App DEsign
A fitness studio companion app that motivates members to adopt holistic self-care habits into their daily lives.
School Project (Collaborated with Deloitte Digital)
Jan - Apr 2023
Figma, Mural, Excel, UserTesting, Whimsical
Wanying, Brooks, Vishnudas, Manashi
Research, Ideation, Wire-framing, Prototyping, Visual Design, Usability Testing

Creating a Hybrid Experience to Maximize Member Engagement

The design challenge was to create an innovative digital product for a boutique fitness studio that would keep members engaged in both in-person and digital experiences.

Our final product helps users build healthy habits by offering personalized and flexible experiences that empower them to establish and maintain routines that work for their lifestyle and goals.


How might we design a holistic fitness, health and wellness experience that fits seamlessly into the busy lives of working adults?


Expanding Fitness Studio Offerings

Our preliminary research has identified several key challenges fitness facilities are facing, including:

  • growing popularity of digital fitness solutions as people shift towards at-home workouts
  • increasing demand for holistic well-being in addition to traditional fitness
  • obstacles to maintaining healthy routines such as lack of time and motivation

Given these challenges, fitness studios need to rethink their offerings to provide customers with comprehensive wellness experiences that meet their needs and promote sustainable healthy habits.


Facilitating Habit Building Through Creating Personalized & Flexible Experiences

The app focuses on facilitating habit building through creating personalized and flexible experiences. Key features include:

  • easy access to wellness and fitness plans, as well as existing agendas on a calendar
  • set and incorporates goals into daily routines to help establish healthy habits
  • join sessions, programs and challenges to keep users engaged and motivated
  • receive personalized recommendations and insights based on mood check-ins and AI-guided journaling sessions to tailor the experience to individual needs and preferences
view prototype

Understanding the Needs of Health-Conscious Working Adults


We first did preliminary research on:

  • current situation of the fitness industry
  • motivations and barriers to maintaining healthy habits
  • wellness definition and trends
  • offerings of local boutique studios
  • virtual fitness trends

The preliminary research aimed to better understand the challenge at hand and guide the focus for the upcoming interviews.

After that, we conducted 4 semi-structured interviews with health-conscious working adults, who aged 26-40 in the GTA region and have not yet achieved their wellness goals.

view research plan

The goals for our research were:

  1. to identify the difficulties and intrinsic drivers that working adults face when trying to maintain holistic wellness habits
  2. to explore the concept of holistic wellness among working adults

After the interviews, we coded the interview content to identify common themes.

Coding Spreadsheet on Excel

Things We Uncovered

After synthesizing the content gathered from the semi-structured interviews, we uncovered valuable insights that shed light on our research questions and provided a deeper understanding of our target audience.

Research Question #1

What are the motivations and barriers for maintaining wellness in working adults?

Fitness Habits

Participants struggled in maintaining their fitness habits due to various reasons, including:

  • environmental constraints
  • lack of personalization
  • physical limitations
  • schedule availability
  • comparing to others
Holistic Wellness

Participants encountered obstacles in maintaining their overall well-being, including:

  • difficulty balancing wellness priorities
  • time constraints
  • sleeping patterns and quality
  • food allergies
  • negative social influence
“I had to switch to many other exercises compared to other people, which I didn’t feel very comfortable with because I would always have to go to the trainer and be like, ‘I cannot do this, I cannot do that..’”
# Fitness Barrier
# lack of personalization
“Everything is just wrong. You can't do the posture properly and everyone looks so pretty and you just look like a Frankenstein.”
# Fitness Barrier
# Pressure of Comparison
“So that difference I can see when I started morning walks but again, one extra hour of sleep is gone if I go on the morning walks, so we always have to find the balance between that.”
# Wellness Barrier
# Balancing priorities

Participants expressed various motivations for maintaining their holistic well-being, including:

  • health maintenance
  • improving overall health conditions
  • reducing dependence on medication
  • pain relief
  • better muscle control
  • sense of progression
Virtual Sessions

Participants were drawn to virtual sessions because:

  • flexibility of scheduling
  • availability in-between commitments
  • late-night accessibility
  • comfort of personal space at home
In-Person Sessions

Participants were drawn to in-person sessions because:

  • social interaction and companionship
  • convenience of location
  • studio commitments, such as trainers and group classes
“I love working out at a gym. Because if you go with friends ... at the end of the day, you go to the massage bed together, chatting about how much you did... When you start talking about it, you notice how much your body progress...”
# Motivation
# Companionship
# Sense of Progress
Research Question #2

What wellness needs do working adults have that our product can support with?

As we delved into participants' perspectives on wellness definitions and self-care routines, we discovered different viewpoints. It became clear that our app needed to provide a more tailored experience and broaden our offerings. However, three common themes emerged:

  • striving for a balanced lifestyle that includes proper nutrition, regular workouts, and adequate sleep
  • embracing mindfulness through practising meditation and yoga
  • placing a significant emphasis on physical health

Embodying the Audience

Through consolidating the findings from preliminary research and interviews, we crafted 4 diverse personas that represent our targeted demographic.

Persona #1 - The Former Athlete
Persona #2 - The Burnout Dad
Persona #3 - The Ambitious Workaholic
Persona #4 - The Social Butterfly

Generating High-Level Ideas

Drawing upon the insights gained from research, we engaged in collaborative brainstorming sessions to generate high-level ideas. This served as the foundation for developing user flows and sketching subsequently.

“How Might We” Exercise
Customer Profile & Needs Statements
Brainstorming App Features
Consolidating & Prioritizing Ideas

The Four Pillars of Our App

We prioritized our ideas to focus on 4 essential pillars - scheduling, personalization, habit building and social experience.

Why is this important?
Our target audience of working adults often struggle to prioritize self-care routines due to time constraints and competing commitments in their busy schedules.
How did we apply this to our app?
  • The calendar feature supports users in dedicating and prioritizing time for their fitness and wellness habits. We want to reduce the challenge of allocating time for these habits by providing seamless access to all engagements. By incorporating these self-care commitments on schedule, we hope to encourage users to give these habits the importance they deserve.
  • The app suggests sessions based on the user's schedule to optimize the use of available time.
Why is this important?
Users have a variety of holistic wellness goals, and pursuing those that align with their values and passions can create lasting motivation and sustainable healthy habits.
How did we apply this to our app?
  • The curated programs provide users with a clear path towards their objectives, while still allowing for flexibility and personalization. Users can customize their routines to fit their unique needs by selecting from a variety of pre-designed sessions.
  • Personalized recommendations and insights are provided based on users’ goals, mood check-in, journal entries and schedule.
Habit Building
Why is this important?
Consistency is key when building healthy habits, which is why we believe that small steps taken regularly are more effective than big changes that are hard to maintain. Setting ambitious goals can be overwhelming and lead to frustration, which often results in giving up entirely. By encouraging users to focus on minimal but consistent activity, we aim to help them build sustainable healthy habits and achieve their wellness goals in the long run.
How did we apply this to our app?
  • We helps users create SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) during the goal setting process to ensure achievable and trackable behaviour changes.
  • Repeated routines within programs help to strengthen consistent habits and progress statistics provide a clear sense of achievement to encourage users to maintain consistent behaviours.
  • The app promotes flexibility in existing commitments by providing personalized suggestions to adjust the fitness and wellness plans based on users’ physical and emotional conditions. Our bodies are constantly changing and so should our self-care plans.
  • The app offers short and virtual sessions to encourage users to continuously show up, even when they are unable to make it to a physical studio.
Why is this important?
Our research indicates that companionship and social influence play a crucial role in maintaining healthy habits.
How did we apply this to our app?
  • Users can view their friends' participation in sessions to encourage engagement.
  • The app provides a community feature where users can connect with others who share similar goals.

Bringing Ideas to Life

User Flow

We individually created distinct user flows and later engaged in a group discussion to compare and analyze them. During the session, we reviewed all flows sequentially and identified key elements to integrate into a single user flow.

Initially, the app featured four tabs - calendar (homepage), explore, profile, and community. However, based on feedback from the industry partner and users, we made slight adjustments, including adding a dashboard as the homepage with the user profile embedded within it, while maintaining the overall structure.

Combined User Flow
User Story & Context Scenario

I explored how our app can help address the pain points and meet the needs of the persona “the burnout dad”.

User Story - The Burnout Dad
Context Scenario - The Burnout Dad
Context Scenario - The Burnout Dad (Cont'd)
Initial Development

At this stage, I contributed in discussion on the overall app flow and focused on developing these aspects of the app:

  • wind down program & journaling session
  • smartwatch prompt
  • sleep tracking
Initial Sketches
Wind Down Program & Journaling Session
Smartwatch Prompt
Sleep Tracking

From Wireframes to Prototype

We developed our ideas into a mid-fidelity prototype so that we could receive feedback from the industry partner and conduct testing on the initial concept and interactions. We all participated in the discussion of iterating our ideas, but I was mainly responsible for creating the following flows:

  • explore & join a program
  • join a journaling session
  • join a session on a smartwatch
Mid-Fidelity Prototype on Figma
Usability Testing

Gathering Feedback


For the first round of tests, we recruited 4 participants on, using structured tasks on our mid-fidelity prototype. We tested on 5 flows:

  • creating new goals
  • finding a session on the explore page
  • joining the wind down program with a customized routine
  • joining a journaling session
  • navigating the profile page

Our goal was to gather feedback on the initial design concept and gain insight into how users might engage with specific features and functionalities of the product. This included assessing whether the product is user-friendly and intuitive and identifying areas where improvements can be made.

Summary of Test Procedures
Analysis of User Feedback
Prioritization of Further Actions

We proceeded to analyze the feedback provided by the participants and employed the MoSCoW Method (must have, should have, could have, and won't have) to prioritize our next steps.

Positive Feedback:
Overall, the participants appreciated the app's holistic approach. They expressed particular interest in features such as goal-setting, attending sessions with friends, exploring trainer profiles, and the concept of AI journaling.

Negative Feedback:
While there were no major functionality issues, we did identify minor concerns such as a cluttered confirmation page that requires refinement.

Conflicting Views:
Participants held conflicting views on certain aspects, notably customizing routines within programs, navigating past journal entries, and the concept and interactions related to mood analysis.

Extra Round of Tests

After refining the flows, we proceeded with another round of testing on the high-fidelity prototype. We focused on testing the new and refined flows while taking out ones we were already confident in. The specific flows we tested included:

  • navigating the new homepage
  • creating new goals
  • joining a session
  • joining the wind down program with a customized routine

Due to time constraints, we were only able to complete 2 tests, which limited the amount of feedback received. However, we did not encounter any major issues or concerns in these 2 tests.


Refining Based on Feedback

Based on the feedback from our professors, the industry partner and the testing participants, we iterated our designs accordingly. Major changes include:

  • adding a dashboard as a home page so that users can get a general picture of the robust features
  • adding a mood check-in feature on the home page so that users can quickly check in anytime during the day without doing an entire journal session, which allows us to have more comprehensive data to provide in-depth insights and recommendations
  • refining the goal-setting process, customizing program process and journaling session

While we all collaboratively discussed the iterations, I was responsible for refining the customizing program process and refining the journaling session.

Streamlining the Process of Customizing Program Routine

To streamline the customization process for our program page, I made a few iterations:

  • initially only showed the selected sessions and allowed users to expand other available sessions by activity type
  • then changed to show all available sessions in one full list, with each session card labeled by activity type to eliminate the need for users to expand the menu for each activity type
  • changed the format to either "show selected" or "show other options" and revert back to showing sessions by activity type to avoid information overwhelmed

Another change that I made was to allow users to select sessions by tapping on the entire session card for easier selections. I also added a small icon on the right of the session card for accessing session details to help with decision making.

Optimizing the User Interface for the Journaling Session

I added a microphone icon to the control panel to indicate the interaction of voice input during the journaling session. I also kept all control elements at the bottom of the screen to reduce distractions, allow for more immersive participation in the conversation, and easier access to the control elements of the session.


A Friendly Approach

We decided to go for a friendly approach because we wanted to make the user feel at ease and make following and achieving goals something fun and inviting, rather than challenging. We chose Apertura for its more “rounded”, playful style and its simple, readable typeface. To complement this playful nature, we incorporated fun illustrations with a mixture of pastel and bright colours.

We created a mood-board collaboratively to determine the direction of the visual style before creating the style kit. Our team member Brooks helped set up the style kit before we applied the style to the mid-fidelity prototype to ensure consistency.

Style Kit

After the Refinements

For the high-fidelity prototype, I focused on these 2 flows:

  • exploring & joining a program
  • joining a journaling session
· Video Demo ·
Exploring & Joining a Program
· Video Demo ·
Joining a Journaling Session
· Walkthrough ·
Exploring & Joining a Program
· Walkthrough ·
Joining a Journaling Session

Try the Prototype

Feel free to check out the different flows of our high-fid prototype! :)

  • homepage & mood check-in
  • adding a goal & joining a session
  • exploring & joining a session
  • exploring & joining a program
  • joining a journaling session

Future Enhancements

I am happy with what we were able to create within such a short time. Meeting the requirements given by the industry partner was certainly challenging, but we worked hard to combine our many ideas cohesively to deliver a product that emphasized holistic well-being.

In the future, I am interested to explore and create new additions to the app that have the potential to enhance the overall experience, such as:

  • personalized insights based on mood analysis
  • integrating wearables to track data and allow quick participation
  • developing the community feature to provide a more comprehensive social element to the app

The Process of Collaboration

Collaborating with this team has been a great experience. I appreciate how open everyone was to different perspectives and ideas, which led to a smooth collaboration process. Additionally, the diverse strengths and expertise among team members contributed to significant progress and improvements in our designs, after engaging in constructive discussions.