CLIENT & PROJECT GOALS:
TrainerClient is a startup health and fitness app dedicated to maximizing interactions between clients and personal trainers by providing educational resources and emphasizing the relationship between training and psychology. My role as the UX Designer is to use data-driven research to design and develop the features for the mobile app with the goal of aligning features with the brand’s mission and satisfying the goals, frustrations and interests of users.
My daily responsibilities include but are not limited to:
Facilitating meetings with the company’s founder and developer
User research with international fitness trainers and coaches
Wireframing and prototyping mobile screens
Ideating new features and designs
Developing design systems
Implementing user-centered visual design and information architecture
Being a team player through effective and proactive communication
One goal in this ongoing project was to design a solution for tracking goals and metrics for the personal trainers' clients.
I often start my design process with in-depth research of the industry and market. To start, I researched TrainerClient’s top competitors and conducted a feature analysis and competitive analysis. To fully understand the experience of each of the competitor’s platforms, I downloaded the apps and walked through the primary tasks that users complete which include, but are not limited to, adding and interacting with clients, developing and tracking workouts and developing and tracking meal plans.
After experiencing the competitors for myself, I conducted a competitive analysis and feature analysis. In this research, I determined the features that were requirements (highlighted in green) and potential opportunities for TrainerClient to satisfy pain points that competitors have yet to address.
Although my competitive analysis and market research uncovered opportunities for TrainerClient to provide an improved experience for trainers and their clients, I conducted secondary and primary user research to gain better insight into the goals and frustrations of users.
Users of TrainerClient’s app include both personal and group trainers and their clients. Therefore, I needed to gain insight from both groups. To gain insight from clients, I first mined reviews from the iOs app store to learn about past and recent frustrations that users have had with the health and fitness apps.
Through this research, I found the following issues with competitors:
difficulties in saving past client information
Following secondary research, I implemented a survey to better understand the habits and emotions of people in the context of health and fitness. After receiving and analyzing 32 responses, I found that there is a relationship between people’s moods and their nutrition habits where majority of responses agreed to the statement “I feel less control over my nutrition when I am in a bad mood.” In addition, while people find it easier to complete workouts when they set personal goals, majority of participants listed “I am too busy” and “I have not found an ideal platform” as primary blockers from taking part in recording health and fitness habits and goals.
Because accessing trainers for research purposes was a difficult task, the best research method was to conduct user interviews via Zoom with trainers found online. I had the pleasure of learning from five trainers located in various countries. The interview was formatted to gain better insight regarding the experiences of trainers by learning about each trainer’s educational background, their goals as a trainer, their day to day schedules and actions and their relationships and interactions with their clients. Following the interviews, I organized and analyzed their responses using an affinity diagram.
“I take notes on a notepad…at first I was taking down everything on the computer but I was like, ‘no. I cannot do that', especially with in-person classes.”
“People who expect a lot of results with a little bit of work. You have to re-educate them more than once.”
Trainer goals and values
“I educate them. The goal is not to train with them their whole life but at some point they stop training with me, which is a down for me because that is my source of living, but at the same time I want to educate them that they can do certain training on their own so what I do with them affects them their whole life.”
Through these insightful interviews I found that trainers rely heavily on social media for client recruiting and marketing purposes. In addition, the tracking of goals and metrics make for an effective means of motivation when clients are not feeling at their best. I made sure to take these findings into consideration in my ideation and prototypes.
To better empathize with the user and consolidate my findings, I created two personas. First, I created a persona for trainers. Trainer Trent used to conduct classes in person in the local gym. However, due to COVID19, the trainer must now host smaller, in-person classes and online one-on-one and group classes. The trainer is now open to taking clients who are completely remote but still want provided nutrition and workout plans and motivation as they workout alone.
Second, I created a persona for clients. Client Clarissa works remotely due to COVID19. However, she prefers to work with others to stay motivated. Also, exercising has been her main source of community. She needs a platform to keep her motivated through guilt associated with her exercise and eating habits and keep her in contact with her coach and training partners. The user expects this app to have features in nutrition and workout tracking.
Using the Crazy 8 method, I ideated multiple ways to implement and design the goals and metrics tracking feature using GoodNotes.
Low Fidelity Sketches
Once I found a flow that worked best with the design of the rest of the app, I created a low-fidelity prototype using GoodNotes.
Mid Fidelity Wireframing
Using Figma, I developed mid-fidelity wireframes that reflected my previous iterations. The first mid-fidelity design was more minimalist. However, through consideration and reviewing the feedback from trainers, I found that the design limited the ability for trainers to update progression towards goals effectively. In addition, most of the trainers interviewed shared that they have not used trainer software similar to TrainerClient or its competitors in the past. However, they use tools like Google Sheets to track their clients’ metrics. Therefore, I wanted to design an interface that reflected chart and graph styles similar to what can be found on Google Sheets in order to increase familiarity for trainers. The second mid-fidelity design allows both trainers and clients to track past and current goals more easily. In addition, trainers and clients have the ability to share their progress via social media.
While the inclusion of a goals and metrics tracking feature was imminent in the design and development of the TrainerClient app, as noted in the competitor feature comparison, the implementation of this feature was more difficult than expected. Because I have the responsibility of designing the entire app, I needed to make sure the design is consistent with the flows of the app.
I have greatly improved in my organization of components and user interface design skills throughout the design and development of this app. Having the opportunity to work directly with a the TrainerClient developer has allowed me to learn how to design with a developer’s mindset. In addition, I have had to experience working in short and unexpected timelines. While my experience has grown immensely, my curiosity to learn from others has not changed. This curiosity is what keeps me open-minded to future opportunities to improve and build upon the work that has already been done with TrainerClient.