Personal Record

Setting a new high bar for workout applications




For this project, I aimed to conduct thorough user research, utilizing many of the methods learned thus far, to discover the pain points of people who record the progress of their workouts over time.


I made use of skills and tools including:

  • Survey Development & Analysis

  • Comparative Analysis

  • User Interviews

  • Affinity map

  • MVP Diagram

  • Feature Analysis

The Process:

With less than two weeks to work with and such a daunting task ahead as trying to lay the groundwork for building a new application from the ground up. I decided to focus my attention on what methods were currently available for recording workouts. What people were currently recording regarding their workouts and what they would like to be able to record. Lastly I worked with mobile application developers to discover the feasibility of incorporating suggested features into a mobile app. 

The Survey:

I started my research by sending out an online survey to as many people as possible to gather information regarding people's current workout habits.

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 4.23.28 PM.png

Above are the 5 most commonly recorded variables by survey respondents

User Interviews:

In order to gather more in depth information regarding workout recording practices, I conducted 7 interviews with previously surveyed participants who I knew worked out on a regular basis. One participant was a personal trainer whom I'd worked with for over 6 months. 

Example Questions:

  1. What features are necessary for a workout application?

  2. Where would you utilize this application?

  3. Describe a time when you tried to find a new exercise to perform.

  4. Describe a time when you wished you had log of your exercise history.

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 4.16.56 PM.png

A main concern and focus of my research was on how many people lifted weights as a part of their workouts. Responses revealed 75% of respondents included weight training in their workouts.

The Comparative Analysis:

Since I was conducting this research with the aim of one day creating a new workout application from scratch rather than re-designing and existing app, I decided to focus on comparing general objective data regarding features of currently available options for recording workout information. 

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 4.32.07 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 4.51.11 PM.png

Due to the extraordinary amount of information collected, I did not construct a typical Affinity Map.

MVP Diagram:

Upon completion of the developer's feature analysis I constructed an MVP Diagram incorporating all the information. While creating the diagram would have been possible without the analysis, the inclusion of it allowed me to accurately chart how simple to complex the features would be to implement in a prototype. 

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 5.13.06 PM.png

Affinity Map Key Findings:

  1. There were more than 30 features cited by at least one of the 7 interviewees as necessary for the workout application.

  2. Most users agreed that the app needs to be as non-distracting as possible especially for use during a workout.

  3. People largely use Google to find new exercises, but run into two major issues:

    • Always finding the same basic results​

    • Not being able to find instructions on how to do the exercises

  4. "My biggest problem is when people say something is an awesome workout, but there is no description on how to do it."

  5. Speaking about completing a workout program, one participant noted: "At the end of the weeks I was like, crap, where did I start?"

Feature Analysis:

With my list of 30 'necessary' features in hand I decided to reach out to a mobile application developer for insight on how hard it would be to integrate each feature into an application.

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 5.12.42 PM.png

Next Steps:

  1. Create a competitive analysis among the most popular workout applications available today.

  2. Conduct observational studies involving people utilizing different methods of recording their workouts.

  3. Return to the surveys and user interviews with the new list of features for a larger more detailed look into what people choose to record about their workouts and why.

  4. Begin prototyping with wireframe mockups.