The challenge for this project was to re-imagine a way that people can adopt and maintain a daily routine that will improve their physical or mental health. In today's world, people spend up to 80% of their lives inside buildings, so I chose to focus on outdoor physical activity. I set out to design an app that improves people's well-being by helping them find and plan activities Outside!
Doing outdoor physical activity is more time consuming and requires more preparation and effort than working out at a gym. For this reason, figuring out a way to make it more convenient for people to get outside is the biggest problem I set out to solve.
I designed an App that people can use to help them find outdoor activities in their area. The App also allows them to connect with people in the area that enjoy outdoor activities, and it also helps them prepare for and coordinate the activity.
Overall: 2 week sprint
Discovery & Research: 1 week
Design & testing: 1 week
I interviewed 5 people that engage in outdoor physical activity at varying frequencies. The key findings were:
4 out of 5 enjoy outdoor exercise alot more than indoor exercise.
5 out of 5 enjoy outdoor activities because they like connecting with Nature.
5 out of 5 enjoy outdoor activities because it helps them connect socially with others.
The main pain points that were identified in the interviews are listed below.
4 out of 5 find it difficult to find other people that want to do the same outdoor activity as them.
3 out of 5 dont like that doing outdoor activities takes more time and effort.
3 out of 5 find it difficult to coordinate outdoor activities with other people.
Conclusion: people want to spend more time doing outdoor activities, however, the time it takes to find people and coordinate the activity keeps them from doing it more often.
Competitive Feature Analysis
To size up the competition I looked at what other Apps are offering in the market. I found Eseo, Sporty and Playo. They allow people to find sports or exercise activities in their area.
From the competitive feature analysis chart, we can get a good idea of what it will take to compete with other Apps in the market. I found out I will need the following features to compete!
Discover activities - Create activities - Select level in activites - Chat feature - Upcoming activities
To help me extract insights and data points from my research I created an affinity diagram.
The affinity diagram helped me hone in on the most recurring pain points of my research by creating a clear visual of them on a white board. The most recurring pain point was that people found it hard to find other people that is interested in doing the same outdoor activity as them.
In order to empathize more with our user base I created “Sporty Sophie” as my user persona. Sophie is a made up user that represents the data found in the research phase and puts all the characteristics and goals of our interviewees into a human we can relate to. This helps remind us who our user is and helps us get in their shoes so we can think more like them. A great tool for providing a user-centered solution.
Customer Journey Map
Next I mapped out the experience that Sophie goes through as she tries to do an outdoor activity. I created 5 different stages in the process and using the user research I assigned a “mood” value to each stage.
Additionally, I assigned pain points associated with each stage and wrote down possible opportunities where we can improve the experience. By a quick glance, we can tell that the lowest point in Sophie’s mood is when she is trying to find people who she can do an outdoor activity with. This is the main pain point that needs to be solved for.
Research has shown that outdoor physical activity has countless benefits on people’s physical and mental well-being. In my research, I have observed that people have a hard time finding others to do outdoor physical activities with, which is decreasing the amount of time people spend being active outside.
How Might We Statement
How might we help people connect with others that want to do the same outdoor physical activity?
I believe that by helping people find others in their area who are interested in the same outdoor physical activities, I will help people spend more time being active outdoors.
Ideation & Minimum Viable Product
I brainstormed ideas on potential features and functionalities that my app will need to solve the problem.
Once I had a good number of ideas on the board, I grouped them into 4 categories using the Moscow Method. All the ideas in the “Must haves” and “Should haves” section will go on to make the Minimum Viable Product.
User flows are maps of the paths that a user can take within the App to perform a task or achieve a goal. In my case, the goal is to “Find people in your area that can do an outdoor activity with you”. The happy path is the most efficient path a user can take to achieve their goal.
The happy path is shown in the user flow below in the green arrows. We can see that the most efficient way to find others is through “joining” an already existing outdoor activity. This is the happy path that we will design in our low fidelity wire frames.
Lo-Fi Wireframes & Testing
I quickly sketched up some low fidelity wireframes that would be necessary to achieve the goal or user task. I then performed usability tests with 5 users and asked them to perform two tasks using the hand-sketched screens.
Task 1: Join an existing outdoor activity in your area.
Task 2: Add a participant of that activity to your friend group.
In the Lo-Fi pictures below, the areas highlighted in red were the issues that were found during testing. The issues are outlined below:
Users incorrectly clicked on “Activities” page in the bottom nav bar to try to join an existing activity.
Users wanted to see more information about the activity on the home screen before they decided to see more details.
Users were confused by the word “Gears” in the Activity Details page.
Users disliked the location of the “add friend” button.
Mid-Fi Wireframes & Testing
After incorporating the user feedback from Lo-Fi testing, I digitized the design into mid-fidelity wireframes. I then did another round of usability testing with 5 users and found more issues.
Users disliked the flag icons on the home screen map.
Users disliked the layout of the top part of the Activity Details screen.
Users thought the Activity Details screen was too busy because it had the Chat and Supplies together in the same page.
Users disliked the layout of the top part of the User Profile screen.
I will pick up these user suggestions and incorporate them into my hi-fi designs.
Before drawing up the high fidelity wireframes, I created a mood board to get inspiration and to help me choose some colors for my design.
From my user research, I found that people enjoy being outside because they like connecting with nature, but more specifically nearly all interviewees mentioned they enjoy the “fresh air” and getting some “sun”. After experimenting with several blues, yellows, reds and oranges, I arrived at the shade of blue shown on the moodboard above to mimic “fresh air” inside the app.
The following hi-fi prototype is a result of the research conducted along with the usability testing of the lo-fi and mid-fi wireframes presented earlier.
Outside, is the wellness app that helps people connect with others and find activities happening outside. With this App, people will be able to find and join outdoor activities happening in their area or they can create their own. This will help them connect with other people that want to do the same activity as they do and in the process connect them with nature. The app also has a group chat that will help coordinate the activity and a Supplies List which will help all members of an activity in bringing the necessary supplies.
Conclusion & Next steps
Although people know of the many benefits of doing outdoor physical activity, they don’t engage in it enough. Outside would help solve some of the frustrations associated with doing outdoor activities, making it easier for people to spend time outdoors connecting with others and nature.
The next steps in this project would be to do a usability test with the hi-fi prototype to get user feedback to further improve the design prior to handing off this project to developers.