UX Case Study: Fit Body Club- a health and fitness app
Who doesn’t want to have a perfectly toned body? Whether you are trying Hollywood stars’ favorite keto diet or hoping to fit into your favorite old jeans one day, losing those extra pounds is always hard. According to a study, to boost your chances of living a long and active life is through regular physical activity.
Surprisingly even after acknowledging these great benefits of regular exercise, a large group of the population, especially females, are significantly less physically active than males. So I decided to take up this challenging task to create a fitness app for women as a part of my coursework in the Design Thinking course offered by the Interaction Design Foundation.
To stay focused during my research, I narrowed my user base to females aged 18–30 years who are interested in improving their fitness and overall health. My challenge here was to create a smartphone app that will help my target users to improve their fitness at their comfort level.
I followed the five-stage design thinking model proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (d.school).
I prepared a list of questions for one-on-one interview sessions with 6 females and also posted that questionnaire on Instagram for multiple users to answer. The reason behind this was to set aside my assumptions about the users and to gain deeper insights into their needs, perceptions, and pain-points.
These are the research questions that I asked to find out WHAT users want from a fitness app:
1. Do you like to exercise?
2. What is your current physical activity level?
3. Where do you exercise?
4. Do you use any app/ videos/ personal trainer for help?
5. What’s stopping you from exercising?
Following is a summary of responses from 20 participants:
· 60% said they prefer to do indoor exercise as they are worried about being judged in the gym.
· 53% of women said they wanted to work out, but due to time constraints, they couldn’t reach their daily goals and lost motivation.
· 43% said they don’t know where to start.
· 27% said they exercise 3 days a week and feel good after their workout.
· 20% said they exercise because they want to take care of their physical and mental health.
· 6% said they relate exercise with weights & masculinity (identified as EXTREME USERS).
Based on the results, some of the leading excuses for not exercising were — the anxiety of being judged at the gym, busy lifestyles, and not knowing where to start.
After collecting information about target users’ needs, how they think, and feel about exercising, I created two personas depicting those characteristics. I used this information as my point of reference throughout the design process.
Before starting my design process, I wanted to identify and analyze the market competition — any market gaps and scope for improvement.
“Fortune favors the prepared mind”
– Louis Pasteur
Defining the Problem Statement
To find simple solutions to complex problems, we need to start designing simple problem statements.
After organizing my observations and findings I defined the problem statement in two parts:
1. Point of View:
2. How Might We: (In my case it was — How Might I, as I was working alone on this project)
· How might I make exercising appealing to young adult females?
· How might I inspire young females to adopt a healthier life routine?
· How might I offer the physical gym experience through a mobile app?
In this stage, outlining each step of the app that users will follow to meet their desired goals helped me in prioritizing user experience. During the Ideation process, I further refined and removed repetitive steps in the process to create a quick and smooth workflow.
The foremost goal of this app will be to provide support to users in achieving their optimal health, so I decided to have three sections- Mind (spiritual), Body (exercise), and Food (healthy diet plans) to provide a holistic experience.
Keeping Hick’s law and cognitive load theory in mind, I started creating low-fidelity wireframes to define content on each screen. After several scribble sketching sessions, I chose some designs that matched my requirements. The goal was to design a clean, quick, and intuitive navigation for users to reach their end goals.
I then started working on the design deliverables- style guides, colors, typography, and other user interface components. During my research about what to include and how to present it, I learned about mood boards. Mood boards are an inspirational collage of images, fonts, icons, colors to visually communicate a general idea or feel of the design project. I used it as a reference point to improve the style and feel of the app.
To make the typographic experience practical and useful I used Open Sans, a sans-serif typeface designed by Steve Matteson. It was an appropriate choice to maintain clarity and overall readability. To add contrast and better hierarchy I also used Raleway font, an elegant sans-serif typeface family.
Naming the App
Choosing a suitable app name — “Fit Body Club” was an important part. I decided to give it a simple name, one that reflects its purpose (which is helping in staying fit mentally and physically). I intentionally chose a purple and pink theme as these colors are usually favored by women universally.
Here my goal was to try and practice simple and smooth animations to create meaningful transitions from one screen to another for users.
To create a tailored plan for users, I designed a quick three-step onboarding process. I further added a progress bar at the top to show users how much time this onboarding process will take (so they don’t lose patience signing up).
I must say designing an app from scratch is indeed a complicated multi-step process, but I did learn a lot about the process. The real challenge for me was to apply that knowledge towards designing solutions and creating an interactive high-fidelity prototype.
The next step will be to perform usability testing of the designed prototype with real users to evaluate its commercial viability.
Developing features to Sync workout data with a health app to record daily user activities.