My personal trainer shared his story of failed attempts to organize his fitness bootcamps. He was eager to learn what was he doing wrong and what can be done to improve his process. I offered to help find a solution to his problem.
My vision was to create an easy-to-use tool that allowed Personal Trainers to organize and manage their bootcamps with minimum effort. At the same time this tool would provide Participants with the right info about trainers, locations, reviews and the payment flexibility when choosing to attend a bootcamp.
Due to the highly personal nature of smartphones, utilizing mobile technology and building a mobile app seemed like a logical solution.
My lack of domain knowledge meant I had to grasp the nature of fitness services thoroughly and quickly. I approached all aspects of the project collaboratively and spent most of my time working alongside personal trainers at the gym, online trainers and potential clients.
Throughout the project I conducted ethnographic research and used participatory design methods. This approach was necessary to understand the process of personal trainers when they're organizing and running bootcamps. As well as get a good picture of what people go through when they want to attend fitness bootcamps.
What I learned was that the tools for organizing classes and fitness bootcamps, that are being utilized by personal trainers, don't offer the level of satisfaction expected nowadays.
In addition to my original quest for solving my friend's problem, I saw an opportunity to expand the user base. My new goal was to understand the challenges not only Trainers, but also Participants faced when it comes to fitness bootcamps.
A small group of early testers raved about the app and said that the app would significantly improve their current process of running bootcamps and client management.
Trainers don't have to guess anymore how many people are coming to the bootcamp, since the app handles the process of accurate attendance by tying it directly to fast prompt payment once the Participant decides to join a bootcamp.
I was surprised to learn how complicated the bootcamp process was for some trainers, partly due to the lack of tools. At first, I was excited to populate the app with every little feature I could think of, but realized that by keeping only the necessary core functionality I will minimize the learning curve and reduce any confusion.
One of the biggest challenges for me was to really hear what Trainers and Participants struggled with. Instead of simply pouring in solutions from my previous experiences, I listened hard to the personal stories to analyze the points of frustration.
Throughout the project I kept reminding myself not to rush through the process just to "get something out the door". Instead I approached each feature with a lead question:
"Why is it important to the user?"
This led me to understand the importance of critical features of the app and focus on what's really important to the user.
“The average time spent on creating a bootcamp and inviting clients has reduced drastically. Adding new clients and keeping up communication with them is easier than ever.”