IRON HACK Case Study
A few days ago I presented my Physical Wellness App at IRONHACK in Barcelona. It was a 5 day individual project, two of them were weekend, with the broad topic of Wellness and with the main broad goal of improving people’s day-to-day lives. My idea was to take it to the gym topic to narrow it a little bit and I came up with an improvement to gym users which let them go to the gym wherever they are on the city and learn how to plan their workouts.
To sum up, I started doing some design thinking methodology to carry out the project. If you continue reading you’ll find more details about it.
Design Thinking is a method designers use in ideation and development. The method describes a human-centered, iterative design process consisting of 5 steps — Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test.
In this stage you set aside your own assumptions about gyms in order to gain insight into the users and their needs when they are going to the gym. I started doing a Lean Survey Canvas (a process that focuses on problems, solutions, key metrics and competitive advantages).
That Lean Survey Canvas led me start some questions to do on surveys and interviews (numbers 5–7 on the lean canvas). The fact was that after the first interviews I realize I did wrong questions and I was at a standstill with the problem. I was doing questions which answers were habits that people have at the gym and not their paint points on that issue.
So, I started again, with new questions, interviews and surveys and I got new answers which takes me to a bunch of insights. The common ones from 50 surveys were:
- 71,8% use to go to the nearest and cheaper gym. (which my hypothesis was right at the beginning)
- 62% want to go more times to the gym but didn’t have enough time because of work/social activities. (my hypothesis wasn’t right, I though that people don’t go to the gym because of laziness, not for other major reasons)
- 67,7% were willing to go to other gyms apart from their current one. (as a gym user, I thought that this was a great idea but I didn’t know that so many people wanted that too)
- 82% would like to be explained some workout plan that better fits to them because they didn’t know about that field. (I didn’t know that so many gym users had that ignorance about workout plans)
In define is where we put together our findings of gym users and we analyze our observations and synthesize them in order to define the core problems.
I started facing two pain points because I thought it was easy to manage, but at the end of the design thinking process I realised that in 3 days it wasn’t. They were: not enough time to go to the gym and lack of workout plan knowledge.
My next step was to think about a problem statement that represents better my goal because in case of getting lost during the following steps I could always look at that sentence and remember which was my goal and why I was doing that.
My problems statement, as I had two pain points were two as well:
Gym users need a motivational way to go to the gym because they want to and they don’t have enough time to go.
Gym users need a way to know how to plan their workout because they want to learn but they don’t have that knowledge of that field.
I have created the User Persona gathering all the research done before in order to have someone to look at when getting lost.
On the third stage you are ready to start generating ideas about that issue. With the knowledge you have gathered you can start “thinking outside the box” to identify new solutions to both the problem statement created.
So at this point I knew what the problem was and who I was designing for. I started sketching which is the easiest and cooler way of doing the brainstorming and coming up with ideas to solve the problem.
The idea was to connect my two problems statement to a solution by the app. The first one about “not enough time to go to the gym” because of commuting for too long, I thought about a feature which you could go to all the gyms on the city and just buy the timetable that better fits to you. So you could buy a plan on many gyms and go there depending location. Also with the other problem statement the app will have a feature where users post different plans with their explanation about workouts, always up-to-date.
In the Prototype phase of Design Thinking, you produce a number of inexpensive, scaled-down versions of the product or specific features found within the product so you can investigate the problem solutions generated in the previous stage.
I started with a paper prototype sketching out more detailed wireframes of the app which then I tested with users. Next, with 4 rounds of iteration testing to 6 users I did many changes that makes the app more understandable.
On this stage of iteration I did many changes:
- That change was because many users didn’t understand that to go back you had to click again on filter. So the final prototype was again a change, the third one.
- The second screen idea was a drop-down that let you filter the workouts plan, but also users though that was a Title and not a interactive button.
- Finally, the third change was about the icon of going to the map screen. I though it would be a great idea to change the map icon into a pointer icon but when testing iteration I realize that it wasn’t clear at all so I came back to the typical icon. Sometimes if many applications have the same icon or feature is because it actually works.
In the Test phase of Design Thinking, you rigorously test the completed product using the best solutions identified during the prototyping phase. This is the final stage; however, it is an iterative phase with prototyping where you iterate time and time again till the final test.
Imagine that Maria lives so far from work and she decides to go after work to the gym next to it and she looks up in the map, on the dumbbell screen, for the gym where she knows that do zumba lessons. Then she chooses the afternoon timetable so the little time she has after work she would take advantage of that close gym instead of commuting home. Also she could go at lunch time.
Then, when she was there in the gym and she wants to train her gluteus she will again filter the options on the Timer page and look for a plan that better fits her. The decision of drawing a dumbbell and a Timer was because of the inspiration of several workout-train-gym applications that also use that icon.
Finally here we have the invision prototype.
In this project I have learned a lot mostly on the first phase where I was wrong doing the questions. Also I would like to be more creative, I think that we never have to stop being creative, and just face one pain point, with 3 real days it’s not enough time to finish such a broad project.
Also what I would do next would be to create new screens and develop the feature of buying the timetable plan and also the workouts features.
I hope you all find my project helpful for you and I’m always keen to hear feedbacks and learn from that.