Nike Training Club Concept: Reaching your fitness goals, even on the bad days

A snapshot of the features I created for Nike Training Club

Since the pandemic began interrupting our daily lives and habits, I found myself slipping away from my fitness goals. Working out made me feel strong and rewarded, yet I couldn’t pull myself up off the couch and get down to business. Why was this so difficult?

In Nike Training Club (NTC), users can browse for workouts, follow programs, and view thematic collections of workouts. While these avenues for workout selection are effective, they burden the user with decisions about their fitness. This can make exercising feel intimidating or too big of a task.

In my interviews with other NTC and fitness app users, the problem of workout motivation was widespread. This wasn’t only a result of the pandemic disrupting schedules; users found it difficult to schedule and complete workouts both before and during the pandemic.

When people exercise, they want to be happy and satisfied with their fitness, but they can’t achieve this because it’s difficult to schedule and maintain a workout routine and hard to get up and start a workout.

After interviewing a few users of various fitness apps including NTC, I found a key problem related to goals, motivation, and routine maintenance. From here, I began brainstorming more specific solution areas with a small group of friends.

Brainstorming & Early Ideation

My brainstorming team and I after our session. We come from a variety of backgrounds in information and computer science.

When considering the solution spaces our group discovered, it was important that they were feasible, realistic, and high impact. Though the scope of this project was not inclusive of implementation of this feature, it was important that the solution could hypothetically be coded into NTC.

In the end, we identified three key spaces in Progress Visualization, Automated Scheduling, and Rewards.

My final design centered around Automated Scheduling, with some aspects of Progress Visualization. A key finding in my preliminary interviews was that users have trouble picking workouts that motivate them to exercise. While NTC currently has a “For You” tab on the landing screen, users thought that the workout suggestions didn’t feel personalized and didn’t change very often.

The new feature will introduce workouts personalized to a user’s fitness goals and preferences, providing suggestions based on the day and how the user is feeling.

My initial sketches: I combined two of my feature ideas to create a concept centered around both long-term goals and short-term feelings.

After coming up with a low-fidelity sketch and a more defined idea of what the feature would look like, I created many explorations of how the interactions at each stage of the flow would look.

A couple of my top medium-fidelity designs. The one on the right is the closest to my final prototype.

I began my medium-fidelity prototyping by defining my start, end, and middle points, to explore different modes of interactions:

  1. Start- navigate to “goals” section of NTC
  2. Input goals
  3. View goal-based workout recommendations
  4. Enter day-of feelings
  5. End- View day-of recommendations

For each stage, I did 5–7 explorations, then organized into 5 distinct flows. The image above shows the best 3 flows, for which I considered the various pros and cons. The key challenge was deciding the entry point: while I felt the feature would be central to interactions, I didn’t think it belonged on the “For You” page, but having a separate page in the navigation was too hidden and could be confusing.

The various entry points I considered

Ultimately, I created a new tab on the Workouts page, which provided the right level of visibility and importance.

From these top three flows, I created a few visual explorations and started high-fidelity design.

Some of my first high-fidelity designs that led to the final prototype.

High Fidelity Designing and Prototyping

My final high-fidelity design built on my user interviews, feedback from peers, and insights from my earlier explorations.

Users input goals by first navigating to the goals tab on the Workouts page. This tab is visible immediately when the user opens the app, without taking space away from content featured on the For You tab.

Screens for goal input

Goals are selected in rectangular buttons, a style also used to filter workouts in the Browse tab. While I explored a lot of options for inputting goals, this one was the quickest. From initial user interviews, it was clear that people don’t want to spend a lot of unnecessary time planning workouts, so the input needed to be simple, clear, and fast. Categories were based on what users told me they considered when selecting a workout, as well as their motivations and long-term goals.

From early interviews, people who exercise want their workout routines to be regular and habitual.

Screens for weekly workouts

One thing that interviewees mentioned was that it can be hard to pick a workout even when they blocked out the time for it. Because of this, the suggested workouts are based on the number of times the user wants to workout in a week, and the user can view a timetable of suggestions for that week. Workouts focus on a specific goal that the user inputted to increase feelings of satisfaction and provide more tangible progression

Screens for the day-of feelings

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of keeping a workout routine was not the planning, but gaining motivation short-term to get up and begin a workout. For this, I implemented a feature on the top of the goals tab to select how the user is feeling in the moment and provide more specific suggestions than the weekly options. This would encourage users to keep their routines even when they aren’t feeling their best.

View the Figma file

After creating my prototype, I then evaluated it by speaking to more potential users (college student who already exercise somewhat regularly, or want to). I asked them to complete a few of the tasks in my Figma prototype while thinking aloud about the interactions and providing feedback. The primary issue I identified was related to some terminology being confusing or vague, but overall the users completed the tasks and liked the structure of the content.

Feature 1 — inputting goals

Users input goals by navigating to the Goals tab of the Workouts page, selecting either the settings icon or the tile, and entering their preferences.

Feature 2 — Viewing weekly workout

Once a user has entered their goals, they can view suggested workouts for the week. The days, focuses, and duration of the plan is based on the user’s preferences and can be changed by editing their input.

Feature 3 — Viewing day-of suggestions

Finally, users can get workout suggestions based on how they are feeling in a given day. On the top of the goals page, they select how they are feeling, tap “Next” and can choose from recommendations.

The entire group of features- start to end

To keep my design consistent in the final prototype, I developed a UI Kit. Many elements were already in NTC, but I created a few new assets to better implement my feature. The app is mostly done in grayscale, with the occasional lime green accent, and makes heave use of images.

This was my first time doing a case study on a preexisting tool, and my first time working on a design by myself. I think adding features to existing designs presents a challenge distinctly different than creating completely new concepts. Namely, my main struggle was fitting the entry point of my feature into NTC because it was more difficult to understand the importance of each aspect, and how much value my feature had.

Creating this design myself was also a new experience. On one hand, I enjoyed having autonomy over the design decisions and being able to think through things at my own pace. However, I also missed the constant feedback and suggestions that come from working as a part of a team. I truly value the input of people who come from non-design backgrounds, and I wish I knew how the design would turn out if more people worked within this problem space.

In the 10-week span of this course, I certainly wish I had more time to evaluate and revise my design with a larger group of participants. I value the feedback I received, but I would have liked to hear opinions from a more diverse population of my target audience.

The goal-centered workouts feature I prototyped for NTC addresses the lack of personalization and desire for motivation that users want. The feature offers the right amount of autonomy while giving a guideline to follow when users are feeling lost.

Fitness is an important part of many people’s lives to improve both physical and mental well being, and this feature has the potential to reduce barriers to entry. Helping users stay motivated to exercise and reach their goals will help them keep their fitness habits — even on the bad days.

This summer 2021, I will be interning as a Product Designer at Datto, Inc. I’m excited to see what products I will be working on and hope to improve my skills as a designer. In the fall, I hope to use my skills to continue creating digital designs in my senior year at Cornell University.

Information Science ’22, Cornell University | Product Design Intern, Datto, Inc | Graphic Designer, Global Cornell | Lover of design, frisbee, and dogs