An inclusive fitness app designed to inspire
all to workout and reach health goals
I acted as both UX Researcher and Designer to create a fitness app that was fun and inspired people to work out.
There was not a messaging platform, and the stakeholders felt this was a viable way to increase engagement and promote growth.
The goal was to discover ways to spark engagement and create a messaging platform for family and friends to send words of encouragement.
How Might We
...inspire people of all sizes to use a workout app, so that they can enjoy the benefits of exercise without judgement?
Sprint Constraint + Project Plan
I was tasked with two weeks to complete this sprint. In order to meet the deadline, I created a timeline and allocated hours per task. This helped create focus and intent. Basic Fit was created and delivered on time.
Competitive Research (1HR)
Survey + Interviews (10HRS)
Card Sort + Hi/Lo - (2HRS)
User Interviews will gain insight to create messaging platform
Written Summary is efficient for time constraint
Design User Flows (2 HRS)
Low Fidelity Screens (5HRS)
Quick XD user flow in whiteboard to save time.
Low XD Fidelity screens to save time and easily share files
Write Test Script (2 HRS)
Preely User Test (5 HRS)
Written Summary (2HRS)
Create low fidelity prototype in Preely to conduct user testing and get feedback
Style Scape (10HRS)
Style scape is quick way to create style guide, brand message and share easily for stakeholder buy in before full design
Write Test Script (1HR)
Remote Moderated Test (5 HRS)
Written Summary (5 HRS)
Quickest way to get participant feedback
First, I did a competitive analysis to understand the fitness app landscape. This was useful in learning what features are necessary or not. It also inspires ideas to create the messaging platform and possibly new ideas we did not know.
I sought to identify what users want to talk about, do and share via messages with family and friends. Fitness apps are popular amongst many, but in Basic Fit the focus is on family and friends. Those using the app are ages 18-34 years old, tech savvy, budget conscious and love to communicate with each other. However, Basic Fit does not offer a messaging feature and we are curious if this is why engagement drops off after three weeks. I want to discover how we might keep users engaged in the app and get a real following. Below is the research mapped out to retrieve data and feedback.
What causes users to leave the app?
What do users like to share with family and friends?
What do users need to stay motivated?
What would add value to keep users returning to the app?
Methodologies: 5 user interviews and surveys to get a better understanding of the pain points and why they abandon the app.
Users age 18-34 years old
Uses fitness apps at least once a week
Owns a smartphone
Recruit via LinkedIn
Use Preely for survey at end of user test
Google Forms Screener Survey
I published a screener survey via LinkedIn and recruited five participants. At first one participant said no to an interview in the survey, but after speaking via mail agreed to interview.
In addition to the recruiting process, questions in the screener survey revealed that a messaging platform might now be the MVP to creating a better fitness app experience.
Moderated User Interviews
Since not all users had access to video on desktop, I conducted the interviews via FaceTime to be consistent. I used written summary form and compiled user feedback. Users felt that fitness apps were not inclusive regarding size and goals. Also, they desired a safe space to journal their progress, and felt intimidated by family's micromanagement. Instead, the general consensus was to have a community to connect with that shared similar goals. Lastly, they didn't want endless and abundant notifications.
"Mental health issues make it hard to lose weight"
“Notifications are too much!”
“It's micromanagement and I don’t have the time. I have to type it in and do the workout. It’s like another job.”
“They’re not aware of how much pressure they put on people to hold up to an image. It’s like a basketball coach that rides you hard.”
“One day, I’m going to be able to feel good working out in a crop top.”
"I don't talk to family and friends about exercise or for inspiration, because they judge and are not supportive"
“Sometimes it’s too much cheerleading and not enough teaching. I would rather get the hard truth, then a fluffy comment.”
“Fitness apps are missing empathy, they’re not accessible to everyday people. And they don’t give you time to reflect.”
“Would be nice to have a place to write how I feel before and after. And, am getting comfortable with this, is it a burden or fun. You know, I way to put me in the app”
“A large group of people are left out, yet we are the people behind the fitness.”
“Simplicity is missing, they want a million things… and it becomes a job and I’m turned off.”
“Normal people, all sizes, everyday people are needed. Some are built like Sponge Bob Square Pants, others are busty, a little of everything would make me feel better because I fit in there and don’t need to catch up to someone else.”
“I have an unhealthy relationship with food, I have a food disorder.”
I decided that having access to a private journal and being able to connect with people whom share similar stories or goals, was the two most viable and useful routes. These would add meaning to the user's journey and separate Basic Fit from the competitors.
Wireframes + Test Script
Before creating high fidelity mock ups, I started with wireframes to do some unmoderated testing. Preely is a plugin, that can recruit for you, but I used my own participants. I simply sent them a link and scheduled time to complete. The feedback collected validated my hypothesis that their needed to be a journal like entry and community element.
Usability Test Script for Preely
By Boston Scarlette
UX Researcher and Designer
Scenarios and Task
I emailed links to the participants to test the task flows, and see if they met our goals. The goals were to create a messaging system and reason to come back to the app on a regular basis. In order to test this, I used the plugin Preely with my Adobe XD low fidelity prototype. This allowed me to create tand introduce tasks before the user started using the app. Next they are instructed to complete the task. At the end four questions are asked to get feedback on their experience.
The tasks were as follows:
Task 1: Please join a group and send a message to a member.
Task 2: Enter how you're feeling in your personal journal.
The questions and follow up questions were as follows:
Question 1: On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the easiest, how easy was it to send a message?
Question 2: Would you send messages in this app?
Follow Up 2: Why or why not?
Question 3: Would you use this app again?
Follow Up 3: If so, how often. If not, why?
Question 4: Where you able to complete a journal entry
Follow Up 4: If so, did you enjoy using this feature? Please explain.
Collect Background Information
The Preely platform asks basic information as follows:
Total Test Duration
Total Task Duration
Number of participants
Conducting an unmoderated test will help us meet our deadline, but also collect rich data to make decisions moving forward in the design process.
Unmoderated Test + Survey
Analyzing different paths taken to complete tasks and heat maps allowed me to assess what worked and what didn't. The survey at the end helped to give me the "why". I used this feedback to make adjustments when designing the loo and high fidelity screens.
Overall the majority of users enjoyed using the app, and would use it at a minimum twice a week up to daily.
“I would definitely use the app again. I like how everything is separated out based on groups so that when you go to a group, you already know the types of conversation that will be had.”
Users really enjoyed being able to use the message system within groups and enter into their own personal journal. Our initial research showed two different types of users. One wanted group contact,while the other was more motivated by personal reflection. This influenced the design process and the results affirm it was a good choice.
“I’d really take advantage of the personal journal because I could potentially use that as my own form of motivation.”
We also learned that users preferred the group communication within the app, because it allowed them to already know what the subject would be and keep them organized.
“Yes, ...because it would be best for this type of communication within this platform as opposed to leaving the app and using the phone’s built-in texting widget.”
Heatmaps showed that users were curious about the different elements on the screens, especially when it came to the send message page.
Would Use Journal
Messagin Easy to Use
Would Use Messaging
4 Out of 5 Would Use App
Usability Issues + Priority
I used the Preely survey results to gather feedback and fix issues. Below were the main issues with proposed solutions, with the most urgent at the top.
In order to get a better sense of direction for app style, I presented two style guides to the stakeholders. They love both, but preferred Basic Fit because of its humor. It embodied their goal to create an app that made fitness fun and engaging.
Option A: FitMe In
Option B: Basic Fit
Also, both options attempted to use real looking models to make everyone feel included. This is part of what separates from the competition to start a fitness revolution. FitMe In focused on lifestyle, while Basic Fit more so on shape and size. I also opted to include different type of health, as fitness can refer to mental, physical and emotional.
High Fidelity - Iteration One
Second Test Script
Overall the app was a success and met our business goals. The majority of users would use it and return again. I believe using real people, humor and adding the journal entry helped make it a success.
Overall, the new features still had an 80% adoption rate.
I would like to test the prototype over a longitudinal study to see if the concept works. Particularly, the journal. I would do this with a diary study. In order to learn its effectiveness, I would want to collect traditional fitness data to see if thier is a correlation between the app concept and better results. Lastly, I would want to map out user journeys and indicate how Basic Fitters are feeling throughout the process.