Mindful architecture: Headspace’s refactor to scale

Posted by Manuel Vicente Vivo, Android Developer Relations Engineer

Contributors: Mauricio Vergara, Product Marketing Manager, Developer Marketing, Marialaura Garcia, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Developer Marketing

 Headspace Technical case research study graphic .Executive Summary.

Headspace was prepared to release brand-new health and physical fitness functions, however their app architecture wasn’’ t. They invested 8 months refactoring to a Model-View-ViewModel architecture, rewording in Kotlin and enhancing test protection from 15 to 80%. The enhanced app experience increased MAU by 15% and increased evaluation ratings from 3.5 to 4.7 in between Q2 and Q4 of 2020. For more information about how Headspace’’ s concentrate on Android Excellence affected their organization, checked out the accompanying case research study here


Headspace has actually become a leader in mindfulness by developing an app which assists countless individuals to practice meditation daily. Mindfulness goes far beyond meditation, it links to all elements of an individual’’ s life. That concept triggered the most current phase in Headspace’’ s advancement. In 2019, they chose to broaden beyond meditation and include brand-new physical fitness and health functions to their Android app. Headspace recognized that they would require a cross-functional group of designers and engineers to be able to provide on the brand-new item vision and produce an outstanding app experience for users. An interesting brand-new stage for the business: their style group began the procedure by producing models for the brand-new experience, with fresh brand-new styles.

With styles in hand, the only thing stopping Headspace from broadening their app and widening users’ ’ horizons was their existing Android software application architecture. It wasn’’ t well structured to support all these brand-new functions. Headspace’’ s advancement group made the case to their management that structure on the existing code would take longer than a total reword. After getting and sharing the vision everybody on board, the group set out on a cumulative journey to compose a brand-new Android app in pursuit of app quality.

.The Android Rewrite.

Headspace’’ s Android advancement group initially required a practical method to standardize how they constructed and executed functions. “Before we composed a single line of code, our group invested a week assessing some crucial application options for the structure of our app,” ” Aram Sheroyan, an Android designer at Headspace discusses;.

““ This was important pre-work so that we were all on the very same page when we really began to develop.”

Immersing themselves in Google’’ s literature on the current, finest practices for Android advancement and app architecture , the group discovered a service they might all with confidence settle on. Google suggested refactoring their app utilizing a brand-new base architecture: model-view-view-model . MVVM is a widely-supported software application pattern that is gradually ending up being market requirement since it permits designers to produce a clear separation of issues, assisting improve an app’’ s architecture. “ It enabled us to well separate our view reasoning,” Sheroyan discussed.

With MVVM as the base architecture, they recognized Android’’ s Jetpack libraries, consisting of Dagger and Hilt for dependence injection. The brand-new tools made boilerplate code smaller sized and much easier to structure, not to point out more effective and foreseeable. Integrated with MVVM, the libraries offered them with a more in-depth understanding of how brand-new functions ought to be carried out. The group was likewise able to enhance quality in passing arguments in between functions. The app had actually formerly experienced crashes due to Incorrect arguments and nullpointerexception mistakes. When passing arguments, embracing the safeArgs library assisted to remove mistakes.

In rewording the app, the group even more made certain to follow the Repository pattern to support a clearer separation of issues. Rather of having one substantial class that conserves information in shared choices, they chose that each repository’’ s regional information source need to manage the particular reasoning. This separation of information sources allows the group to test and replicate company code beyond the live app for system screening without needing to alter production code. Separating issues in this method made the app more steady and the code more modular.

The group likewise seized the day to totally equate their app into the Kotlin programming language, which used helpful assistant functions, sealed classes, and extension functions. Eliminating tradition code and changing the mix of Java and Kotlin with pure Kotlin code reduced develop time for the app. The brand-new architecture likewise made it much easier to compose tests and enabled them to increase test protection from around 15% to more than 80%. This led to quicker releases, greater quality code, and less crashes.

To record the brand-new user experience in the app’’ s evaluations, Headspace carried out the Google Play In-App Review API . The brand-new API permitted them to motivate all users to share evaluations from within the app. The execution increased evaluation ratings by 24%, and —– as shop listing evaluations are connected to presence on Google Play —– assisted accentuate the app’’ s current enhancements.

.Attaining App Excellence.

The reword took 8 months and with it came a brand-new self-confidence in the code. Now that the codebase had 80%+ system test protection, they might establish and check brand-new functions with self-confidence instead of concerns. The brand-new architecture made this possible thanks to its better reasoning separation, and a more recyclable code, making it simpler to prepare and carry out brand-new functions.

The construct time for the app reduced considerably and advancement speed got. The group’’ s brand-new clearness around finest practices and architecture likewise lowered friction for onboarding brand-new designers, considering that it was now based upon Android market requirements. They might interact more plainly with prospective prospects throughout the interview procedure, as they now had a shared architectural language for talking about issue sets and prospective services.

With speed came quicker execution of functions and an enhanced retention circulation. They might now enhance their upsell procedure, which resulted in a 20% boost in the variety of paid Android customers relative to other platforms where the app is released. The mix of a brand-new app experience and the application of the brand-new In-App Review API caused their evaluation ratings enhancing from 3.5 to 4.7 stars in between Q2 and Q4 of 2020! In general, the brand-new concentrate on Android App Excellence and the enhanced rankings made Headspace a 15% boost in MAU internationally.

These were simply a few of the benefits from the substantial financial investment Headspace made in app quality. Their laser concentrate on quality settled throughout the board, allowing them to continue to grow their neighborhood of users and lay a strong structure for the future development of their app experience.

.Get your own group on board.

If you’’ re thinking about getting your group on board for your own App Excellence journey, have a look at our condensed case research study for item owners and executives connected here . To find out more about how constant, user-friendly app user experiences can grow your organization, go to the App Excellence landing page.

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