Lift

Workout Tracker for Android

The Project

I’m a member of a weightlifting club and like to keep track of my progress. I had previously used an app called Strong that was for the iPhone, but after changing to an Android phone, I couldn’t find an app that worked in the same way. I was looking for simplicity but still quite a lot of control. I needed to be able to create workout plans, but also to modify these plans on the fly depending on how I felt that day and still record progress consistently. I decided to create a prototype of what I wanted with the hope of finding an Android developer who could work with me on it.

My Role

  • User Research
  • Screen flows
  • Sketching
  • Prototype Creation

The Process

User Research

Being part of the weightlifting club was very useful in this case. I was able to ask the other members of the club, other patrons of the gym and some of the staff members what they used for tracking their progress and what they would like in an application. I didn’t tell them that I was creating an app, but worked the line of questioning into conversation so that I would get much more honest responses. It was really useful in getting other peoples perspective.

Screen flows

Based on what I wanted the app to be able to do, and with the information that I got from asking the members of the club, I began creating screen flows of how users could interact with the app to complete tasks. I tested these quickly with a few friends to see if they made sense or if I had left out anything of importance.

Sketching

Since I had the user journeys sketched out, I was able to identify the key screens that I would need to design. Rather than creating specific layout designs for each page, I picked out the pages that were repeated throughout the app and chose them as being base template layouts. I created these in pen and paper so that I could quickly try out different layouts.

Visual design

I wanted the style of the app to reflect the android design language of the time so used an android design toolkit to create high fidelity mockups of each of the templates. I them used these mockup templates to create each individual screen for the prototype.

I feel that an app needs to feel native to the operating system it is being used on, it creates a more seamless experience for the user.

Prototype creation

I didn’t have an android developer to work with to create the app, so I decided to create a prototype that I could show to people and gain some feedback on the work that I had been doing. I used Indigo Studio software to create a prototype that could be shown to others in browsers, both on desktops and on mobile devices.

The feedback was largely positive, and provided some insights that resulted in some small changes to the layout of some of the templates.

Project Review

With every project there are good bits and bad bits, and the only way to work on projects that have more good bits than not so good bits is to learn, and apply what is learned to new projects.

What went well?

  • As this was my project, I was in complete control of what I wanted to do with it. I had, essentially, limitless time and budget to make the app as good as I possibly could.
  • I was in a really good position to perform some guerrilla user research and testing that gave me some very useful and insightful information when I was going through the design process.

What would I change?

  • After lining up two separate android developers to help me get it into production, I finally lost momentum with the project after both of them had to leave the project for different reasons. I had hoped that one of them would be able to return and continue work, but eventually it became apparent that this wasn’t going to happen. The project has since been shelved.