Trainador is an app made for personal trainers to create customized fitness programs and send them to their clients.
This case study is meant to focus only on the workout routine builder.
Goal: Create a simple AND flexible workout builder
While doing user research, it was clear that competitors either had adequate customizability options with poor ease-of-use, or they had the opposite problem. Trainador’s value prop is that it provides the highest control AND easiest to use.
Cofounder and Designer
Started from discovery phase, prioritizing backlog, testing with users, iterating and being very budget conscious.
- Leadership: Managing outsourced developers
- Business: High level product strategy
- Design research: User interviews, usability testing, competitor research
- Design solutions: Flows, wireframes, prototypes
- Handoff: Ensure developers know what must be created. Clear communication essential because of a low budget
Discovery, Ideation, Test
- User. What does our user want out of this fitness plans?
- Industry. What are fitness plans?
- Limitations. What technical limitations I’ll face?
- Opportunities. Brainstorm solutions for pain points in the journey
- Flow. Create a process flow
- Interface. Wireframe & prototype
- Handoff, Release & Test
- Handoff.Document specs for devs
- MVP. Test MVP. Iterate
START | USER
Who is the user?
Conducted one-on-one interviews in-person, over Zoom, and over text.
Finding: Our user is beginner to intermediate
Seasoned personal trainers already have clients and a process and they are not interested in new methods to run their business. Therefore, Trainador’s users are 60% BEGINNERS, 40% intermediate, and 0% veteran coaches in the industry. Also, fitness coaches have one of the highest turnover careers. Within 3 years, most of the fitness coach workforce has changed – this makes beginners extra important to target.
High-level steps in journey:
Fitness Plan Structure
ALL types of fitness programs need to be easy to build in the app, so we sought to understand the diversity and commonalities of these plans.
Finding: Standard weekly structures
There is consistency amongst ALL programs in terms of weekly structure. Here are the most common weekly structures:
- Full Body (3 or 4 times per week)
- Full Body (10 min every day)
- Bro Split
Finding: Most of the time, only reps change week-to-week
When a user starts a new week, they’re usually repeating what was done the prior week. It is most common for weeks to only change by reps, not by exercises. When full body exercise, there is no name for day given
Finding: Circuits are highly variable and highly important
Supersets, circuits and HIIT programs are very common and have highly divergent user flows. All must be accommodated in the app. Types of layouts: HIIT, Circuit, Supersets, Straight Sets, Pyramid Sets.
Diversity of exercises
It was clear users would need to be able to add exercises in the workout builder. If we would allow users to select exercises and add them to their routine, we needed to understand how the database of exercises would look like.
Finding: Exercises are interchangeable
Examples: Alternating, Single-Arm/Leg, and varying grips
Same exercise, different equipment
Coaches are happy to give their clients options for the equipment to use for the same exercise.
A later finding was that typing in “barbell” and “dumbbell” on the phone is burdensome.
What’s different about how our users build fitness plans?
Although many people can build fitness plans, we did research on how specifically personal trainers go about this process.
We discovered several unique ways personal trainers create plans:
- Reuse plans frequently:
- Coaches generally assign the same exact workout program to all of their clients.
- After assigning a pre-made workout program, they will then do small modifications based on injuries and goals.
- Follow-along videos
- Another finding was that it’s extremely common for personal trainers to have already created online follow-along workout programs.
- They seek a way to present those follow-along workout videos in a structured way.
- Circuits & supersets:
- Personal trainers prefer to make their routines dynamic so that their client has more fun.
- Circuits and supersets can add extreme complexity to a routine… so their preference for this is particularly notable for the design process.
- Most trainers have a specific focus or brand. For example, one may specialize in athletes, another specializes in breathwork, another specializes in senior citizens, etc.
- Frequently, this means there may be unique, obscure exercises that they want to put in the program.
- Or it may mean that they have a unique way of explaining the same exercise (e.g. emphasizing breathing in a movement).
Detailed user journey
Laid out the full journey of the user and included all aspects of how a fitness plan is created. We also explored the opportunities in the touch points.
Trainador’s exercise library
There will be approximately 5,000 exercises in the database ultimately. It is controlled by a janky admin panel.
The created dashboard helped reveal many issues about the exercise database. First, we do not have not have enough data to know which exercises are the most popular amongst our potential users – this means sorting exercises appropriately may be difficult. We don’t have enough data to sort by popularity. Second, we can’t manually add all possible exercises in our admin panel because they’re seemingly unending.
Created a process flow before wireframing.
After creating the process flow, we were able to start sketching and paper prototyping.
Task: Adding an exercise with quick filter
Step 1. User thinks about “muscle” before which specific exercise.
Step 2. Then top used exercises for that muscle are shown.
Step 3. Review saved exercises.
Task: Selecting program from library
Step 1. User doesnt want to spend time creating a program from scratch
Step 2. User selects exercise on. the WEEK level
Task: Selecting sets, reps, weight, more
Step 1. Giving an adequate hint that reps, sets needs to be selected
Step 2. Automatically starting out with 3 sets
Step 3. The chosen reps and sets change for ALL the exercises automatically
Representing the flow in wireframes below
Handoff & test
Put all details in Jira
There will be approximately 5,000 exercises in the database ultimately. We created a dashboard to manage the exercises.
Remote usability tests
“I want to rearrange exercises.
Where can I do that?”
After paper and Sketch prototypes, we prototyped with Beta app over Zoom
KPI’s & A/B testing
Utilized Firebase for A/B testing and studying activity
Largest drop-off was when users were *search exercises* screen. This meant we needed to follow up with qualitative research to find the issue. With this information, we can design & iterate
Overall, through quantitative and qualitative data, we confirmed a high NPS and task completion in creating a routine. However, there are large flows in the creation of circuits and a need for more exercises in the database. This will be the next steps in the design and development process.