PRAY : The one stop spiritual and religious destination
UX DESIGN | RESEARCH | PROTOTYPING
My Role and Responsibilities
Research : Competitive research, User interviews, Surveys
UX Design: Sketches, Wireframing, Usability Testing
About the Project
Internship Project at MapmyIndia
Project Duration : Aug'20 - Dec'20
In the current era that we live in it has become difficult for people to maintain closeness to their roots and it has also become a necessity for your own peace of mind to practice spiritual practices. We aim to help people to be able to find all the content that they need to do so on one single platform!
Pray helps people stay connected to their religious and spiritual roots. It is your one-stop destination for learning about Indian culture, religions, worship places and so much more.
Let's first look at how it started
The CEO of MapmyIndia, Rohan Verma was keen on experimenting with building new products other than their core speciality of building mapping technologies. When a fresh batch of enthusiastic interns joined, he greeted us with a fresh new problem statement of building something in the space of spirituality for the indian audience. With this open ended problem statement at hand we put our best minds together to build PRAY!
With a open ended problem statement of building a product to meet the spiritual needs of people, we started brainstorming the possible directions we could take with tackling the problem statement.
We started with listing down all the possible things that people associate with Spirituality. Leading to two broad buckets :
1. Personal Spiritual Practices
2. Religious Practices
Next up we started listing all the possible services/ features that could fall into each of these buckets
India being a place of extremely rich heritage and full of people who take immense pride in the cultural and religious heritage of the country. A country known for its yogic practices and religious practices alike has a lot of people who derive their spiritual peace from varied practices. Post out brainstorming, to understand what people really want and what problem do we want to solve and for whom we started with out research!
Through the research we wanted to identify the following things
1. What do people want when it comes to fulfilling their spiritual needs?
2. Who is the target audience we want to focus on?
3. What is already out there and how is it received?
To get these answers we broke our research into two parts :
Primary Research and Secondary research. Let's look at the insights from each one of them!
In order to understand the kind of products that are out there and how people react to them, we decided to do a thorough market research. We again broke down the platforms into the categories mentioned above and benchmarked them with respect to features, adoption and user reviews.
A analysis of existing platforms
Insights from the Secondary Research :
1. The market has a lot of good meditation apps
2. There are a lot of apps for religious needs but they are all scattered among different users
3. Most meditation apps seem concentrated towards young audience
4. There was no market leader found in the religious apps so there is ample of scope for development
From the secondary research we concluded that there are a lot of well established apps for meditation, guided meditation, concentration, soothing music and other things like these. Although there were a lot of apps in the religious space as well, they catered to very specific needs and were not well adopted. We found immense potential for development in this domain.
Some data from trusted national surveys
We tried to do some research from existing data about the prevalence and importance of religious practices in India to validate if this was the area we wanted to focus on.
1. User research using a Survey
To understand what users actually wanted, who our target audience should be we decided to do a user research. We made a survey with some questions that would help us understand what beliefs our users had, what their requirements were and who should we focus on.
Snippets of some of the survey Finidngs
Insights from the Survey :
1. Most people in the older age groups seemed to be more spiritually inclined
2. We got data on some featured which people were not keen on like : online donations, online darshans etc.
3. People were keen to know about lesser known facts about spiritual places
4. A lot of old people used youtube of whatsapp to exchange spiritual prayers and music, and would appreciate a place to find it all
2. Focus Group discussion
From the survey and overall discussions we decided our target audience would be older adults. To gain more understanding of what people from this audience group would want, we conducted a focus group discuss.
Suggestions from the focus group discussion :
Can also help youngsters who are looking to find meaning in what we are doing.
Provide information on mantra meaning and significance
Provide a list of ashrams and spiritual places. Give information on accommodation for these places.
Geographical dimension to these Worship places and other important places. Places depicted in the epics eg. Mahabharat
Provide information on how places are linked in our scriptures and their spiritual and cultural significance.
After much brainstorming, research and defining our user persona, we started ideating what the final product use cases will be.
We broke down the use cases into three major sections which came out through the research :
1. PRAY : Helping people pray
2. VISIT : Helping people plan and know about Pilgrimage destinations in India
3. CONNECT : Helping people stay connected to their roots
High Level Workflow Diagram
After finalising the use cases we started with some wireframing to understand how we wanted to structure the application and then went on to complete the final designs.
The home page has been designed in a way that showcases our most important features, and also provides quick access to the features that might otherwise have been buried inside multiple levels of navigation in the application.
Section 1 : PRAY
The pray section caters to the day-to-day needs of the user related to the practice of one’s religion.
Upon Landing on this section, the user is greeted with choices of the religion, and for a selected religion, they are shown categories of content that is available related to that religion.
We also provide the user with additional filtering, wherein they can select a deity, and the list will filter out accordingly.
Section 2 : CONNECT
The connect section aims at connecting users with his/her spiritual, religious and cultural roots.
Connect provides users with content as articles, videos, and audio. It also provides information of various religions and cultures across India.
A user can choose any religion and the popular literature for that religion will be listed for him/her to learn more about that religion.
A user can also choose any state and explore the rich culture of the same.
Section 3 : VISIT
The visit section delivers information about various religious worship places and historical monuments across India.
Visit uses our curated database to showcase to users the different worship places, pilgrimage tours, popular pilgrimages, and historical monuments.
A user can select any one and would be taken to a page with all the information for that place of interest on it. The information includes city, state, description, events, dress code, weather, location on map, contact information, nearby places to stay, eat, and nearby worship places.
Section 4 : NEARBY
The user can explore Worship places, by selecting an appropriate category like Temples, Masjid, Church, etc., and then select a POI from the presented list to view details of the place, along with the location on a map.
Pooja Samagri stores can be directly explored from a map screen, and the bottom cards can be swiped to browse through the stores. Clicking on an arrow brings up a similar detail page for stores too.
By the time of launch the internship was almost over, the app is now up for users to use. We hope to keep improving and adding things or reducing things as per user feedback.
A few things in pipeline : Voice based search, better filtering, a more customised experience.
Being a part of a small team of 5 people working on a product from scratch was definitely a ride. Here are few very important learnings from this experience :
1. Being the only designer, I learned to work on building a system for myself to maintain uniformity.
2. Through this product I have learnt the importance of not overcrowding a product with features, although we were very proud of the feat we pulled off with just 2 developers, by the end I felt we could have started out smaller.
3. I learnt how to define the right use cases and its importance in building products that people would actually want to use.
4. I learnt to work in a collaborative environment of people from different fields and talents.