating accordion design 

  2. Incorporating row design

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What My Team Said

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This project pushed me to rethink how I tackle problems, emphasizing the importance of a systematic approach and the value of collaborating with people from different backgrounds.

As I dove into it, I discovered the power of workshopping and the benefits of taking a step back to explore alternative solutions. It's been eye-opening to see how considering different perspectives can lead to more robust solutions.

Looking back, I can't help but think that involving collaborators earlier would have made a big difference. If I had the chance to redo this project, I'd make it a priority to bring them in sooner. Their insights could have added so much more depth to the process from the get-go.

This project presented a notable challenge in refining my storytelling abilities. Given the time constraints of a 40-minute presentation, I had to meticulously craft a narrative that encapsulated a significant amount of work. This task compelled me to dedicate substantial effort to iterating on my storytelling approach, exploring various structures and techniques to ensure clarity and engagement.

I still sometimes think back about other possible solutions to explore for this problem especially as I'm using the app! 

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Final Word

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