Petit Bambou is an application created specifically for people who want to meditate whether beginners or not, using a simple method using audios of between 10 and 20 minutes on different topics such as stress, anxiety, etc. In addition, this app has a series of videos that explain what the keys to meditation are.
The app has 4 main features or functions: Meditation, Programs, Sounds and Me. All of them are accessible from a small horizontal menu at the bottom of the screen.
- Meditation. This function is the one that is displayed when you start the application. It consists of 3 sections: Free, Guided and 3 minutes, these sections can be accessed from a menu at the top of the screen.
- Within this section you can configure a meditation session to the user's liking, being able to choose the duration, a relaxing sound from those provided by the app and start, intermediate and end notices.
- This section is intended to be the first to be used, as it serves as an introduction and contact, especially for people who have never meditated. It consists of a total of 8 videos of a duration that is between 10 and 15 minutes where, each of them deals with a different characteristic of meditation.
- 3 minutes. This section is also called "Crisis of Tranquility" and is intended to be used to return to a state of calm after the user has gone through a moment of stress.
- Programs. This section is divided into 9 categories: tools, sleep, progression, mind, body, self, work, daily, and health; of these 9 can only be fully accessed the tools section and the Discovery and Anxiety programs of the progression and mind categories respectively. The latter two are guided meditation programs consisting of about 10 sessions of about 12 minutes. To access all the contents of the programs it is necessary to pay for the subscription of the application. The category of tools provides us with 5 sections which will be defined below:
- The stories. They consist of 19 videos inspired by popular wisdom and written by meditation experts.
- Cardiac coherence. Learns to control breathing to manage stress and anxiety.
- My moment. It allows the user to select the days and time on which to set an alarm so that they are reminded to meditate.
- It allows the user to quickly access the meditation sessions that he has liked the most.
- Allows the user to access the meditation sessions that he/she has decided to download.
- Sounds. Like the program section it is also divided into categories, in this case 6: new, nature, water, home, travel and sleep. The "Sounds" section provides the user with a total of 18 different relaxing sounds to accompany him in his meditation sessions.
From all the functions described you can access the Question section at the top left. This section is divided into three sections: Frequently Asked Questions, Forum and Contact Us. To access these sections, you can do it through a horizontal menu at the top of the screen.
In order to analyze and be able to carry out an evaluation of the application, a series of tests have been carried out to verify its operation. Testing has been performed on a Samsung Galaxy J7 device (Android 9 Pie) with version 3.7.5 and an iPhone 6S (IOS 13.3.1) with version 2.0.3
To be able to use the application on both devices it has been necessary to install it through the respective application stores of each operating system.
Once the application is installed, at the time it starts, it indicates that it is necessary to register with an email in order to start using it; you can use any email or sign in with your Facebook account if one is available. After selecting the account to use the app will ask for permissions to be able to send and display notifications on the phone, if this permission is accepted and later you want to change it is possible to do so from the settings menu. From then on you will be able to access all the free contents of the application. The paid contents of this are located in the program section, and can be differentiated from the free ones in two ways, either because the icons of the paid content are shaded or because when trying to access that content indicates that a subscription is necessary.
There are several ways to start a meditation session, in particular there are four, each of which will be accompanied by an infographic that will show how to proceed.
The first is the simplest, you only have to start the application and a series of guided sessions will be displayed, in one of them a play icon will be displayed, once you press on the start the session.
For the second, it is necessary to access the free meditation section of the meditation function, once there the duration, warnings and background sound that you want to sound will be configured and after finishing you will be able to start the session.
The third is the shortest of all as the three-minute section, also called a crisis of tranquility, of the meditation function will be used. To be able to start this session you only have to press the start button that has this section.
The fourth and last will allow us to schedule a time of meditation for the days you want, for this you will have to access the Programs section and select the tool "My Moment".
In this section we will measure the ease with which the user can use the application to achieve a specific goal, in this case is that an older person can perform a meditation session because they feel stressed or need to calm their anxiety.
The application is very easy to use, has a simple and friendly interface, it consists of a menu at the bottom with four buttons very simple to recognize, either by its icon or its description,so the older people who want to use the application will have no difficulty understanding how the app works.
All this makes it very hard for the user to start using the application. This ease in learning usage also moves to the ease of remembering how it is used if you ever uninstall the application.
As for its effectiveness, it must be said that the app is extremely effective since, it manages to reach the desired objective as soon as you start the application, also taking into account that, as mentioned above, does not require a great effort to learn how to use it you can say that the product has a high efficiency in terms of achieving the goal.
With regard to portability, Petit Bambou works on any type of Smartphone, whether Android or iOS.
Taking into account the analysis of each of the above criteria it can be said that the product has a considerably good usability in terms of achieving the objective considering the use that the elderly will give.
In this section, different criteria will be applied to assess whether the application can be used regardless of the capabilities of the user.
Cognitive Accessibility – As for images and icons almost all of them have a description that facilitates their understanding and, in addition, they are a reasonable size so that they can be correctly identified. The only icons that do not have a description are the Questions icon, identified with a text sandwich with a question mark, and the settings icon, identified with a gear.
Accessibility for people with reduced vision – The app has a settings section where you can only change the theme, i.e. you can change the white background with black letters to black background with white letters. The font size cannot be changed so depending on the screen dimensions of the device being used it is possible that the words may be difficult to read, although it is possible to increase the font size in the overall settings of the device, causing it to increase in the app in turn. As for the meditation sessions, all of them are narrated, To complete this accessibility section it has been decided to do some tests with the screen reader systems available to Android and IOS devices. These tests have focused on checking the correct labeling of the icons and buttons available to Petit BamBou. Buttons have been labeled well on all devices where the screen reader has been used, both with Android Voice Assistant and IOS Voice Over.
Accessibility for people with hearing impairments – People with hearing impairments will have complications when using the app as both the meditation sessions and the videos contained in the Story Tool are not subtitled.
In this section we will study whether the application has a correct functioning and has no critical failures that prevent its proper operation.
In the days that the application has been testing has not presented any outstanding or critical failures in its operation.
Privacy and security
In terms of privacy and security it is possible to access its terms and policies from the links provided by the Google Play and App Store downloadstores, although it is also possible to access them from within the application through the settings section.
Generally speaking, the application works properly, there has been no failure that has impaired its operation. This app can greatly contribute to all the people, especially older people decreasing their stress levels, anxiety and improving brain function.
One of the positive points that the app has is that it is designed so that a person who has not practiced meditation can learn to do so through the first guided sessions that the application provides; compared to its competitors in the market, this is one of the few that makes a small introduction to meditation for new users, so this particular application is one of the best if you want to start meditating,although it is also a viable product for the most experienced people. Another of the most positive points available is that it gives the possibility to download the sessions of the meditation programs to be able to use it without the need for an internet connection using mobile data.
- It can be used without internet connection if meditation sessions are downloaded.
- The sessions provided for free teach you to meditate in a very satisfying way.
- It would be interesting to subtitle meditation sessions so that people with hearing impairments could use the app.
- It would be interesting if you could change the font size from within the application.