Happier Spotlight: Better Than Facebook

happier-spotlight-101814Far be it from us to toot our own horn… haha! Just kidding! We love to toot our own horn, especially when our awesome users do most of the work for us. You guys always say it better than we could, anyway.

Meet Maria—she writes a blog called Be Grateful, and recently she posted about how she gave up Facebook and turned to the Happier app. Her whole post made us smile, but here’s the part that really gave us the warm fuzzies:

It’s similar to Facebook in a couple ways; post moments and pictures for others to see and you have a mini profile. The huge difference is Happier is like a family, a support system, a judgment free zone, full of open hearts, love and compassion. I have friends all over the world now and they are some of the most amazing people I have ever met. [...] Thank you Nataly and super awesome team for continuously making us a Happier place!

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Maria. Thanks so much for sharing your experience! You’re part of what makes Happier so awesome!

Making Happier Even Better: See What’s Coming This Week!

We released a new version of Happier for iOS8 and iPad last week and we’re working hard to make the experience even more awesome every day. Here are some changes you’ll see this week:

  • Take multiple courses in parallel without interrupting progress from another course. We thought this was incredibly important with so many courses at your fingertips (in case you missed it: most of our courses are now free). We know some days you might want to meditate AND do Yoga. Now you can easily do both.
  • Want to binge-learn? Now you can. With our newest release, you can watch as many days of a course as you’d like, whenever you’d like. You no longer have to wait for the calendar day to change to continue your Happier learning journey. (We know you’re busy; being able to take each lesson when it works for you is important. Sometimes this means 3 in a row rather than 3 days in a row).
  • find-courses-easierWe’ve fixed our meditations. We know it was super annoying to have the audio stop if your phone went to sleep. That won’t happen anymore — hooray! — so you’ll be able to enjoy some of our longer meditations without interruption (which is the point).
  • We’ve made our courses easier to find. The tab is called Courses instead of Learn, and we’ve moved it to the far left so you can get to it right away. We’ll still respect your last tap, though, so if you were in Community the last time you left, we’ll send you there when you come back.
  • Track your progress. It’s now super easy to see how much you’ve completed on each course with new progress indicator labels in the courses tab!
  • course-progress-trackingYou know how you kept seeing “Thanks for purchasing!” after choosing our newly-free courses? Well, now that’s gone too. You’ll only see purchase confirmations and information if you’ve actually purchased and paid for a Premium course. This should be less confusing for everyone! (Did we mention we gave you a bunch of free courses?)
  • We’ve got some exciting news for Android users, too! Tony has been working HARD to get our free courses accessible for everyone. And while there’s still some work to do on the overall experience, we’re happy to say out first version WITH FREE COURSES will be available late this week!

We did a couple other small tweaks too — like fixing the stretching of photos when you share them, and making the login screens a little more fun. Please keep the feedback coming! We’re always working to improve the experience for our community but we can’t make it better if you don’t tell us. (Leave a comment here, or email team@happier.com any time.)

Happier Spotlight: Bringing People Together

Every now and then we get some user feedback that not only makes us happier (that part goes without saying), it’s so completely awesome it needs no explanation whatsoever. Check this out:

Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful app! I’ve been changing my life one happier moment at a time for about a month now. For about a year I kept a gratitude journal but having it on my phone makes it so much easier. When I first started using the app I put my settings on private, but then I noticed my brother getting lots of smiles and I was envious and curious about who all these other Happier users were — as they say “A stranger is a friend we haven’t met yet.” I started looking up people in my area and randomly smiling on their updates, and I’ve found myself intertwined with a random group of wonderful strangers who are kindred spirits. Happier is like Facebook for people who focus their attention on gratitude and the part of the glass that is half full. (While Facebook is saturated and littered with the latest celebrity drama, gossip, breaking news story and sob stories and could be considered a sad country song.) I actually find myself checking my Happier account more frequently than my Facebook.

I read a book called Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson, and it stated that it takes 6 positive experiences to make up for 1 negative experience, that our minds are like teflon for positive and velcro for the negative. I’ve been working on turning happy moments into happy experiences, and your Happier app has been the keystone tool for doing just that, so THANK YOU! I am probably your biggest fan and supporter. With that said, I’ll get to the point of my email and apologize for the long introduction.

I think that there should be Happier parties! Facebook has done it, Myspace did it and so have numerous other companies. The fantastic thing is that most of my Happier interactions are with people I wouldn’t normally “socialize” with. And I love it. Happier users may come from different lifestyles, locations and have different interests but we all have one thing in common: we are choosing to focus on the positive things we experience and observe in our lives. If you want things in your life to change you have to change things in your life, including your perspective. Happier events would bring people together and just by the very nature of the event, it would be positive.

With all the sadness and chaos going on in the world today we could use a Happier revolution.

Jane Perkins

First of all, thank you so much, Jane, for being such a fantastic part of the Happier community and such a cheerleader for our vision. You’re the best! You’re the reason we do what we do.

Second, we are intrigued by your idea. So part of the reason we’re sharing your awesome email is to open it up to the community and ask if this is something others would be interested in, as well. What do you think, folks—would some sort of in-person Happier party/event be something you’d want? We make no promises, just yet, but if this is something a lot of you think is a great idea, we need to explore that. So please let us know.

Don’t Panic: Changes In The New Happier App

We were super excited to announce the latest version of the Happier app, because we’ve been working hard and we always love to bring our community improvements and even more ways to make you happier. But we also recognize that change can be a little uncomfortable, so we want to help clarify some questions we’ve received about changes in the new and improved app.

Help! Can we not edit or delete moments anymore??
In the old version of the app, you had the little gear wheel in the upper righthand corner of a moment. In the new version, instead, you have an ellipse (that’s the ) either under your moment text (if there’s no picture) or on your photo (if you used one); in either case, you’ll see it in the lower left corner. Clicking on the ellipse takes you to your editing options. See below (I drew an orange arrow pointing to the ellipse) (I also used this moment of me holding the official Happier Baby because he’s adorable):

app-changes-momentapp-changes-moment-edit

Help! Where did my moment collection options go?
Instead of doing all of your moment stuff on a single screen, in the new version of the app, you input text/photo information first, then hit the next button to proceed to the rest of your options, like choosing a category, where/how your moment will be shared, etc. See below:

new-moment-text-inputnew-moment-options

Did comments disappear?? I don’t see them!
You can still leave comments on others’ moments and read comments left by others; we have simply opted to hide those comments from your main feed (for a faster load and scroll). The little speech bubble on the lower right of moments is where you click to either read comments or leave your own; a count number will appear to indicate the presence of comments, too. Here’s a moment from Nataly that had 7 comments when I scrolled passed it:

app-changes-comment-count

But what happened to…
Please bear in mind that the Happier app is a work in progress, and sometimes we have to do things like remove some functionality you enjoy in order to update something else. We know some of you are already missing certain functionality, such as the ability to post multiple photo frames. We’re listening to everyone’s feedback, we promise! Some of the changes in this version may not be permanent, and some of your beloved options may return in future updates. Just keep letting us know what you love and what you don’t, and we’ll keep doing our best to make Happier awesome.

Have more questions or feedback? You can comment here on this post, or drop us an email at team@happier.com, any time.

Happier Has A New Look!

photo_erinHi there, Happiers, it’s Erin here. I’m the Creative Director and Designer at Happier and I’m excited to share some fun news today.

Over the past few months we listened to your valuable feedback and made a lot of improvements to the Happier app, all with the goal of giving you a better, faster, more awesomer, Happier experience.

OUR BIGGEST NEWS

We now have an iPad app! Our awesome iOS developer Brian has been working really hard on giving you more ways to get your Happier fix. Just install the app from the app store and it will adjust to any iOS device.

COMMUNITY NEWS

  • This is about you! We wanted you to shine, so we made it easier for you to see happy moments and photos. The changes we made also allow you to scroll through your friends’ moments even faster.happier-new-look-ipad
  • Quick and easy to use. We simplified our navigation so you can find the things that are important to you—quickly!happier-new-look-EG

COURSES NEWS

  • Your questions answered, fast. Our goal is to get you the answers you need about courses. (For example: Why should I take a Happier course? How do Happier courses help me? Stuff like that.) We also added short videos to give you a quick overview of what you can expect.
  • Easy step-by-step lessons. In each course lesson our step-by-step bar gives you a way to measure your progress, making it easy for you to track how far you’ve come and how close you are to completing the course.

OUR NEW ICON

happier-new-look-new-iconWe also changed up our app icon a little bit. We think this new one is even spiffier, makes us even easier to find, and goes well with the new and improved us. (Don’t worry—as you can see, we’re still orange. Of course.)

Thank you for being part of our community and as always, we love your feedback. Comment here or drop us a line to let us know what you think; you’re the reason we do what we do!

Happier Spotlight: Aim High, Let Go

Here at Happier there’s nothing we like better than hearing that something we brought to your attention made your day a little brighter. And now that Happier Notes is going out to so many folks every day, our reach is growing and more folks are writing to let us know how their lives are becoming happier.

Although we try to vary the content of Happier Notes each day, we recently started including a daily mantra from our very our Dave “Yeah Dave” Romanelli. The idea was that a simple phrase could serve as a touchpoint throughout the day, as needed. We hoped it would resonate with the community, and wow, did this one make us smile.

Check out the email we received from Elizabeth:

I LOVED yesterday’s mantra of: Aim high. Let go. Relax. Trust the Flow. Yesterday was the defense of my dissertation. I got my technology set up, all things were a “GO” and I just relaxed. My husband was stunned at my confidence and calmness. But I even tweeted this mantra so I had a record of how I felt on the day of my dissertation defense, and the day I became Dr. Elizabeth Wallace!

Thank you!

Aim high. Let go. Relax.

Trust the flow.

Thank you, Elizabeth… er, Dr. Wallace. We’re thrilled Dave’s mantra helped you on your way to an awesome dissertation defense. It sounds like you aimed high, let go, and rocked.

Happier Spotlight: We Love User Feedback

joshd-happier-momentWe love to get email here at Happier. (Well, email from our users. Not so much the email from the stranded Nigerian princes who would like us to wire them some money.) We love it when you just write in to tell us how much you love Happier, of course, but we also love to hear your questions and ideas and even complaints—it’s all part of how we figure out the best ways to keep making Happier awesome.

Meet Josh Dotter—he took the time to write us a really thoughtful email about his Happier experience. Here’s an excerpt from Josh’s mail:

First, I want to tell you I absolutely love the community that has been built through your app. It is by far the most uplifting social media I’ve used. I’ve never used Facebook, and I loved Twitter. However I hardly ever touch it anymore b/c Happier draws me in so deeply. I found the app through Twitter, I follow Life is Good and I believe they promoted your story.

I would love to share some thoughts about my experience. In the beginning I loved the app but thought there wasn’t near enough users. Man was I wrong. It just took a diligent effort to friend as many people as I could in the beginning. Now I find myself following each request and still reaching out to new faces I see. In the name of spreading joy more than anything, and making myself open to their joy as well.

Josh went on to suggest a number of possible functionality enhancements, all of which were great ideas. But when I contacted him to ask if it’d be okay to feature his email on the blog, he rushed to tell me that he hoped his suggestions came across as just that, suggestions, and not complaints. [At this point let's just pause and agree that Happier users are pretty much the nicest people in the world. It's a fact.] I reassured him that we love suggestions and not to worry at all. His entire email—the praise and the suggestions—was awesome. We appreciate you, Josh! Thanks so much for reaching out!

Do you have feedback, ideas, or anything else you want to share with us? You can always reach us at team@happier.com, and we are always happier when we hear from you!