CASE STUDY: Happify
From innovative idea to market leader
Happify is a digital health service, based on the science of happiness. You get a baseline happiness score, then do proven happiness exercises in a convenient, game-like format. Periodic assessments show that thousands of subscribers are getting happier every day.
In the Beginning
Happify is the brainchild of two brilliant entrepreneurs from the gaming industry. After selling their company, they’d both experimented with science-based happiness exercises during a lull between projects – and saw how powerful and effective those exercises could be.
Ask the hard, important questions upfront
They came to me with an exciting, innovative idea for a digital happiness service – based on their own personal, transformative experience. They knew that games could deliver ongoing engagement and motivation – and that happiness exercises, done consistently, could measurably improve well-being & mental outlook. What they didn’t know was:
- what form this digital happiness service should take
- what the UX and interaction model should look like
- who the early customers would be
- whether the business model would work
How We Helped
We helped the Happify team bring their innovative product to life by defining their strategy, identifying their early market, prototyping their MVP, and proving their business model.
Early customers & platform habits
This experienced team wanted to create a successful business – not just a great product – so we focused on answering the most important business question upfront:
Would people actually pay money for proven, science-based happiness exercises in a convenient, game-like format?
To answer that question, we identified and interviewed clusters of potential early customers, and narrowed down our targeted to a few key segments.
We then prototyped & tested our game ideas, & iterated the product heavily based on early customer feedback.
Looks like Pinterest, Feels like a Game
From these product experiments, we learned that our passionate early customers wanted something lightweight and mobile that felt like Pinterest – with the motivational pull of a game.
We also learned that devoted customers were willing to pay real money and subscribe to the service – once they got results by participating for a few weeks and seeing the difference in their lives.
Using those insights, we built a product that delighted and hooked these early customers – and a business model that worked. In doing so, Happify carved out a new niche in online mental health services.
Happify is now the market leader in digital happiness, with thousands of paying subscribers who are getting happier every day.
From Idea to Launch: How to build a compelling experience
Distill Customer Habits
To validate their ideas, the team focused on learning the habits and needs of early passionate customers. These insights helped the team focus on building and testing a few high-value features for their MVP.
Test your Core Loop
The team focused on prototyping and testing their Core Loop – the repeatable, pleasurable activities that customers engage in. They didn’t add advanced features or polish until this core experience worked well.
Iterate & Expand
Once their Core Loop was working, the Happify team focused on expanding their efforts to include compelling onboarding, better discovery and expert features to enable mastery.
Results: a new niche in digital health
Connecting with the right early customers helped the Happify team refine their assumptions, focus their efforts, and create a product that delighted and hooked their aspirational audience. By iteratively designing a product to meet the unique needs of their early customers, Happify was able to create a successful and highly innovative product.
Today, Happify is the market leader in digital happiness with thousands of subscribers who choosing positivity and getting happier every day. And it all started with a personal transformative experience – and the desire to seek out and find market truth.