Retrospective: Project 1 — Fitness BFF

We started UXDI classes last week on Monday with GA Singapore, and boy! has it been exciting. As a designer for the last 15 years, not only do I have to quickly picked up new skills, I had to also constantly remind myself to unlearn some of the habits that I have formed.

There you see my partner Cat, and myself.

For our first project, we have to work on a topic picked by our class partners and I got the topic Fitness. From there onwards, we needed to define a problem that could be solved by a mobile app simply and effectively.

I was really happy to have landed this topic as I have been an avid gymmer for the last decade. But I also realised that I have to be very careful to exclude my bias in the entire process. So the first thing I did was to set some project requirements.

Project requirements:
1. I wanted to produce a mobile app for women.
2. These women should be around 20 -50 years old.
3. These women should also be tech savvy so that they will be users of a smart phone.

With these, I set off to work. I came up with a set of questions that surrounded fitness. Reviewed them to make sure none of them are leading and the questions encourage my interviewees to freely talk about fitness as a general topic.

Questions for users:

How would you define healthy living?
How important is that in your life?
What is your daily schedule like?
What exercise have you tired before?
Do you miss it?
What are some of the difficulties in staring an exercise routine?
Do you have friends that exercise regularly?
Would you join them?
What would motivate you to start exercising?
If you were to one day go back to exercising, what would be the exercise you would start with?
Would having a friend who has done it before makes it easier?

The transcripts of the interviews can be found here.

After interviewing 4 users, I spent a day looking over the answers and started forming my affinity diagram.

From the affinity diagram, a few things were clear to us.

  1. These highly-motivated women spend most of their time at work or with their family. They put everything else in higher priority.
  2. However, all these women found health and fitness an important aspect of their lives. Why makes us wonder why then do they not have a habit of exercising?
  3. These women also know in detail what kind of exercise and where to go if they want to join… they are just waiting for the right time.
  4. We discovered that these women only have slots of time spread over the day to exercise.
  5. This weird schedule made it really difficult for them to find someone else to join them for the workout.
  6. They also would prefer having someone there, so that they can socialise before/after exercising.
  7. Those users with partners would regularly exercise, simply wasn’t interested in the exercises their partner is interested in.
  8. These women also wanted a workout buddy who can challenge them and up their game.

These answers are really insightful and we began forming out problem statement.

Could we create an app that helps women find exercise buddies with the same schedule to workout together?

At this stage, we thought about the app and some of its function and drafted out a simply wireframe for the app.

Wireframe for FITNESS BFF mobile app.

Using low-fi prototype, we were able to very quickly put some concept screens together and test on users.

The findings for the low-fi prototype was very helpful. Generally, users knew what to do when looking at the screens, but there was several buttons missing or mis-named that left them lost.

We were able to incorporate these changes and build the first hi-fi prototype.

1st hi-fi prototype

Using this prototype, we then went ahead and did more in-depth testing with other uses.

Videos of user testing can be seen here.

From the user testing, we concluded a list of changes for the re-iterated version.

Women find the login screen very complicated.

Most of the buttons and header were too small for them to notice.

When sorting the nearest distance, there was no indication of distance which confused them.

Women wanted to get to know other users more before even attempting to invite them out for an exercise. They wanted to read more about them.

The calendar events were confusing.

Women wanted to chat with each user first before even considering if they would be their fitness BFFs.

With these, we reiterated all the screens and came up with the second prototype for further testing.

Second re-iterated screens

In summary:

What I found most surprising was that women consumed media differently from men. While going through the app, women were more likely to read headlines and details. They wanted to know more about the user and required for more information where possible.

This project is really interesting because we not only came up with a first version of the app, but the constant testing gave us more and more insights as the project progressed. in the end, I could understand the users much better than when I first started.

The next steps is to test the second iteration on more users before launching a beta version for universal testing.

In the beginning of the project, I set some restrictions to make this project different for me. But having gone through the user testing, I also found many similarities that appplies to men. I would take the next step to test this app on men and i would be really eager to find the results.

If you want to see more information, here is my presentation deck for your download.

A matrix driven UX Designer that balances between business & user needs.

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