How to make home workouts more inclusive

I came up with the idea of a more inclusive workout app while being confined at home during the Covid-19 lockdown. With the pandemic having no end in sight, working out at home with digital apps could be the only way that many people can stay fit. Therefore, it is imperative to make them safer and more convenient for a higher percentage of the population. Personally, I often felt limited by a physical ailment — plantar fasciitis, but not many apps on the market addressed the discomfort. My research started from my own ‘pain points’ both in the literal and figurative sense of the word. I wanted to learn whether this issue was confined to myself or if other people had the same ‘pain points’, meaning that there were needs not being met and an opportunity for improvement.

Research Finding

I started by interviewing 6 women in the 20–40 age range using userinterivews.com and Zoom. Below are the key findings from the interview.

Five out of six participants talked about some form of restrictions such as physical ailments, injuries, or noise
They do not want to build their own regimens from scratch but would like to have the ability to modify them to suit their needs
The more it emulates the experience of exercising in a class in person, the more motivating it gets.
Low-fidelity Prototype

High-Fidelity Prototype & Usability Testing

I tested the low-fidelity prototype with a newly-recruited participant through a remote moderated testing session. Based on the feedback, I built a high-fidelity prototype and made necessary adjustments according to accessibility guidelines available on the web.

High-fidelity Prototype Usability Testing Results. Icons from Streamline Icons
Clickable High-Fidelity Prototype

Takeaway

I could not recruit as many users as I would have liked and conduct a large-scale survey due to constraints on budget and time, but I became increasingly appreciative of the importance of user testing as I went through the process. However hard I think, there is always an angle that I cannot see. It was eye-opening to learn that even If I can talk to only one user, that can bring about far better results than relying solely on my own ideas.

Product Designer. Currently a graduate student at the Center for Digital Media, in Vancouver, Canada