Product

A mobile fitness app and website designed for older individuals or new adoptees of fitness technology. The app utilizes mobile devices and smart technology to maximize performance and wellness outcomes that are personalized and seamless. Both the website and mobile app use voice recognition, eliminating the need for touch and tap.

Role

Conduct interviews, paper and digital wireframes, lo-fi and hi-fi prototypes, conduct usability studies, account for accessibility, and iterating on designs

Duration

May, 2023 – June, 2023

Research Questions

  1. How long does it take a user to join the app?
  2. Are users able to successfully select a trainer and a fitness plan?
  3. What can we learn from the steps users took to select and use a trainer and fitness plan?
  4. Are there parts of the joining, selecting a trainer and fitness plan process that are confusing?
  5. Is the payment process easy to use for the customer?
  6. Is the voice navigation feature optimal?

What was discovered from the research

The research findings

A usability study was conducted using a low-fidelity prototype. Five participants, ages 40-60, from the middle to high-income brackets, participated in a moderated usability study using Zoom. All five participants use a fitness app, and 3 out of 5 use a wearable fitness device. Four out of five participants operate a website, YouTube, or smartTV to work out, do yoga, or exercise. Four out of the five participants now use a diet or weight loss app. All participants said they were confident using technology to support their fitness goals.

Participants were asked to a Zoom call and respond to prompts as they interacted with the Adobe XD lo-fi prototype. Five themes were discovered during the analysis of the data. The study took no more than 10 minutes to complete.

The review of research insights called for revisions to …

  • Recommendation 1: navigation buttons that allow users to return to previous screens must be added to the app in critical locations.
  • Recommendation 2: the pricing, packaging, and payment process must be added in multiple places throughout the app.
  • Recommendation 3: users need better and more detailed information about what they are purchasing and the agreement terms.
  • Recommendation 4:  fonts and buttons must be more prominent.

In addition to these P-zero items, participants recommended that the joining process be re-ordered so that the sequence of entering health and fitness information after signing up for the desired package plan would be perceived with great confidence in the product. They also wanted better information about the contents of each package. One participant suggested that I reconsider where to place the select a trainer in the enrollment process as well as add a feature (bot or popup suggestion) that provided additional assistance on how to join the product. Lastly, a request was made to animate the payment process, like Turbo-Tax illustrating what’s happening throughout the joining process.

Themes from the Analysis

Changes that resulted from the first usability study

Theme #1 App Navigation

  • All participants could navigate the site without any issues; however, they all felt that there needed to be more buttons to navigate back to previous pages or the homepage.
  • All participants were clear about the call to action buttons and liked that there were multiple opportunities to join the site.

The site is easy to use. I just wish I had more ways to navigate back to the previous page without using my browser button to go back.

Changes made to the design:

Additional navigation features and options were added to the hi-fi prototype to ensure users could easily navigate forward and backward through the product. All buttons were enlarged to provide older users greater visibility.

Theme #2 User Intention

  • All participants quickly knew that the site intended to sell them a fitness and wellness program.
  • Most participants realized that the site was for a more senior audience.
  • Some participants were confused about how the focus on three items [fitness, nutrition, and wellness] would be packaged and presented to customers.

It's not clear to me about how the three items you focus on in this site will be packaged and sold to me. Will I get all three or will I have to pick one?

Changes made to the design:

  • Specific images of older adults working out, exercising, or doing yoga or meditation were selected to support the intended product audience.
  • Developed content specific to the three focus areas of the product.
  • Added video of older adults to provide a better understanding of the real-time experience the product intends to provide.

Theme #3 Joining the app

  • 3 out of 5 participants were confused about where they were on the site, how to return, the payment process, and entering personal information.
  • All participants were clear that the pricing and packaging information should be front and center. They disagreed on where that should go.
  • All participants wanted a more transparent pricing, packaging, and payment process is needed.
  • All participants wanted more detailed information about what they were purchasing and the terms of the agreement.

You need a 30-day trial period along with a clear description of the various packages and their pricing so I can make a more informed decision about what to buy.

Changes made to the design:

  • The large image at the top of the page was eliminated, along with the text box and the two CTA buttons.
  • Each special exhibit or collection was added with a select button.
  • Each exhibit or collection has a description, and a ‘Learn More’ button that takes the user to a short description about the artist and the exhibit.
  • Corresponding descriptions were added to the design.
  • The total amount was added so users could decide whether they wanted to add the exhibits.

Theme #4 App Security and Confidence

  • 5 out of 5 participants were clear that more needs to be done to make the site feel secure and gain the confidence of an older user, esp. one new to technology and fitness.

You need a pop-up Help feature that would guide users through the payment/ joining process. This would better support the customer.

Changes made to the design:

An email feature was added that mailed the user a copy of their contract, payment receipts, and the user agreement.

A community feature was added, allowing users to post to forums, get answers to questions, network with other users, and post on social media.

Animation was added to the join and payment process.

Theme #5 Accessibility

  • 5 out of 5 participants agreed that more needs to be done to make the app accessible to senior users new to technology or fitness technology.

Don't do anything voice-activated. Older adults will get confused and frustrated with that feature.

Changes made to the design:

  • All fonts have been enlarged or considered for accessibility issues.
  • All buttons and navigation features have either been enlarged or added throughout the app.
  • The color palette will remain in greys and neutrals.
  • The voice-activation feature was abandoned based on the feedback from the study participants.

Affinity Study

Meet the Users

Retired Teacher

Connie

Age: 66
Education: BS Elementary Education
Hometown: Concord, NC
Occupation: Retired 4th grade teacher
I am a senior living in a 55+ community who needs to lose weight and get stronger so I can live a fuller and healthier life.

Goals: My overall fitness goals are to lose about 40 pounds, reduce the number of medications I'm currently taking, and feel stronger and look better.

Frustrations: I have struggled with my weight all my life and my doctor has informed me that my vitals are not good right now. I don't have a way to get to a gym and wouldn't know where to start. Exercise and eating healthy have always been a struggle for me.

Quote: I've never been able to successfully lose the weight and keep it off. I hope this app with a customized personal trainer changes all of that.

Accountant

Don

Age: 58
Education: BS & MA in Accounting
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Family: Divorced and lives with his husband
Occupation: Tax accountant with his own firm

Goals: Since his husband is 15 years younger than him, it's time for Don to take his health more serious than he has previously. He got a bad report from his doctor and knows he needs to lose weight and keep it off.

Frustrations: Don has been on every diet imaginable and has never been able to keep it off. He used to workout regularly, but stopped when he injured his shoulder. It's now time for him to change all of that. He wants to get a personal trainer but does not have access to a gym close enough to him.

Quote: I want to live long enough to spend some of my retirement with my husband and I know that my health right now it's good.

Retired Store Clerk

Marcie

Age: 70
Education: Community College
Hometown: Mooresville, NC
Family: Two dogs - Trixie and Belle
Occupation: Store Clerk for a major grocery chain

Goals: I want to walk to the mailbox without feeling like I'm about to pass out. I know I am too heavy and need to lose weight.

Frustrations: I'm not going to a gym! But I would like to exercise in the safety of my own home. I don't know where to get started and need the help of a personal trainer, but that's expensive and I live on a fixed income.

Quote: It's harder for older people who have never exercised, much less worked with a personal trainer, feel comfortable with the idea of having someone right there with you helping you get stronger and feeling better.

Summary of Competitive Analysis

A look at four competitors in the market

Type and Quality of Competitors' Products

Yoga Studio: Body & Mind Yoga Studio is the top-ranked, all-in-one yoga and meditation app used by countless yogis from around the globe. The app is a simple, straightforward, and beautifully crafted approach that helps guide beginner, intermediate, and advanced users through yoga poses, yoga movements, and entire yoga classes. The app is free for a 7-day trial period and then $9.99 a month for the basic package. Other packages can be purchased, ranging from $29.99 quarterly to $69.99 for an unlimited annual pass.

MyFitnessPal is a fitness and nutrition app available for both iOS and Android. It was released by the popular fitness brand Under Armour in 2005 and now has millions of users worldwide. This app serves as a diet and exercise tracker that helps you set weight gain or weight loss goals, count calories, keep a food diary and see the nutritional information behind what you eat. It also tracks your macronutrients (carbs, proteins, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). This app has two pricing options, free or premium at $19.99 per month.

The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout App (free, for iPhone) helps users gain some exercise into their day at an intensity level that’s right for them. All you need is seven minutes, or about 11 if you add a warm-up and cool down, and a chair. A medium-intensity Johnson & Johnson workout can include jumping jacks, pushups, wall chair, high-knee running in place, crunches, plank, side plank, tricep dips using a chair, and a few other moves. It’s a lot to pack into seven minutes, but Johnson & Johnson gets it done. This app is completely free.

SilverSneakers GO is a fitness app that makes it easy for users to get fit, stay active, and develop healthy exercise habits. With this app, you’re
getting: (1) A fitness location and class finder, (2) national and community classes, (3) virtual and in-person – 200+ SilverSneakers On-Demand fitness and wellness videos, and (4) Step-by-Step Guided Workout programs for all fitness levels, including guided walks and meditations. The app and the program are free to individuals eligible for Medicare.

Competitors Position in the Market

SilverSneakers is well-positioned in the Senior fitness market. This program has a long history of providing excellent programming that users enjoy and continue to use. The app is a fitness companion to the program, making it easy for users to use on a regular basis. The Johnson and Johnson app is a quality product that is completely free, easy to use, and readily customizable. While there are a few minor issues with the app, this product is well-positioned in the market. The MyFitnessPal is well-loved by many users and is best for tracking health and fitness goals. The app is meant to be used along with other apps and fitness programs and is not in and of itself a total fitness app. Its only competitor is LoseIt! which is also regarded as a top product. Lastly, when it comes to yoga apps, Yoga Studio is considered one of the best and awarded top of its class of yoga programs.

How Competitors Talk About Themselves

Yoga Studio App – Yoga should be accessible to all! That’s why we’ve carefully crafted and curated the perfect mix of technology, teacher experience, and overall yoga goodness to make Yoga Studio: Mind & Body the number-one destination for health-conscious individuals looking to begin their yoga journey or to take it to an all-new level. All our classes come with full HD video and teacher commentary that’s clear and easy to follow. 

MyFitnessPal – MyFitnessPal is one of the best weight loss apps and fitness apps, helping nearly 1 million members reach their nutrition and fitness goals every year. Members use it as a calories tracker and calorie counter to log their foods, and take advantage of the app’s food database that contains over 14 million foods. It’s not just a free calorie counter app — it’s also the best calorie counter app for people who are looking to take back control of their health and fitness.

The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute WorkoutWith more than 3 million downloads, The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout® App is the fast, simple, science-based way to work out anywhere, anytime. Designed by Chris Jordan, Director of Exercise Physiology at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, the workout has helped people around the world get the most out of every minute. And now our world class, personalized workout experience is on Apple Watch – so your workout is always with you!

SilverSneakersGo Getting active just got easier with SilverSneakers® GOTM, the first fitness app designed just for you.

Competitors' Strengths, Weaknesses, and Gaps

The main strength of these apps is that they deliver what they promise. Each app is clearly focused on doing one thing really well. The overall weakness of these products is that they are not a holistic or integrative view of health, fitness, and wellness. It’s left up to the user to cobble a set of apps together and use them as designed to achieve one’s fitness goals. The gap appears to be a lack of a holistic view of wellness that links nutrition, fitness, and wellness together in one cohesive and comprehensive app.

Opportunities

  1. Develop an app for seniors that integrates nutrition, fitness, and wellness to achieve a more holistic approach to health in one’s senior years
  2. Keep the app up-to-date
  3. Stay current with appealing UX/UI design
  4. Ensure the app is accessible to all individuals regardless of ability

Wireframes and Prototypes

Development process from paper to Adobe XD

Lo-Fi Prototype

Iteration of the Design

Based on the feedback from the first usability study, a companion website and mobile phone app were created. This new package standardized branding colors, artwork, typography, and content. Based on this design work, a new series of design challenges and changes were ade.

Issue One: Mobile Phone App Development

The mobile app was developed to accompany the website/ tablet design. The app is a simplified version of the three main components of the website – fitness, nutrition, and wellness. The app allows users to see a summary of their fitness, nutrition, and wellness goals. The app provides users with fitness and wellness routines along with a catalog recipes.

Issue Two: Specific Pricing Packages

The pricing package was designed to be a three-tiered pricing system. A link to the plan was added to the main menu at the top of each page. A page for each plan was created to provide the user with plenty of information to help them make a more informed decision.

Issue Three: Checkout Process

The checkout process was redesigned to support the user throughout the payment process. The idea of creating a help pop-up that would assist the user throughout the checkout process was abandoned. For now, a simple and streamlined process will suffice.

Issue Four: Website Development

The original design began by designing a fitness app for seniors for a tablet device. Many seniors and older adults use tablets because they prefer the larger screen size and the device’s mobility. The web design was simple in that it was a scaled-up version of the tablet device.

Hi-Fi Prototype Development

Development of a companion website and mobile app

Takeaways

This is my third UX Case Study and portfolio project for the Google UX Design Certification program. Besides learning how to use Adobe XD extensively, develop wireframes, and complete usability studies, I have learned how people approach design and how valuable understanding the user experience is in creating a product. The research part of this process has been the most insightful in that people have shared their likes, dislikes, and challenges with my design.

Knowing what I know now, I would change the look and feel of this app. I selected this project because of my own personal fitness challenges as an older adult. Recently I have lost over 50 pounds by working out six days a week, using a fitness app and a smartwatch, and using a diet app to log my calorie intake. It has been an incredible journey. I am passionate about my fitness challenges and wanted to design something I would use and hope others will.

I have learned so many new things, and I continue to be challenged every day by the enormous array of design software, applications, and techniques available to designers today. There is so much to know and be able to do. It’s sometimes overwhelming. I’ve learned how to use my WordPress theme and website better to build this extensive case study. I’ve gained several new Photoshop, Adobe XD, and Camtasia skills.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.