Build stronger software by designing for human interaction

Author: Edward Park, Senior Software Engineer

Creating software is a human-centered endeavor. The software that we build is used directly by human users. Whether we’re building a mobile application, service, or tool, the cumulative moments of delight (or abhorrence) that our human users experience determine the efficacy of the software we build.

For this reason, software organizations invest in user experience design, in addition to the nuts-and-bolts of the technology under the hood. Product designers leverage their expertise in interaction psychology to create user flows that are useful, familiar, and discoverable. Designers…


A few tips on how I added Backend/API engineer to my list of skills while on the job at Headspace.

Author: Lee Richardson, Senior Software Engineer

Intro

I started my career at Headspace (1000 years ago, way back in 2019!) as a Web engineer. Our frontend stack is primarily React, Redux, Redux-Saga, Emotion and several internal libraries for shared functionality/UI components. The first big feature I worked on was a group meditation feature, which we designed to be compatible with live audio or video streams. We were excited to add a live, community-minded feature into the app experience.

After several initial product iterations, we decided to focus on other community-minded features, and our squad no longer needed a Web engineer…


Author: Jesse Bond, Senior Software Engineer, Web

Introduction: How does modern authentication work?

Authentication allows users to securely log into a system and verify that they are who they say they are in subsequent requests. On today’s web, this usually involves creating an account using a combination of username and password.

Let’s start with a quick refresher on how modern web authentication works. The first step is always a user submitting their login credentials into a form. Once the form is submitted, the server will determine whether or not the username and password match that of a previously registered user. If they do match, the server…


Author: Swapna Savant, Engineering Manager

It is always challenging to add new vendors to an organization. In the software world, vendors are those who market and sell software. Many technology companies rely on these vendors ( both software and hardware ) to provide critical infrastructure and services for them.

It sounds simple: choose a vendor that will provide the necessary service in a cost effective manner to your organization. In technology, it is very important to provide scalable, cost-effective, reliable, secure, and easy-to-use platforms to support and serve our customers and partners. …


Learning to build with empathy for people with blindness and vision impairments

Author: Francis Mariano, iOS Engineer

Improve the health and happiness of the world — a bold mission statement we have at Headspace. One that forces us to recognize the diverse experiences of those who inhabit it. For the majority of us, that experience allows us the opportunity to appreciate the rich aesthetics of our app. From crisp illustrations and playful animations to vibrant, evocative colors, there’s no doubt that our designers have worked hard to create these pleasing visuals.

All that and more came into play when we decided to redesign our audio player, one of the core features of…


Author: Bhavini Soneji — VP of Engineering

Some of the biggest challenges faced by product technology leadership today are:

  • Balancing velocity and quality
  • Balancing product features and tune-ups (refractory)
  • Balancing staffing investment in product teams and platform teams
  • Determining principles to drive prioritization & decision making for all of the above

There are various factors that should be considered in determining how to address these — e.g. size of the company, phase of the company (growth phase or trying to find product market fit, etc.), maturity of the technology team, and tooling. …


Author: Monica Grandy — Senior Android Engineer

How we rebuilt our latest Android app from scratch … remotely

In what feels like a thousand years ago (although, in fact, it was October 2019), Headspace made a commitment to expand its offering beyond meditation.

The preliminary prototype was sleek, inviting, feature-rich, and very, very different from what Headspace looked like at the time — especially in terms of technology. As a matter of fact, we were basically looking at a completely different application!

The prospect of building out this new interface and feature set in less than a year was daunting…

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