A health and wellness app promoting frequent, easy and quick exercises aimed at office workers, 55+ community and new exercisers.
Subscription Video Platform
Seven Movements was established in 2014 by two health coaches — Dan and John with an idea to help people move more throughout the day by encouraging them to do quick and easy 7 minutes videos either at work or in their living rooms.
Their video library is currently accessible as a subscription service both on mobile and the Seven Movements website through a third-party host — VHX.
In this project, my team and I designed a mobile application that host the Seven Movements video library allowing the users to access the exercise whenever and wherever they are.
A whopping 67% of adults report sitting for 8 or more hours a day — more than ever before in history, in fact, we spend more time sitting down than we spend sleeping. Our bodies weren’t built for that and it starts taking its toll.
Sitting is the new smoking in terms of health risks.
I am sure you’ve heard that statement before. Physical inactivity contributes to over three million preventable deaths worldwide each year (that’s six percent of all deaths).
It is the fourth leading cause of death due to non-communicable diseases.
Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, anxiety and depression and even some forms of cancer have been linked to a sedentary lifestyle.
So stand up, stretch, and read on how we as a team tried to do our little bit to help encourage people to sit less and move more.
To support the Seven Movements growth by creating a mobile app that will allow users to take the Seven Movements solution with them. Helping them to fully benefit from their subscription and encourage them to move more throughout the day by performing quick and easy 7 minutes videos either at work or in their living rooms.
Below you can see the steps in the process I was directly working on.
You can click any of the steps and go directly to that part of the process or simply continue reading the whole story in full.
the warm-up AKA organizational research
The videos of the Seven Movements Platform are contextualized into 3 main areas of possible application — at work (office), at home, and in a Self Care Station (exercises in these videos require specific equipment), they are then further categorized into videos focusing on specific body problems, a long term preparation for certain activities or curated programs. That is why it is crucial that the company owns the product with an exclusive app.
Seven Movements is currently using a third-party host, VHX, to deliver all of its video content. Due to the way VHX operates, the company is unable to structure the material in the desired format. There’s also a problem with phone access, each time you log into the VHX phone app it requires a lengthy email + link process. This has most likely contributed to the low retention rate.
Moreover, with features for retention and better structure, the company can set up a good platform for future B2B expansion and strengthen acquisition.
Everyone wants to be healthier, happier and live longer. That’s why it was no surprise to us that the market is well saturated with apps aiming to help people achieve just that.
We compared wellness apps (ie. Headspace, Fabulous, Insight Timer, Mindshift) as well as fitness apps (ie. Fitbit Coach, 7 Minute Workout, Office Yoga). We also included Youtube because we wanted to compare the features of an app dedicated to playing videos.
The analysis showed that there was a lack of an app that hosts videos for multiple applications and that focuses on different areas of the body.
What was also missing, especially in the fitness apps was customizable onboarding and goal setting, search functions, recommendations, playlist/favourites.
Text font accessibility and difficulty level description were also missing. We then decided to test the importance of these features to users through surveys.
To pinpoint the exact needs of the Seven Movements users we deployed two surveys: one to the current and past users of the Seven Movements platform and the second one to a broad net of potential new users.
Most people from both groups want a simple service that tracks their progress.
looks for simplicity of use when choosing a health and wellness app
looks for progress tracking when choosing a health and wellness app
current and past users survey
The current and past users survey produced a very small sample size of 5 respondents. Looking at its specific results we saw that all of the participants were actually no longer using the Seven Movements platform and they were largely within 30–55 years age range.
While the majority of them liked the simplicity of navigation and found the platform useful, some pain points were quite obvious. For example, the fact that they couldn’t download the content and experienced connectivity issues, while others felt like they’d gotten all they wanted out of the platform and had no further need for it.
The results of that survey made it clear that to entice them back and to keep them motivated, they would like the app to track progress as well as provide downloadable content so they can watch it anywhere without worrying about connectivity.
potential new users survey
The second survey we send out produced a pool of 23 respondents aged between 21 and 33 years old, as predicted, 58% of them reported sitting quite a lot, meaning this audience is exactly our target market. On top of that, more than half of them use other health and fitness apps — meaning they’d be open to exploring this new application.
Their biggest motivators to stay healthy were: body image, living longer and improving their mood. 42% rated customization of goals as highly important and indicated that progress tracking and new content makes them come back to apps frequently.
We still needed deeper insight into the user needs, that’s why we conducted in-depth interviews. We talked to 2 current Seven Movements subscribers and 2 office employees. When talking to the current subscribers more insight was gained towards the problems that current users were experiencing.
Some key insights we gathered:
current users have difficulty navigating the current VHX app
VHX app has too many clicks between logging in to watching a video
users are overwhelmed by the amount of videos available
users want positive reinforcement
users want to be able to track their progress
"I like it when there's categories or when there's stuff that just comes up automatically. Like, you login, and immediately, there's something there for you to do.
I don't want there to be too many clicks between entering into the program and then getting to the video."
- Karen, current Seven Movements subscriber
Another benefit of our research and the encountered challenges was a confirmation of who we thought our target market was. We confirmed that our target audience indeed includes individuals who lead a sedentary lifestyle at their workplace, the 55+ community, and people who are new to exercising. In order to accurately represent this broad target audience, we created two user personas — Glen and Susan.
To have more energy throughout the day
To relieve his body of aches/pains
To improve his overall health
Customize goals and reminders
Rewards or achievements for reaching his goal
An app that is easy and simple to use in the office
“I need to move more throughout the day but I don't want to be guilt-tripped and start feeling bad for not accomplishing my activity goals ”
Glen is a 36-year-old accountant who spends the majority of his day sitting. He has a young daughter and finds that keeping up with her is difficult. Glen believes that health is not just about the aesthetics of the body but having the energy to pursue the activities that would help him enjoy life more. He wishes to live a healthier life to improve his energy levels and enjoy life without aches and pains. His busy lifestyle allows him very little time to improve his health, having an app that would help him to inject a bit of movement throughout his day would be life-changing.
Be self aware of her health journey
Stay healthy in both body and mind through regular active movement.
Customize an exercise routine to accomodate her illness
Tracking progress to stay motivated
Being able to keep up with a routine at her own pace
"I want to be able to exercise at home at my own pace. I can't exercise for too long at a time and I need to be able to adjust the difficulty level to my current energy levels. I need to be able to access the video quickly and easily too many choices are confusing.
Susan is a recently retired high school teacher who suffers from chronic joint inflammation. The recent change in her lifestyle means that she spends a lot of time at home. Her biggest motivation in life is spending time with her grandchildren, she wants to stay healthy and able-bodied for as long as possible to take active role in their lives. She's tried to follow a couple of exercise programs but they proved to be too difficult for her skill level. She also got discouraged by complicated platform navigation. To illustrate her pinpoints and needs, let’s explore a day in the life of Susan.
“Susan has thirty minutes before her book club meeting to get some exercise done.
To her frustration, she has to perform multiple clicks to get to her desired video.
This wastes a lot of her energy and time.
This is also the first time this week that Susan has actually exercised despite wanting to move more often. She’s forgetful and has difficulty being consistent.
Susan values progress and efficiency.”
As you can see, Susan’s pinpoints are quite obvious: She’s wasting time getting to desired content and she might not always be diligent with exercising.
What does she need? quick access and a reminder system. To keep her further motivated, she’ll need feedback from the app to let her know how she’s doing.
Based on the data from the research and with careful consideration of Glen's and Susan we were able to organize — and, most importantly, prioritize — the features we knew our app needed. We based our decisions on the importance of the feature and its feasibility in this short timeframe.
That organizing resulted in a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Goal setting and progress tracking with optional custom reminders to keep users accountable and motivated. Quick links, navigation bar, and video descriptions to improve efficiency and to limit the necessary actions to pick a video. Onboarding to personalize their own experience.
optional custom reminders
quick links from dashboard
nice to haves
comments on videos
cross training AKA information architecture
As mentioned before the videos in the Seven Movements library are categorized and grouped by location in which the exercise can be performed, they are also grouped by the videos specific applications e.g. particular ailment or warm-up before an activity, moreover, some videos are only available as a part of a specific program. That's why it was extremely important for us to group the videos and create a site map to see how the videos correlate to each other and their respective groups. Below you can see how we categorized the videos.
Taking the complexity of the video library into account we started out mapping how Susan and Glen might travel through the app.
Even for the most basic of features, it can get complicated. Below you can see the complete User Flow we have created outlining the top-level structure of the application.
At this point it is also worth mentioning that the account set-up and payment are done through the Seven Movements website and thus are not shown in this User Flow.
But let’s focus on Susan and a solution to one of her pain points:
easily browse, watch and save for later
The user flow below left demonstrates how easy it is for the user to browse and find the appropriate video. It’s worth noticing how selecting a location for the exercise does not limit the user. As the videos are easily adaptable from one environment to another it was important for us to let the user switch between the locations even after selecting a specific ailment.
The chosen video can be then easily added to either an existing playlist or a new one.
Wireframe sketching provides a fast way to brainstorm ideas with little investment. Allowing changes to be made by just an eraser.
We each created screens by rapid prototyping, gathering the best features of each and combining them into one screen to finally test them on real users.
The tasks that we gave to the users when testing included:
Complete the onboarding process
Navigate to a video for a specific ailment
Add a video to a new playlist
Set a goal and create a reminder for that goal
Proceed to the dashboard
usability tests changes
Added a "forgot my username/password"
Introduced pagination in the onboarding
Added labels to the Navigation Bar
Pre-populated playlist names
Also, a potentially serious issue was discovered through paper prototype testing. Originally the app had nudges (an automatic friendly notification that would remind the user to go back to the app daily, whether the user had a goal or not) as well as reminders.
All testers found the nudges confusing and unnecessary; that is why we decided to keep only reminders, where the user could customize the day and time they receive them.
mid-fidelity prototype and testing
Taking the findings from the paper prototype testing further, we created mid-fi prototypes to give our testers something digital and tangible to click through.
Testing the mid-fis brought about a fresh wave of iterations:
Users were extremely confused by titles of categories: notably, Prepare to Play and Move More. We discussed this issue with our client and based on those conversations the Client agreed to change the Move More to simply Programs but he insisted on keeping the Prepare to Play which we still feel has a risk moving forward as the wording will likely generate a lot of confusion for first-time users.
We also injected a number of information bubbles throughout to further explain concepts to users in case they found certain ideas confusing.
To keep the onboarding process fun, we decided to do away continuous button tapping and actually have an interactive image to help people determine areas of the body they might want to target.
Finally, we realized that copy needed a more encouraging tone instead of being robotic
With the changes made we were ready to pass off the prototype to the UI part of the team. We agreed from the beginning that our product needs to meet the accessibility requirements and the UI team made sure that the new Seven Movements app meets not only the AA standard but actually the AAA on all pages.
Following the feedback from the hi-fidelity usability tests we added closed caption(CC) option to the video player and removed the always-on obstructive buttons in the full-screen video.
stretching AKA future considerations
Due to a short period of time, we were not able to include all the features we wanted to.
So for future considerations, we would recommend
adding playback speed control
social community aspect with goal and success sharing
user-generated video comments
Also, from our research difficulty level is important to the users so hopefully, Seven Movements will be able to consider adding a difficulty level to their videos.
This experience was very valuable to myself and I enjoyed working with a fantastic team to create a product for a community client. Our team actively learned together and from each other. We were able to effectively adapt to the changes and overcome roadblocks collaboratively.