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The Problem


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The Problem



 

Context

The Problem

 
 

The Background

I come from an athletic childhood, I was a gymnast for 18 years of my life; yet, ironically, I am no longer athletic. I have the desire to workout but the means and resources tend to elude me. 

As I researched, I found out that gyms actually count on a certain percentage of members to not regularly workout. It is such a common behavior, that businesses are founded on our inability to follow through. 

 
 

Defining the Problem

+ My assumptions

I came into this project with a foundation of personal experience and several assumptions about the world of fitness:

  • Gyms have: limited space, financial costs, scheduling needs, and geographical limitations
  • The internet is inundated with options
  • Apps are limited / hard to find the right one for you
  • YouTube + Beachbody coaches are gaining popularity

The next step was to determine what fitness seekers were currently doing to satiate their work out inclinations.

 
 

Driving Questions

  • Who is in search of fitness? 
  • What drives them to want to work out? 
  • What is their definition of fitness? 
  • Who is leading the fitness wave? 
  • What are the issues with the current options?
  • Are those issues due to the material, context, or delivery of the information?
 

 
 

Interviews + Learnings

In order to narrow the topic down a bit, I reached out to a few people in the industry; both on the fitness providing side as well as the fitness seeking side. Some of my takeaways were: 

  • Fitness providers are extremely self-driven and motivated people
  • Providers thrive off creating a brand of and for themselves
  • Fitness seekers needs and motivations vary infinitely
  • There is power in the social aspect for the seekers, but not necessarily a need for it
  • Fitness is like fashion, there are trends and some people have the energy to follow them, others don’t and get side-tracked
 
 
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Current Behaviors


Current Behaviors


 

Context

 
 

Current Behaviors


 
 

Fitness Entrepreneurs

Those Creating the Fitness

Fitness is a two-sided marketplace; there are providers and there are consumers. Businesses like Zumba and Beachbody have grown and thrived on supporting their own networks of fitness providers. 


3 Existing Platforms for Fitness Entrepreneurs:

 
 
 

 

Fitness Seekers

Those Looking to exercise

I focused solely on self-driven work out options in the current market. (i.e. apps to download, YouTube, and sampling memberships like ClassPass)


3 Existing Options for Fitness Seekers:

 
 
 

 

Learnings

 

Takeaway 1:

Fitness has two distinct audiences: those creating and those consuming the fitness.

Driving Idea 1:

Is there a means to bring the two sides together? Could that be the product?

 
 

Takeaway 2:

The majority of fitness seekers are open and excited to trying new ways to exercise.

Driving Idea 2:

Barrier to entry must be friction-less.

 
 
 

Takeaway 3:

Recent trends have enabled self-driven and passionate fitness creators to strike out on their own.

Driving Idea 3:

Use incentives and simple UX to make the system intuitive and fitness-specific.

 
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Wireframes


Wireframes



 

The Product Development

Round 1: Co.Spot

 
 

Summary

In the beginning, I was developing a digital product for gymnastics coaches to exchange ideas and inspiration with each other. Via sharing videos of skills and drills, the system would also allow for education growth and tracking of gymnasts' progress.  


 
 

User Goals

Secondary: Gymnasts

  • Will have access, if coach decides, to see evolution / individual progress on his/her own page
  • Benefit of seeing progress over time without having to be perfect
  • Can compare how he/she looks vs how it may feel when completing a skill or drill
  • Can use log of videos for college recruiting

Primary: Coaches

  • Develop + grow their athletes to the best of his/her own natural talents + abilities
  • Inspiration for training, conditioning, and equipment use
  • Foster a community to connect with other coaches
  • Track and maintain progress for individual gymnasts at local gym
 

Planning

This initial work presented me with the groundwork and genesis of a product that evolved into MXD.

My initial product wireframes and profiles: 

 
 

Round 2: Range of Movement

 
 
 

Summary

Once I refocused on the fitness world, the product was called Range of Movement. Below are the initial exercises I did to sort out who it was for, what it was, what information was important.

One large difference of the new evolution was the change from a primary/secondary user system to a dual-sided user ecosystem.


 
 

User Goals

Fitness Seekers

Beginners:

  • Exposure to different types of work outs
  • Inspiration through accessibility
  • Reminiscent of a gym, surprising ideas coming from seeing what others are doing
  • Fosters a community to connect with others in similar situations, with similar interests

Training for: 

  • Access to suggestions for specific events + goals
  • Shuffle information to play as needed for skill level, time schedule, and resources
  • Create own playlists for certain goals + can share with others

Experienced:

  • Broad access to variety of content
  • Themed challenges to keep work outs fresh and inspiring

Fitness Entrepreneurs

Beginners:

  • A place and structure to post ideas to a broad audience
  • An easy access point to start the entrepreneurial endeavors
  • A community to help with common starting issues and best practices
  • Prompted challenges and ideas for new classes or materials

Experienced:

  • Royalty income from subscribers and views
  • Technology that allows refreshing of existing content to maintain interest of followers + subscribers
  • Fostering a community
  • Potential commercial sponsorship
  • Simple + easy experience to post + maintain their digital "gym"
 

Planning

I worked through some exercises to determine the key moments of the product and user experience. 

Below are some highlights of my exercises:

 

Planning, Cont'd

To this day, I'm still not sure what to call it; but this exercise gave me perspective on the scale of what I was attempting to make.

Below is my mapping of the entire system:

 

Round 3: MXD

Summary

I had only focused on the Fitness Provider up to this point, dubbed The Creators. I needed to refocus on the Fitness Seekers, now called The Shakers. This led to the next generation of MXD, the app.


 

User Needs

The Shakers

  • Get moving as quickly as possible
  • Minimal decision making to lessen the barrier to entry
  • Workouts that mirror reasons Shakers are looking to move
  • Access to searching by more traditional information if desired
 
 

App Wireframe

I challenged myself to find the simplest flow possible; I focused on the goal: to get a Shaker moving as quickly as possible.

Below is the Shaker flow to get moving:

 
 
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IA


IA


 

Information Architecture

The MXD App Iterations

Summary

A lot of this process cycled between UX research and UI investigations. Because the timeline for this particular part of the process was so crunched, I did begin designing a little too early in the process. 

Below is the evolution of the information hierarchy and iterations.


 

MXD App: Round 1

In this first round of designs, I tried to include all information that I assumed (key word) was relevant to anyone who wanted to work out. 

 

My mistakes / Learnings:

  • Ignorance of UX/UI standards
  • Lack of informed hierarchy
  • Jumped to designing too quickly

Round 1 Architecture + Designs:

 
 

MXD App: Round 2

In the next generation of designs, I tried to maintain the same amount of information but reign in the use of color and symbolic infographics. 

 

My Mistakes / Learnings:

  • Still had too much color, all symbolism is lost because it's too much to keep track of
  • I had lost any UX focus on how to guide a user through this information
  • Too much emphasis on too much information
  • Inconsistent UI cues + CTA's

Round 2 Architecture + Designs:

 
 

MXD App: Round 3

The third round took a large leap in terms of UX. A feature of the previous iterations was to rate how each workout made you feel. I took this idea of emotion, and put it to the front of the experience.

 

My Mistakes / Learnings:

  • By creating more specific actions, I did help guide the user a bit more.
  • The toned-down color palette helped clarify the communication being shown, but it was still too much information.
  • The home dashboard made for an awkward user experience entry into the workout.

Round 3 Architecture + Designs:

 
 

MXD App: Round 4

While the search via mood filter was highly interesting, it was more of a feature rather than a needed step in the process. 

I went back to having pre-decided workout options, but only 1 per exercise level. It was important to me to not require a username in order to access any playlist as the first flow. 

 

My Mistakes / Learnings:

  • The information needed to be more hidden, available but deeper in the experience
  • The colors were finally working!
  • I needed to focus on my first goal, getting Shaker's to work out ASAP

Round 4 Architecture + Designs:

 

MXD App: The Final Round

By embracing a cheeky vibe, and emphasizing the graphic visual direction I had developed, some mentors helped me realize that I could make this whole app much simpler. 

This change in the information architecture and overall user experience was the missing puzzle piece to this app. 

Round 5 Architecture + Designs:

 
 
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The Product


The Product



 

The Product

 
 

Summary

After developing, pitching, questioning, and defending MXD, the final product landed as a dual-platform system which would allow people to try, share, and create new ways to exercise and move with each other. This is not an MVP, but a visualized execution of how this product could potentially grow.

Below Are the overviews + flows to the mXD app. Click to view larger:

 
 
 
 
 

Below are the wireframes + Overview to the final MXD Website concept:

 
 
 

 

Possible MVP

 

My plan...

In order for MXD to come to life, there are a few different first steps that could be taken to create the MVP and generate interest.

My first goal would be set up some test material via YouTube, create a skinned system to tag and embed YouTube videos. This first test would give validation to: 

  • the uploading method, syntax, and UX for useful and proper meta data to build playlists
  • generate initial content to start testing usability factor of the playlist structure 
  • start tracking use and interest towards certain clips and types of exercise