PolitiFit Mobile App

An Exercise in Design Thinking

Executive Summary

There are two types of people: those that exercise and those that do not. In the group of those that do not, what is preventing them from working out?  Most people are busy now a days, but it's not just a busy schedule that prevents people from exercising and increasing their fitness levels. What would motivate them to workout? This project was to design and app that would help people that wanted to increase their fitness levels to hit their exercising goals.

The Problem

My task for this project was to create a smartphone app which will help people improve their fitness. The target group was people who want to exercise more, but who—for various reasons—don’t get around to it.

My Role

I was responsible for all aspects of the project including user interviews, design, prototyping, and testing.

understanding the user

The primary users were adults (25-40 years old) without children who wanted to increase their fitness.

The Design Thinking Process

Design Thinking is an iterative process in which both designers and non-designers alike seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding.

Empathize with your users

During this first stage of the design thinking process, I developed an interview script, interviewed my user pool, and assigned them three probes. The purpose of the probes was to go further than the interview questions with what was preventing the users from exercising. The three probes I assigned were:

  1. Write a timeline of a typical day where you do manage to exercise.

  2. Take 1–5 pictures of something that helps you exercise. Please include a short caption for each photo.

  3. Take 1–5 pictures of something that keeps you from exercising as you’d like to. Please include a short caption for each photo.

Define your users’ needs, their problem, and your insights

The define stage is to develop a clear understanding of which problem I would try to solve for my potential users. To help define my users' problem, I created both an affinity diagram and empathy maps based on my interviews.

An affinity diagram is a method which can help  gather large amounts of data and organize them into groups or themes based on their relationships. Each sticky note, photo, or diagram in the affinity diagram relates back to one user's statement or action.

An empathy map summarizes the four key areas that I as a designed needed to focus on: what the user said, did, thought, and felt. An empathy map was created for each user based on my user interviews.

Affinity Diagram

affinity diagram

Empathy Map

empathy map

After creating the affinity diagram and empathy maps, I used this data to generate different insights and points of views (POVs) of the problem for each of my users. The collection of these insights and POVs were then distilled down to two primary how might we questions:

  1. How might we motivate the user to achieve their fitness goals?

  2. How might we make physical exercise fun and engaging?

ideate by challenging assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions

Over the ideate stage, several different exercises were used to generate ideas based on insights, points of views, and how might we questions from the define stage. The exercises included: worst idea ever, challenge assumptions, and 6 thinking hats. All are different ways of looking at the current problem and collected data in order to generate as many ideas as possible.

prototype to start creating solutions

For the first part of the prototyping process, I created a storyboard to flesh out how my users were going to experience my product at different touchpoints. After the storyboard, I used Adobe XD to create a low fidelity prototype (wireframes) to show the basic layout and functionality of each proposed screen in the app.

Scenario

Storyboard

Low Fidelity Prototype (Wireframes) 

prototype

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