The Happier App

In short

Product design for the Happier app, which offers concrete, actionable steps to help you build a happier life.

Tools & Key Skills


Design systems

UX design - user research, UX design, wireflows

UI design - mobile interfaces

Happier is a productivity app founded by writer Gretchen Rubin. It seeks to empower people with practical advice and clear actions to make their daily lives incrementally happier. I’m the lead product designer working on the whole app. I work directly with the CEO and engineering team to brainstorm, test, and implement UX/UI improvements. I own all the UI elements across the Happier app. I create user flows and user journeys, lead UX research projects, and design both new features and iterate existing ones.

Of note, Happier won a Webby for best visual design & function for a mobile app in 2022!!

Iterating a consumer productivity app

In the last six months, our north star has been to increase MAUs and improve the UI of the app, evolving the functionality and look-and-feel out of its MVP state. The app is profitable and has a cohort of retained users, and we’re working on improving the app for these users as well as growing it more. As part of the product team, I think at a high level about creative strategy and vision for the app – not just how it should look, but what should be built.


Like many product teams, we’re resource-strapped and must prioritize and balance our load to execute priority initiatives, fix bugs, and work towards our north star. Because of limited front-end engineering resources, we can’t redesign every feature or component at once – we have to prioritize which features to improve upon, which to redesign, which to kill, and pace out the work for a small eng team to be able to implement. 

Design Solutions

Happier has a strong brand identity and an existing design system that I work within to design new patterns. I leverage design thinking, competitive research, and user testing to improve the experience of tracking habits and learning more about yourself using the Happier app. 

Homepage improvements

One of the first projects I did for the Happier team was redesigning the above-the-fold view of the homepage. The homepage previously was a bit crowded, so I recommended redesigning the header and evolving the “new aim” component to reiterate the brand’s look and feel on this frame.

Group aims

The business model of the Happier app is such that a user gets one “free” aim on the free version of the app and has to subscribe if they want >1 aim to track. We wanted to create a themed aim that could work as part of a growth marketing campaign – so we implemented a “group aim” called Go Outside 23in23, in which users are encouraged to go outside for 23 minutes a day in the year 2023. If the user opted into this group aim, they would get a 2nd “free” aim on the basic tier of the app. This growth marketing strategy + addition of a second “free” aim has been successful and has increased the app’s MAU by an order of magnitude. 

Habit tracking improvements

In this sprint of design work, we sought to add the ability to time-stamp a user’s entry of their habit so that the user could edit that entry later on if they so desired. This required a lot of UX thinking to figure out how to evolve the current functionality into the future state. We didn’t have the bandwidth to redesign all the components that are part of each type of aim’s current UX flow – we focused on logging an entry and the archive of entries, as that is where it felt most naturally adjacent to add in this date stamp. This is going live in Q3 2023. 

Explore page redesign

The “explore” tab was previously very similar to the “home” tab in terms of its content – basically just showing the archive of the home tab’s daily refresh – so we added more personalized insights to this tab to differentiate it. In the future, this tab may be home to even more new, personalized features!

Onboarding and Paywall redesign

One of the first projects I did for the Happier team was redesigning their paywall, paywall flow, and onboarding flow. We added in single-sign-on, added in some brand and feature education into the onboarding flow, and moved the paywall from the onboarding (functioning as a paid app) to being an in-app purchase (freemium biz model). This work increased MAUs and MRR 4x. 


Happier is a bootstrapped startup, and they “eat what they kill” in executing the product roadmap. That means I must be a reasonably scrappy designer and work quickly to deliver work on time and under budget. I enjoy working with their team and look forward to continually improving the app’s UX and UI!