The Rise of Mindfulness Apps with Frank Bach, Lead Product Designer at Headspace

You’ve probably heard of, or even used, the widely popular mindfulness app Headspace. And even if you haven’t used the product to meditate, it’s likely you’ve encountered the brand elsewhere—through its Netflix series, perhaps, or through partnerships with other health products. Frank Bach, lead product designer at Headspace, has been part of the company’s growth for the last five years. He reflects on how the Headspace brand made mindfulness mainstream, and looks to the horizon for how Headspace will provide users with more support & guidance around mental health. 

Takeaways

  • “Ideas are great, but execution is the hardest.” 
  • Great brand design can give your product early significance and build an audience. 
  • When a product is the first to address a problem, it must adapt when new competitors emerge in a market.

Things To Listen For

  • [1:45] Exploring Frank’s entrepreneurial aspirations
  • [2:15] How Frank’s personal mindfulness journey brought him to Headspace
  • [4:50] Why meditation became “a tool to find [Frank’s] compass”
  • [6:00] Why solving problems motivates Frank as lead product designer
  • [7:00] The chief challenge of entrepreneurship: “ideas are great, but execution is the hardest”
  • [8:20] Why Frank strives to bring more support and guidance to Headspace users
  • [9:15] Christian’s own experience with meditation & mindfulness
  • [11:00] Unpacking Headspace’s collaboration with other health tech products
  • [13:50] Looking at how COVID-19 brought more public awareness to mental health
  • [16:30] Why meditation is more permanent than “a fad”
  • [18:00] How the Headspace brand team and product design team work together
  • [20:30] How the Headspace brand is what made much of the early app successful
  • [23:15] Defining how Frank measures success in a product
  • [24:30] How Google’s heart framework can show the impact of Headspace’s design
  • [25:40] Why “not everything that is measured matters” in product design
  • [27:00] How the emergence of other mental health apps affects Headspace
  • [28:00] Exploring adjacent vs. direct competitors to Headspace
  • [30:00] How becoming a parent influences Frank’s approach to product design
  • [33:50] Why Frank now works believing “everything is an experiment”
  • [37:30] Why teletherapy & coaching is the future of Headspace

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