How might we improve the Browse experience across all cardio consoles to scale as we expand our content offering?
3 UX/UI Designers, 3 Devs, 1 QA
I led UX strategy, research, ideation, testing, and mentored two associate designers. Associate designers delivered final UI, redlines, workout data, content, and assisted with research, synthesis, prototyping, and testing.
Business alignment: 1 week
Research: 1 week
UX Design/Data Model: 2 weeks
UI/Content Delivery: 4 weeks
Prototype testing: 1.5 weeks
Alpha and Beta testing: 4 weeks
Dev and QA: two-week sprint cycles, totaling ~6 mos.
We started with a complex flow that had redundancies and unnecessary steps. Content is siloed in different areas under naming patterns that may not be clear to exercisers. If we borrowed from well known entertainment browse patterns, we could start to pull all content into a single page for a move visual experience that scales, while making room for featured content.
From MVP to Future State
Beginning with the treadmill experience, initial direction includes eliminating the extra browse page, taking exercisers directly to all workout content. We can standardize access to setup options, allowing exercisers to log in, connect accessories, or set up their default preferences at any point before their workout begins.
As workout content continues to grow, so will the need to add features like tagging, filtering, personalization, customization. This also presents us the an opportunity to break down the wall between workouts and entertainment content to create seamless access to any content anywhere.
Solutions will need to take into account several variables:
• Multiple base types
• Screen size/resolution
• Multiple brands under one umbrella
• Workout types and quantity
• International translations (26)
• Facility customizations
• Corporate partner agreements
• Logged in experience
• All user types
• Existing build complications
• Android Lollipop constraints
• Aging hardware
Our research and testing plan for this project was organic and a pilot for building out a formal research practice. We began by aligning with business goals and existing research, checking on existing design decisions by performing a reach test, lean user testing with high fidelity comps, and finally some field testing with a functional console. We are about to launch into alpha and beta testing at select international locations.
Based on the varied feedback from many of our stakeholders, we ran a cross functional workshop to uncover assumptions and generate ideas. In one activity, we asked participants to prioritize features on highly sought after real estate on the main screen. After plotting the feedback on tree maps by business division, we were able to align on business priorities and focus on user needs.
From prior research and user statements pulled from multiple teams, we developed a proto persona matrix measured on two axes: experience level and disposition toward exercise.
Competitive and Lateral Research
We reviewed 10 brands that specialize in entertainment and fitness content. We found that each major brand has been converging on a video entertainment model similar to YouTube or Netflix. Categories are based on tagging and analytics. Content is constantly tested with users and optimized for better engagement.
Human Factors Testing
The console team went through two rounds of ideation and desk research over a two week period. We designed a low fidelity human factors test to assess the reachability and success rate of different tasks. This took into account variables like height, fitness level, dominant hand, and movement at different speeds. We were able to collect this data efficiently and at a low cost with volunteers at the office.
After human factors testing, we converged on a home screen menu that separates primary and secondary actions from general settings navigation, the introduction of a top bar universal nav, a large feature area with cards below. We introduced micro icons and confirmation modals as a way to give exercisers more information about a given workout and give clear confirmation on when the machine would begin moving.
Below is a sample of concepts leading to the final solution. Screens include the Home and Browse pages as well as other touch points connecting the new experience to the existing one.
We took consoles into two corporate gyms and three neighborhood gyms to conduct a task analysis and questionnaire with ~25 participants. While we had a strong positive response to our content and browse patterns, we learned that we need additional scrolling affordances to help console users find additional content. We found that our proto personas can be expanded to at least four axes instead of two, adding in variables like ability and curiosity.
With our broad international user base, it's clear that we needed to expand on our MVP to improve accessibility and overall experience for all of our exercisers. The next phase of updates to the browse experience will include more robust personas and exploration into simplifying choice for exercisers who want to just get on and go through improving things like Quick Start visibility and the ability to access all content from within a workout. We'll explore multiple view options for exercisers, for example exercisers who want to stay focused with minimal stats or exercisers who don't wear their reading glasses at the gym.
The new Home screen side panel has a clear hierarchy and simplified choice structure. The primary and secondary options will ultimately lead an exerciser to the Browse experience. Based on testing, we removed some of the visual noise in the default ads on the Home screen.
The browse experience is now in a single page. Exercisers still have access to all of their settings. We highlight two content features at the top of the screen and have introduced a simple algorithm to display popular workouts followed by our standard workout groupings below. Goal workouts and Fitness tests are now displayed more visually with icon overlays to indicate the goal or test type. The data was redesigned to accommodate our future state plans of rolling out more complex algorithms along with filtering to build out a more customized browse experience at the gym and logged in user levels.