U-Fit is a fitness/gaming APP that encourages users to exercise and maintain a physically active lifestyle.Through the research, it was discovered that the primary source of motivation for working out comes from having a friend beside them to provide encouragements and friendly competitions.
In designing the application, I decided to emulate this design process shown below:
To start off, I need to find out what people’s attitude towards exercise is. I conducted interviews to understand what motivates them to exercise, what demotivates them and why they struggle with it.
According to research, 38% of women and 24% of men would like to manage their weight. Most of them believe that a better visual representation of their future body shape might positively motivate them to adopt healthier behavior.
44% of female students and 15% of male students who were trying to lose weight.
But 18% of them do not do exercise during their week.
Doing exercise (51%) is the most welcomed weight control method, followed by skipping meals (49%) and taking diet pills (5%).
50% people have gym membership, but they will quickly give up.
59% people already have fitness APP, but only 28% use it.
After research, I found that one of the important motivations for doing physical exercises comes from weight management. People are willing to make more efforts in order to obtain a desirable appearance. However, the frequency of exercising is likely reduced. The reason is losing weight through exercising takes a long period of time and loss of seeing results. Also, there are other external factors to take into consideration that will influence their routine.
“I had given up during the first week because despite all my effort of exercising, my weight did not change drastically.”
“I felt demotivated since my friend no longer took part in exercising with me. Also, I am not so confident to talk with others actively.”
“I also had too much work which have taken some of the focus away from exercising. When I was so tired, I was less willing to do so.”
“12% of gym members sign up in January, but most people quit or stop going within 24 weeks.”
“The advertising of the gym is very attractive at the beginning. However with time, it becomes repetitive and boring.”
“It was hard to apply my abilities without supervision because staff didn't communicate with me as frequently as they did the first week.”
I identified the primary users as people who want to do physical exercise. The secondary users are game lovers who are passionate about social participations.
“If I look at another’s exercise logs with higher performance, it will inspire my to do the same.”
Users need competition/social support to give them mutual incentive to keep going.
“I prefer to play games rather than exercise. I would like to do fitness more fun. "
Users need to exercise a game in itself and get rewards in order to meet their goals.
“I feel more comfortable having friends come work out with me.”
Users need to have a persistent workout partner in order to encourages them exercise.
After understanding the pain points of losing the drive to workout, I explored which strategies encourage users to keep exercising. I created the Affinity Diagram to prioritize their motivation based on its importance to the user.
Then, I have identified the following UX goals:
Based on the storyboard and my understanding of the core functions of the U-Fit app, I created a few scenarios with a series of tasks. The skeleton of testing process included observation tasks, questionnaire and interview.
After user testing, I collected data and gathered feedback from participants. Several surprising insights were discovered.
“The way of dashboard display is a little bit hard to help me understand my body stats changes.”
“I wanted to see the changes of my body stats after workout and how experience I gain can affect my avatar‘s outlook.”
“More emphasis should be placed on socializing with my real-world friends, and more functionality that enables that should be included.”
“I had some trouble completing certain tasks because I couldn't understand what each button/ icon does. Make the function of buttons more unambiguous.”
“I suggest that adding more buttons so that a button only does one task.”
“While the Avatar /Battle feature of the app seems intriguing, I need to see a more detailed prototype to make sure it is interesting enough to motivate me.”
During the exercise, the system records users' status and Avatar gains exp according to the amount of exercises
Players' Avatar will have 3 different lever-up forms depending on types of workout.
Display improvements the user is making each time they exercise.
E.g. If the player completed more strength exercise, the Avatar would have stronger arms and muscles. Correspondingly, it attack will be higher. If the player did more aerobic or balanced exercise, the Avatar would have high speed and defense respectively.
Program videos demonstrate users how to properly do an unfamiliar exercise.
The app also allows users to contact and play with friends, meet new people, or meet new people in their location and work out with them.
Users can use their own Avatar to compete against other's Avatars in the battle. It is a simple turn-based game. In order to strengthen an Avatar and progress further in-game, users are required to perform exercises. The Avatar’s attributes (strength, speed and defense) are determined by the number of different kinds of exercises you finished.