Problem Definition & Assumptions
SWORKIT is a fitness app that offers users both default and custom workout trainings on a digital platform. SWORKIT has workout programs such as yoga, pilates and stretching for abs/full body etc.
It provides both free and premium versions, so the current business model is based on users' premium subscription which is $7.99/month or $59.99/year.
Current Product Overview
User Feedback & Product assumptions
I got to know this app from App Store search and started using it for 1 month. I became a premium user, but in the end I cancelled my membership and left this app. Here're my personal feedback:
- Workout content is quite limited, for example, I've done all the yoga videos in 1 month.
- The digital training experience can be more friendly and engaging, for example, I wish trainers could give me tips and cautions to avoid injury and encouragement at the end etc. (Like trainers in YouTube videos)
- I didn't come back to use this app every day. Sometimes I lost the motivation to come back to continue my workout.
Besides my personal feedback, let's do some research on the target users, fitness app market trends and competitors.
I assume the target users are general smartphone users. Here're a few characteristics of these users based on data I gathered from Nielsen (research link):
- Majority of the users are young and mid-aged people (age 18 to 44). A few personas can be: working professional, frequent traveler, at-home mothers.
- More women use fitness app than men, for example, In the age group between 30 to 39, 60% of users are women. Also, Fitbit's app is used by women by 29 times per month whereas only 16 times by men;
- Social interaction from friends and family is a big motivator for users to continue the digital program.
Competitors in the market
- Traditional face-to-face trainer fitness program in the gym: It requires a specific location and time, and it's expensive.
- YouTube: Personally I gave up SWORKIT and switched back to YouTube yoga videos because it's free and it has loads of yoga videos. However, YouTube is a general video platform for everything, so I have to search and make up my fitness plan all by myself.
Similar fitness apps in the market
- Fitbit Fitstar Personal Trainer: This app has Friends section for social interaction. However, the workout content is quite limited. It's a free app since they're making money from Fitbit hardware.
- Nike+ Training: This app has Feeds section for social connection. It also has a Club section for offline event and challenge recommendation. The workout content is ok. Free app.
- Strava: Not a direct competitors for SWORKIT, but this app is dominating in the runner community. Their business model is based on both subscription and runners' equipment e-commerce.
- MyFitness Pal: This is a diet app, not so much focused on fitness training. The target user group is overlapped with SWORKIT.
SWORKIT current value propositions
- Users can workout anywhere and anytime without hiring a trainer in a gym;
- Users can customize workout plans.
Primary user needs
- As a sport-lover, I want to find the right fitness plans for my personal needs, so I want to see many program options available in the app.
- As a sport-lover, once I select a program, I want to find workout videos that are suitable for my body fitness level and workout strength.
- As a sport-lover, I want my trainer in the video to be professional, approachable and fun to work with in a digital experience.
Secondary user needs
- As a sport-lover, I want to see other users' activities, accomplishments and stories.
- As a sport-lover, I want to read fitness tips and diet recommendations from my trainer.
- As a sport-lover, I want to buy the sports gears and nourishments based on recommendation from the community.
- As a sport-lover, I want to get notifications about offline meet-ups and events to meet my trainer in person and other SWORKIT users in the community.
Problem 1: Limited workout plans and videos
Solution: Make it as a two-sided platform and invite fitness trainers to join and contribute workout content to our platform.
Currently all workout plans and videos are made and provided by SWORKIT. I propose to change the product strategy to a two-sided fitness platform which is open to both trainer and sport-lovers. Trainers can also join the SWORKIT platform and make their own training programs and workout videos.
- From the fitness trainers' perspective, SWORKIT is a fitness platform that focuses on fitness users and provides professional workout plans for this group. It's much more easier to market and promote their fitness programs and have followers in SWORKIT than other platform.
- From the product perspective, with this new product position, SWORKIT can have user-generated content to serve the growing users' needs.
- However, on the other side, there will be cost and knowledge for trainers to record their workout videos. And it will require extra internal operation efforts to maintain the quality of the videos uploaded.
Problem 2: Sport-lovers' user retention
Solution: Add social updates and feeds in the platform
SWORKIT does not give users enough motivation and engagement to drive them come back to continue the fitness program. I propose to add the Feeds feature to build the community for them in the SWORKIT platform.
Based on Nielsen's research, it's effective to use social impact from friends, families and other people in the community to engage users. With workout tips and stories, we can make users use SWORKIT in a different use case. Feeds can include:
- Tips & Stories
Problem 3: Is subscription model from users sustainable?
Solution: Add market feature in the platform to connect sports brands to the community
As a fitness platform, it is necessary to recommend the training equipments and gears for users, so that SWORIT can connect sport brands with fitness community in the platform.
On the trainer side, they can wear the branded sportswear in their training video to promote the brand to users. On the sport-lover side, this kind of contextual advertisements is not that intrusive, so I assume this purchase conversion rate will be higher than traditional ads.
- Web app
- Apple TV
The current business model is solely based on subscriptions from sport-lovers. With the new product strategy and redesign, the business model will be based:
- Subscriptions from trainers;
- Subscriptions from sport-lovers;
- Sports Goods Market
Business & Monetization Strategy
Ideate Workflows & Sketch Wireframes
use case 1:Social Feeds
We'll need add two new items in the existing navigation: Feeds and Market.
Feeds can include popular activity posts in the community, updates from friends and workout tips & stories.
I explored 3 different layout designs for the Feeds page. In option 1, texts are overlapped with the background image/gif video. Option 2 is similar to FB/Twitter feeds UI. In option 3, texts and image/gif video are separate but the images are still full-width.
Since most of this content is user-generated, so it's hard to control the image/gif video background color and contrast, so option 1 can have readability issue. Option 2 is a traditional layout and requires extra tap from user. Option 3 has a right balance between usability and visual styles.
Use Case 2: Contextual Ads (from WOrkout Video to Market)
With the introduction of trainer program and market feature, we can show contextual ads in the break/end of the workout video to connect sport brands with sport-lovers.
Workout List –> Workout Detail –> Workout Video –> Overlay Module –> Product Detail in Market –> Check-out/Add to bag
In the newly-designed workout list page, I compared two layout options: Full-width image and Horizontal carousels. Currently, SWORKIT is just at the beginning to build the platform, so there won't be hundreds of contents in the platform. Also full-width is more prominent visually. Therefore, full-width image layout is a better option to present the content for SWORKIT at the current stage.
Use Case 1: Social Feeds
Use Case 2: Contextual Ads (from Workout Video to Market)
We should use both quantitive and qualitative data to measure this redesign impact.
Quantitive feedback from product usage tracking
Daily-posted activity updates in the community
Button clicks for "Like", "Comment", "Read Article" and "Join Event"
Daily Active Users before and after social feeds
Number of trainers joined for the contextual ads program
Button clicks for the "Add to bag" in the overlay modal
Conversion rate in the contextual ads workflow
Click-through-rate in each step in the contextual ads purchase funnel
Overall conversion rate in the marketplace before and after the contextual ads feature
Qualitative feedback from user testing
When we have refined enough details before launching these two features, I would return to the assumptions mentioned in the initial section to verify and figure out some open questions in my design solution:
- With the introduction of trainers in the platform, how big is the extra internal operation cost to maintain the quality of the videos uploaded?
- What should be the right way to attract trainers to our platform? We can help them market and promote their workout programs, and give them certain bonus if they meet certain subscribers limit. This kind of business decisions should be taken account with multiple stakeholders.
- In order to build a fitness community in SWORKIT platform, we can try organizing offline events and meetup to give users opportunities to meet each other in-person and share their training experience with SWORKIT. However, we also need to consider the users' central location and event organizing cost.
- Can this design solution scale and apply to other platforms (Android) and form factors (web and TV)?
We should rely on real quantitive usage data and qualitative user testing feedback to inform our design iteration, and also consider business strategy and technology feasibility at the same time to refine our design solution.