A physio app design for active people to increase mobility and prevent injuries through mobility assessment and customized exercises
3 UX & 1 UI
UX Designer & Project Lead
User Research, Data Collection & Analysis, Persona, User Flow,
Low to Mid-fidelity Wireframes, Prototyping & User Testing
Whether people are in CrossFit, running, golf or martial arts, our client, Precision Movement helps physically active people get back to exercise by eliminating pain, healing injuries and improving mobility via its website. With mobile users growing, Precision Movement decided to launch a mobile app called "ROM Coach". Through the easy-to-follow mobility assessments, users of ROM Coach should be able to discover their physio strengths and weaknesses and receive recommended exercise videos that are customized and targeted toward themselves to address their physio deficiencies, dysfunctions or imbalances to move freely without pain.
While many people stay active for a healthy lifestyle, how much do people know about their bodies?
When it comes to mobility, injury prevention and treatment, how much do people know?
How can we make it so that users are able to create and follow the exercise routines in their busy schedules?
ROM Coach allows users to enjoy 3 recommended customized exercise videos for free after signing up, how can we make users pay $69.99/year to upgrade the account for more videos?
Quick Peek to the Solution
We have decided to design an iOS mobile app for users who are physically active and who want to eliminate pain, prevent and hear injuries, and improve mobility. According to Google Analytics, the primary devices for Precision Movement are iPhones.
This mobile app would
Educate users about their body, their physio strength and weakness
Recommend personalized exercise videos based on each user's physio condition and health need
Allow users to add and track their personalized exercise routine in their own calendar
Encourage users to stay persistent in their exercise until feeling better
Build the context with iterations
Understanding the Needs
We reached out to Precision Movement's existing customers and people whom we considered are physically active - people who exercise at least once a week.
We created and sent out online surveys through emails, Facebook and Reddit to learn about people's exercise behaviour and thoughts on physio/fitness apps: do they have any physio/fitness app, how often do they use it, why do they use or not use it, what do they like or dislike about the app? We also wanted to know what measures people take in the case of injury prevention and treatment.
Analyzing the Data
The survey results validated the need and interest to build a mobile physio app that prevents/treats injuries and improves mobility for physically active people. We used the affinity diagram to analyze the data.
Learning the Market
ROM Coach is not the only physio/fitness app in the market. We looked at some direct and indirect competitors of ROM Coach and focused on some key features such as calendar integration, video resources and progress tracking. Many of these apps do not target improving mobility, healing injuries or scheduling the routines. However, we were not able to get a closer look since many of them require pricy subscriptions.
Meeting ROM Coach Users
With the information we acquired during research, two user personas were formed to represent ROM Coach's potential users.
James is a 44-year-old finance manager. Despite his busy schedule, he likes to stay active and works out 3–5 a week regularly. His workout routine usually includes cardio exercises and weights.
Vanessa is a 30-year-old business admin. She likes to stay fit and works out 2–4 times a week. She mostly does cardio exercises to maintain her weight. Whenever she suffers from injuries during working out she mostly tries to recover herself.
Most of our findings align with the original challenges we identified, one point that stands out is the frustration that both James and Vanessa have, high cost for unhelpful content.
This is worthwhile noting because
Our client, Precision Movement's final business goal is to have users pay $69.99/ year to upgrade the account to watch more customized recommended exercise videos after the first 3 free ones.
The exercise videos, according to Precision Movement, are effective in the long term if users are able to stay motivated and keep doing it. However, if users quit in the middle of the exercise plan, it’s hard for them to see any significant results even though the videos themselves are helpful.
Thus, instead of asking how we make users pay $69.99/ year to subscribe for more exercise videos, we revised the challenge statement to the following:
How can we motivate users to keep doing the free exercise until
they complete the whole exercise plan and see improvements?
The subscription cost is not high if users agree that these exercise videos are effective. Users will be willing to upgrade their account to watch more videos.
Based on our revised challenge statement, we nailed down some top features of ROM Coach.
Complete self-assessments to better know their bodies.
Access personalized recommended exercise videos based on their assessments for mobility, injury prevention and treatment. These two points align with James’ story to use proper body mechanics when doing exercise and match both James and Vanessa’s goals to improve mobility and prevent injury.
Build a custom exercise schedule and start the exercise. This matches Vanessa’s primary goal and also James’ goals to track the exercise and progress.
Track the exercise and progress to stay motivated so that users can complete the whole exercise plan.
This targets Vanessa’s primary goal and one of James’ goals to track exercise and progress. We’ve also decided to put this feature on our landing page for returning users who have taken the assessment to encourage them to keep doing the exercise until they see their body improvement.
Retake self-assessments to attain their goals and better learn the effect of ROM Coach exercise videos.
This tackles James's main frustration of unhelpful content and a better self-assessment result can make the subscription cost look reasonable. Vanessa has a cost concern as well.
Read customer reviews before making a decision to subscribe.
This is mainly for Vanessa since she is not confident with an app that does not have enough reviews or testimonials.
Mapping out the Path
Before we jumped into the design, we created a user flow that helped us visually map out the steps users would take to perform all functions of ROM Coach and outlined the structure of this app. We also created the sign-up/ create an account function for users, which was requested by the client for customer data collection and customer interaction in the future.
Low to Mid-fidelity Wireframe
Finally, it was time to start sketching. We started with some hand sketches that incorporated all the important features.
We then digitized the successful low-fidelity sketches into Figma, starting from mid-fidelity to start the usability testing with the users. Below are some of our low to mid-fidelity wireframes.
In the meantime, the UI designer on our team started the visual language for this app, focusing on the style direction. For the colours, our client did not want any bright colours, so we decided on blues and oranges. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. Darker blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness. Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow.
Validating the Design
To evaluate the usability and intuitiveness of the app, we tested the mid-fidelity prototype with 10 people whom we identified as potential users of ROM Coach based on the user personas. We gave them 3 tasks:
Go through the assessment process
Create your customized exercises schedule
Track your progress and past results
Change 1: Calendar
The original calendar design was not intuitive for users to schedule their exercises. Users mostly got confused about choosing the dates twice. There are two steps in scheduling, pick a starting date and pick exercise dates. So we broke down the steps and made then more clear and noticeable for users with a toggle.
Change 2: My Plan and Progress
The segmentation of 'My Plan' was very confusing. The exercise tab had all the added exercises. While users need to first add the exercises into 'My Plan' and from there, they then added those exercises into their calendars. This flow was tedious and not user-friendly. We simplified the flow by changing the 'My Plan' into 'Schedule' to reduce the steps.
The original idea of progress was once users check today’s to-do list, they will notice the progress bar in exercise status moves forward. However, many users found these two features disconnected and unrelated. To solve this issue, we created a popup to guide users from daily check-in to the progress bars.
After incorporating the user testing feedback through several iterations, the mid-fidelity wireframes were polished into high-fidelity wireframes. Please click ROM Coach Mobile Link to view the complete prototype.
Overall, this was an excellent opportunity for us, and our final product was positively received by the client. Designing a mobile app is not easy given the limited space there is. We were able to make easy navigation, finger-friendly touch-targets / hand-position and legible content.
Given it was a 3-week sprint, we focused on designing the core functionality of the app. Some future considerations we provided to our client included:
Give Vanessa and James the ability to sort the recommended exercises using various filters.
Add advanced and more detailed assessments to determine the range of motion and healing existing injuries as well.
Consider designing different mobility assessments for first-time users and returning users.