How To Build a Health App Like Fabulous - Create Your Habit Tracker App

8 Min Read • Apr 6, 2020

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Erika Kramarik

Full-Stack Marketer

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Health motivation and life coach apps have become very popular over the past few years, as people try to squeeze in some mindfulness and healthy habits into their busy schedules. That’s good news for mobile app developers, who are always looking to build useful apps that can improve users’ lives.

We’re pretty sure a lot of you are already familiar with Fabulous, a cool habit tracker and health motivation app that helps you add healthy habits to your life. We took it for a test drive for a few days, curious as we are, and now we’re coming at you with an in-depth review from a developer’s perspective. We’re going to go through all the things that make Fabulous such a popular mobile app, and also come up with suggestions for improvement. If you’re thinking of creating your own habit tracker or life coach mobile app, reach out to us to find out how we’d do it.

Fabulous app review: a life coach app to rule them all?

With a nice design, an interactive, user-friendly look and some really smart features, the Fabulous – Motivate Me! mobile app promises to help improve our lives from the first day of use. But adding healthy habits to our routines is not always easy, and many of us have failed in this endeavour.

This app’s bet is on putting a virtual coach, whose actions are backed by science, in our pocket (well, our Android or iOS phones, more precisely). Of course, these are big promises that most health motivation apps make, but very few actually manage to keep.

After setting up an account, using the habit app is pretty straightforward and easy. But if you get stuck in the process, there are notifications to help you to get from one step to the next, until you learn how things work. To be fair, that shouldn’t be a problem, given the fabulous UX and UI – yes, pun intended.

What’s HOT:

  • The app guides you through different journeys, depending on your goals – to sleep better, to focus more, to lose weight, and so on.
  • There are lots of built-in habit recommendations at the ready – Meditate, Call Your Parents, Drink Water, write a To-Do List.
  • The app offers research-based reminders and guides to help you reach your established goals.

Fabulous app screenshots | Tapptitude

What’s NOT:

  • Having limited onboarding challenges available as a new user.
  • Having to write your to-do list in the notebook. It would be better to do it directly in the app.
  • You can only work on one habit at a time.
  • There is such a thing as too many notifications – luckily, you can deactivate notifications in the app settings.

How others do it – Best practices and similar health motivation apps

Fabulous might be a fabulous life coach app, but it’s got some serious competition, both in the Apple Store and Google Play. Apps like Headspace, Way of Life, or Habitica are very popular with mobile users, and they each bring something extra to the table.

Headspace stands out with its very friendly UI and the voice of their founder Andy Puddicombe talking you through almost all the meditation sessions. Talk about going the extra mile for that personal touch!

Headspace app screenshots | Tapptitude
Headspace – the natural environment of adorable blobs.

Habitica turned habit building into the best parts of a role-playing game. The app sets you up with an avatar that you can upgrade, equip, and go on quests with by sticking to your real-life to-do lists. Nostalgic pixel art is also part of the UI!

Habitica app screenshots | Tapptitude
Habitica – everything that’s right about RPG and pixel art in one place.

Way of Life keeps it simple for all those data lovers out there. With customisable notifications and challenges you set yourself, you can track your progress across a longer period of time and see how you’re doing in your own dashboard.

Way of Life app screenshots | Tapptitude
Way of Life – makes you contemplate the simplicity of life and our tendency to overcomplicate.

Remente comes with a holistic approach, helping you set up goals and match your day-to-day to what you want to achieve in the long run. Besides tracking your activities, it also helps you track your mood and suggests content streaks to help improve yourself.

Remente app screenshots | Tapptitude
Remente – match what you’re doing today with your long term plans.

Momentum is built for the iOS ecosystem, and the simple UI and flexible features allow for a very straightforward setup of habit goal, task, when to get notified, and checking it off the to-do list.

Momentum cross-device screenshots | Tapptitude
Momentum – you do not just swipe left on these notifications.

How we’d do it – create your habit tracker app with Tapptitude

Fabulous is, well, quite a fabulous habit tracker app, and we really enjoyed using it, but it’s definitely not perfect. After playing around with it for a few days, and taking some of the competitors also out for a test run, some things stood out to us. That got us thinking about what features we would include, were we to build the best habit tracking app for mobile. Here’s what we’ve come up with.

Make a habit app easy to pick up

When a user decides to pick up a habit tracking app, they’re deciding to make a change in their life. Even if that change is a positive one, it still creates friction. Yet there are several features that can come together to smooth out these changes:

  • A positive onboarding experience creates excitement and sets the right expectations for the user.
  • Offer flexibility in what goals and habits a user can track, when and how they can set up their notifications, and opportunities to make up for a missed check-in.
  • Be mindful of a user’s time. Some new habits require just 5 minutes a day, some require an hour. Be transparent of the time commitment you’re asking of your users, allowing them to choose from several options.

Gamification keeps the health motivation flowing

The simplest reason why habit tracking apps work is because they help us track our progress and that makes us feel good. Whether it’s a week-long streak, an all-green dashboard, or an upgraded avatar, all the habit tracking apps we’ve mentioned here have a way of showing users their progress.

Of course, your own positioning as a product and what your users may perceive as positive validation will both influence what shape gamification will take inside your product.

A habit tracking app needs room for the user’s support system

There are several studies showing that having a support system in place makes it easier to go through changes, manage stress, and stay healthier in the long run. A habit tracking app, especially one made with the goal in mind of helping users turn their ideas for self care into a morning routine, shouldn’t aim to replace that. What it can do instead is make room to include a user’s support system.

  • Social features, like inviting friends to use the app, comparing habits and goals, challenging and supporting each other, help users stick to their habits and the product grow its user base.
  • Human-focused content marketing, happening on the product’s website and social channels, can become both a source of engagement and acquisition.
  • Online events, public or private, can also become a space where users support each other.

Yes, you can build a great habit tracking app with us

Yes, not all of these recommendations are product-focused, but the earlier you realise that the best habit tracking apps understand that the user isn’t limited to their interaction with your app, the better chances of success you have.

This is how we’d approach building a health motivation app like Fabulous. Of course, it all depends on what the client wants or needs, but we’re open and always ready to twitch our process to help brands reach their intended goals.

If you’re thinking of building or improving a similar mental health app or habit tracker product, feel free to reach out to us with any product ideas or questions. Check out our previous work and send us a message to see if we’re the right fit for your brand.

Reach out to us and see how we can help.

Erika Kramarik

Erika Kramarik

Full-Stack Marketer

Erika is a full-stack marketer passionate about the intersection between technology and social impact. She mixes research with content design and a human touch to help people and startups succeed in delivering value through their work. When not writing or talking to people, you’ll find her reading or quoting Hamilton for any life situation.

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