At the end of 2020, we rolled out the second version of our app’s primary Home screen and introduced a new set of habit tracking and reporting features to help men stay accountable to the Rule of Life of Exodus 90 and our other spiritual exercises. We were thrilled by so much positive feedback that we received. We even had one man send in a data dashboard he had built using the habit tracking data. For many men, these tools positively impacted their ability to stay faithful to the Exodus lifestyle. Men could use them to comb through the week and find areas where they weren’t living up to the Rule of Life and make changes as needed. In the tech/business world, we’d call these “actionable insights.”
On the other hand, the habit tracking feature set–displayed so prominently on the app’s Home screen–had the potential to lead to some wrong impressions. We had several men write in that they would become discouraged if they had broken a streak of some discipline. We had a man write in that he felt the emphasis of habit tracking made the spiritual life feel “transactional”: I do this for God and he gives me freedom in return. Finally, I personally felt that the emphasis on habit tracking made it seem like you couldn’t do Exodus 90 unless you were faithfully checking off each discipline in the app–something that just isn’t true. We all know that Exodus 90 is a lived experience. The app is meant to aid that experience, not subsume it.
So, taking in both the positive and negative feedback, we set out to design a new app experience that would:
- Reframe the Home screen to focus more on the content of the spiritual reflections that Exodus offers.
- Make it easier to dive right into the day’s reflections.
- Enable the habit tracking features to be used by the men that wanted to use them, while also not making them seem like using the features was “compulsory”.
- Finally, deliver a more beautiful and prayerful experience on the Home screen.
Here’s what we came up with.
The new Home screen has essentially three components. The first one we call the “Primary Call-to-Action”; the second is the “Tool Kit”; third is the “Daily Readings”. Depending on where you are on your Exodus journey, the Primary Call-to-Action (or “CTA” for short) will change to take the step that’s necessary for that day.
- If you’ve never scheduled an Exodus Spiritual Exercise before, your CTA will encourage you to set a start date for Exodus 90, Advent, or Lent depending on the time of year. Each of these exercises has a new illustration and seasonally appropriate theme color.
- Once you’ve got an exercise scheduled, our Daily Gospel Reflection gets “promoted” to the CTA encouraging you to spend time with the Lord in meditation on the Gospel. Depending on which Book of the Gospel the reading comes from, the illustration of the CTA will change to highlight that Gospel writer.
- During the days of an Exodus Spiritual Exercise, the CTA will take you right into that day’s reading with that exercise’s illustration helping you to enter into the spirit of the exercise. During an exercise, the Daily Gospel card moves down into the Daily Readings section of the Home screen beneath the Tool Kit.
- Finally, once you’ve completed an exercise, the Daily Gospel Reflection returns to the CTA slot and your next spiritual exercise appears with a prompt to schedule it and keep moving forward on your journey of faith formation through the books of the Bible.