Mobile Fitness User Experience

This was a redesign made in 2015 for the fitness application Jefit while in graduate school at University of Washington. The final designs were provided to Jefit and some parts ended up being used for the next iteration of their application.

Jefit is a mobile fitness application that enables users to track their progress, find and build custom routines, and connect with the fitness community to stay motivated towards a healthy lifestyle. My team and I set out to improve the design of the IOS application in order to create a better fitness experience. We utilized market research and a cognitive walkthrough to identify major usage frustrations. After, we iteratively designed and tested to create an improved Jefit experience. For this educational project, the team utilized a design process championed from the D School at Stanford: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. I want to take you step-by-step through one of my first UX redesigns.

Stanford D School User-Centered Design Process


A great design starts with a deep understanding of the audience. The typical Jefit user is a North American male around the age of 27. He is just starting out or is somewhat versed in fitness exercise, and desires an effective system to build his dream body.

Typical Jefit User


We researched who the real Jefit users are by combing through Jefit forums and looking at web meta information from Google Trends and Alexa. We then observed some would be end-users work out a few times to understand a typical routine.


To build a better understanding we held some informal semi-structured interviews with end-users gaining insight to their values, motivations, and needs for their fitness goals.


Every team member downloaded and used Jefit to gain an understanding of what it’s like to use Jefit — this was invaluable to creating a better experience.


Jefit holds a plethora of interactions for a user to perform, many which are well received. To identify where the application is lacking, we conducted market research and found the information architecture and how you navigate were the most problematic. We then hosted a cognitive walkthrough and observed how participants navigated and understood the most problematic areas.

Market Research

We analyzed over 600 user reviews from application stores. From these, we got 74 valuable insights into what areas of Jefit need improvement. This was great to gather lots of qualitative responses of real end users, quickly.

The UX is profoundly inefficient and unintuitive. After working for half an hour trying to customize a workout, I decided to dump it. It’s way too cluttered. -tcarly, iOS.

Cognitive Walkthrough

We then hosted a cognitive walkthrough with five participants who talked aloud their thought process while demonstrating a few critical functions of Jefit.

For each task we wanted to tell a credible story for these two questions:

  • Will the user know what to do at this step?
  • If the user does the right thing, will they know they did the right thing, and are making progress towards their goal?

The cognitive walkthrough helped us prioritize and focus the findings to redesign how you start manage routines, search for exercises, and download more routines.

Cognitive Walkthrough in progress


Our group brainstormed and group sketched to form creative solutions for how to overcome the difficulties users faced.


Our brainstorming sessions focused on generating a high quantity of creative problem solving. We made sure to encourage wild ideas and deferred judgement.

Brainstorm ideas


As with brainstorming, group sketching is vital to any UX process. This allowed us to synthesize ideas into wireframes for an appropriate solution.

Initial Sketches


We rapidly prototyped different solutions and got them ready to test on people. This was great for generating many designs. We were able to quickly mock some up with Axure and tested them with participants.


With our working Axure prototypes, we had a few new participants talk aloud the same tasks as the prior cognitive walkthrough. Participants then provided feedback on the usability of two redesigns. This helped identify the most usable ideas for high-fidelity mock ups.

Final Product

Original Jefit Designs
Jefit Final Designs


We ended up contacting the Jefit CEO on linkedIn and gave him the assets we spent some time creating. The CEO thanked us and ended up using parts of our work (the side menu) in their next application iteration.



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