A Case Study on Fitsy
When tracking macros and hormones together just makes sense.
While studying at RED Academy in a full time UX course, we were matched up with community partners, which allowed us to get our hands on some real projects and the chance to solve some real problems.
Issues with weight loss
Many women try new funky diets that promise ground breaking results, some try unattainable workout plans, and others simply give up and purchase the next bra size. But what about creating a diet (not to be confused with dieting) that works for you and your body specifically?
Why Fitsy needed us
Why not cook and eat foods that you want to eat, that are good for you, and that you are already used to? Andrew, our client, knew a lot about flexible eating (personalized plans that are made to suit you and your existing lifestyle) by a coach and felt it would benefit women around him. But an idea and some research (a darn good amount too) was all he had. He came to us hoping we could bring his vision to life.
After our initial client meeting with Andrew, we learned that a women's hormonal levels at certain times of the month does in fact affect her eating habits, mood levels, sleeping patterns, energy levels and so on. For example, high levels of estrogen typically mean a woman will be feeling more energetic where she may be satisfied with having sushi for lunch, whereas higher progesterone levels might make her want to curl up on the couch and crave comfort foods.
Fitsy was planned to work by pairing health coaches with users to work on their monthly cycles and corresponding foods that would benefit them most during certain times with certain energy and mood levels. The coaches would work with foods the users are already familiar with (possibly with some slight adjustments) in order to incorporate a diet that is already integrated into your life, which you are drastically more likely to adhere to.
Once we understood the science behind it, the next step was to figure out if there was even a need for it.
Talking to Women
During our research, it was important to understand the need or interest women had when considering how hormones can affect their weight.
Takeaways from our research:
- Women want to see trends or some sort of feedback. Sometimes “feeling” the results isn’t enough, they want to actually see what their progress looks like.
- They want real, custom solutions that works for them, not a pre-packaged one-size-fits all diet.
- A major pain point was tracking. It was too tedious and women who have tracked in the past never kept up with it.
- 94% of respondents did not use a personal nutrition expert, mostly because of cost. Also, many women wanted to keep their personal information private. Weight can be a sensitive topic.
- Having accurate information is crucial to providing personalized results so we needed to make tracking fun, or to make it feel like they weren’t tracking.
- We needed to display these results in a delightful and appealing way.
- If cost was not an issue for this app, then more women would be open to sharing their information with one professional if they built that relationship and trust.
- Most importantly, this wasn’t just an app about diets and periods anymore, it was a wellness app.
Planning our approach
Even though there are three stakeholders total (the customer success manager, the coach, and the customer) our main persona to focus on for this project is the customer or user. She struggles with her weight, but knows she can achieve her goals with the right tools.
Through a Competitive and Comparative analysis, we created a Customer Journey Map, which aligned well with one of our insights- that tracking is a pain. It drains the excitement and ruins the progress.
After completing User scenarios, User stories and a User Flow, we felt we had just enough information to know the following:
- We knew who our users were
- What had to go into the app
- How they wanted to use it… or how they didn’t want to use it.
Building the App
We created goals to keep us aligned with what our app should be doing for the user, which eventually turned into main features.
- Food scrapbook–First, we needed a way to track macros without making it feel like they were tracking macros.
- Coach Communication–A way to communicate with their coaches.
- Data Analysis–A way to allow them to see their data so they can discover correlations and insights on their own.
1. Food Scrapbook
Our competitive analysis showed us that photo food tacking was a possibility, and other successful companies were using it.
And since the results from our surveys and interviews proved that nearly everyone, at the end of the day, simply wanted to feel better and to be comfortable in her own skin, this allowed an opening for Fitsy to not only be a Flexible eating App, but to also be an overall wellness App.
To incorporate this aspect into a feature, we prompted the user to rate their mood and energy level while uploading a photo of their food so all this information could be documented and viewed later. Taking much less time to track food by taking a photo allows the user to do something they already know and do, which is taking cool photos of your food!
2. Coach Communication
Having the ability to talk to your coach, and to keep you on track during the tracking process was important to Andrew as well as to women we spoke to. This is supported by our persona, Olivia, who wants something personalized to her.
The communication feature changed a lot along the way, starting with an AI Siri-like-wanabe, but eventually the feature turned into an introduction to the users’ coach along with a chat platform.
3. Data Analysis
Finally, there needed to be a way to view all the data and see how each bit of information may correlate with each other.
This was important for the coach and the user to be able to see progress and to gain their own insights into their eating habits or overall wellness. This allows women to finally see how their hormones might affect their diet, mood or energy levels for themselves.
Testing our prototype
We had our testers try out these tasks:
- View wellness page
- Check my nutrition data
- Look at my ovulation cycle
- Chat with my coach
- Add a photo to my food scrapbook
We found out that most testers did in fact need some help navigating, some more than others. But this led us to a list of things to make our product better!
Here are some of the many changes we applied:
Decluttered top header to simplify navigation
Changed graphical styles to improve clarity and distinction between each set of data
Added bread crumbs to indicate place during on-boarding process
Changed modal for a more graceful UI and coherent brand
Added a button to allow users to actually finish the on-boarding process!
You would be surprised what you miss until you conduct some tests.
We learned so much from working with Andrew on the Fitsy app. I learnt very quickly that creating features from scratch was very different from perfecting them. This whole project contributed to an incredible learning curve for us. But I think in the end we came away as better designers, and this project only made us into harder workers.
Fitsy has a way to go still, just like any startup does at the beginning, but there is some real untapped potential when considering personalized health and wellness that Fitsy can establish. I hope we helped him solidify his vision and plans for the future to come, because Fitsy has the ability to help so many women balance their wellness through their everyday mood. Because UX doesn’t just have to apply to digital platforms, it can affect how women experience their lives a little bit more comfortably. Until that day comes, I will have to be content with Advil and chocolate.