UXDI Project 1 — Rapid Prototyping

From Concept to App in 3 Days

PROJECT OVERVIEW

In 3 days prototype an app for someone else based on an area of interest to them. To do this I interviewed my partner and then dissected the information to define a problem that could be solved with a simple mobile app. The problem I set out to solve was:

“When you are always busy, how do you make the workout experience more enjoyable so that you want to go to the gym?”

First, let’s rewind a little bit to see how I came up with this problem statement.

PROCESS

User Interview

When I was paired up with Lindsey on day one she told me a topic of interest to her was fitness, specifically biking around the city. I created a mind map around fitness first so I could visually see everything that has to do with fitness — this is what I used to compose my interview questions.

Fitness Mind Map

I thought the interview would revolve mostly around leisure biking but our conversation ended up being mostly about working out. I found that Lindsey grew up in an active family and was always on sports teams. She liked the social aspect of sports more than the competition. Today she is still a big fan of working out, specifically group classes because even if you go alone it still feels social. A few quotes stuck out to me from the interview

“In high school I switched from LaCrosse to track. I liked the sport of LaCrosse more but I liked the people in Track”
“Best feeling of working out is the feeling after”
“Flywheel is one of my favorite workout classes — the class and teachers have a good energy. Plus they have an awesome app that shows you your stats after a ride”
“I fall into periods of going to the gym inconsistently when I get busy — I don’t have motivation to carve out time”

Affinity Mapping

To help me sort through all the interview information I used affinity mapping. I wrote down anything I felt was significant on post it notes and then worked to arrange them in a way that helped me figure out my design direction. I ended up grouping the information into three sections positive thoughts, negative thoughts, and general info.

Post-Its before organization
Post-Its Arranged in Positive and Negative Sections

Insights/Design Direction

Affinity mapping allowed me to pull out key insights about Lindsey

1. Best part of working out for her is the feeling after

2. Going to the gym inconsistently is an issue

3. She loves the social aspect of working out

From these insights I created my design direction

1. Solution should enable Lindsey to workout consistently

2. Solution should enhance the after workout feeling

3. Solution should add social opportunities

Prototyping

For this project all my prototyping was done through sketching. With my design directions in mind I started drawing out feature ideas that could enhance Lindsey’s workout experience.

Initial Sketch Ideas

I found myself going off track of the actual issues at hand. In one iteration of my project I was really playing up the social aspect of working out making it somewhat of a gym “social network”. I created features where users have in depth profiles that others can see. I thought this would help users get to know the people they take classes with and maybe even find new work out buddies. When I took a step back, I realized this isn’t what Lindsey wants. She wasn’t looking to meet people in her classes or make friends at the gym — she wanted to work out more consistently and this wasn’t going to solve that.

Iteration of Gym User Profile

I bounced a lot of my ideas off of Lindsey to see if the features I was creating were things she would use. I thought up ways to motivate Lindsey to go to the gym and came up with the idea of creating personal goals that the app could track to keep her on pace. She was not very interested in this feature saying it wouldn’t motivate her to go to workout. She did mention how if there were pre-made “challenges” set up in the app she would be more inclined to do those. From this I created the challenges section of the app which I will discuss in detail later.

POP Prototype

Below is the link to my POP prototype so you can see the final design and flow of my app.

https://popapp.in/w/projects/56a16c921d02c6a5037d0534/mockups/56a16ca98c16915c677aeace

Solution

After many iterations I created an app that I believe will help Lindsey consistently go to the gym. The solution addresses the design directions in the following ways.

1. Solution should enable Lindsey to workout consistently

When she wants to workout she can open the app and browse by class. She can book the class right away from the class list screen or if she wants more info she can click on a class and see info on the class itself, the teacher, and who is in the class and then either book the class from that page or go back to browse.

Maybe Lindsey is in the mood to kick her workouts up a notch. She can open the app and choose the challenge option. That will bring her to a screen that shows a list of pre-made challenges plus the option to make her own. A challenge is a group of classes she can attend focusing on a fitness goal. Whichever challenge she clicks on will bring her to a screen explaining the challenge and show her the classes involved. If she chooses to participate in the challenge then the classes will automatically be added to her schedule.

2. Solution should enhance the after workout feeling

Lindsey told me she keeps her phone in her locker while she is in classes. With that in mind what can I do to compliment the afterwork out feeling when Lindsey picks up her phone? I designed a feature that pops up as soon as her phone opens. The feature contains a congratulatory message along with the stats from her workout.

When she closes that window a pop up comes up that allows her to sign up for the same class the next time it is on the schedule — this also addresses the issue of working out consistently.

After the pop up she gets directed to her user profile page. This page will clearly show her challenge progress (if she is doing one) along with her workout stats where she can toggle between week, month, and year. This user page will also help her work out consistently. Seeing her stats and progress will be a motivating factor.

3. Solution should add social opportunities

Instead of turning the gym into a social network I decided to find a way that Lindsey can incorporate her friends that may not have the same gym membership as her. I added a feature where every 10 classes Lindsey attends she receives a free guest pass. When she gets notified that she has unlocked one guest she can either invite friends through facebook messenger or she can bank it and use it later when she is signing up for a class. This feature creates incentive for going to the gym and if she invites a friend to use the pass she is already committing to another class in the future. I also made challenge classes worth double points to create more incentive for doing the challenges. This means you only need to do 5 challenge classes to unlock a free guest pass instead of 10.

Project Takeaways

This process taught me a lot about design — specifically designing for other people. There were so many times I found myself designing the app with myself in mind instead of Lindsey. It was tough to constantly redesign my app because there were things that didn’t match Lindsey’s issues but that is what made the app great knowing that the final product addresses all of Lindsey’s needs. I am also amazed at how much came together in just three days!

If I were to do this project differently I would have asked better interview questions. I found myself asking more about the positive experiences in her life and less about her pain points. This stuck out when I was doing my affinity mapping. I knew a lot of things that she liked but not a lot of things that she needed.

Moving forward with this app I want to add features that deal with the workout environment. From interviewing Lindsey I found that workout environment is a huge motivating factor. The teacher, music, and ambiance of a class can make or break it for her. I wasn’t sure how to fit a class environment feature into my app for this iteration but I am excited to look into it for future redesign.

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