In January 2015, I had the pleasure of attending the 2015 LA Codeathon, a women’s health hackathon sponsored by Jawbone, the Clinton Foundation, Ace Hotel, UCLA Business of Science Center, Self Magazine and Equinox. In the days leading up to the hackathon I conducted some research by simply talking to women about their fitness habits and their experiences—if any—with activity trackers.
Formulating a Problem
A team member brought up a great piece of research discussing the risks of a sedentary lifestyle. Even women who worked out once a day (for example in the morning or evening) were not doing themselves any favors by being inactive during the day. These women were still very much at risk for heart disease, strokes and diabetes. This is a huge threat for women who sit at a desk all day for example.
Concept and Processes
Together, we decided to create a mobile app that would track and encourage women to stay active throughout the day in an effective and encouraging way: we would use animated avatars. We had research that showed how effective avatars were for women who wanted to reach their fitness goals. In a study, women responded well to avatars that were aesthetically relatable, so we decided to use vegetables that were both fun and representative of various body shapes. Also, we knew virtual pets and online games were highly addictive and popular. I had sketched some avatars based on a pear and an apple. We decided to pursue a set of vegetable avatars. We began our design sprint with web flows.
Our concept would be very simple. After a user downloaded the app and logged in with their Jawbone account, they would immediately see a cute veggie avatar that they would “nurture” by taking activity breaks throughout the day. Using our sketches, we quickly iterated to develop the final prototype that we would present to the judges. I mainly worked on the design of the avatar screen, including creating the animations. Immediately after logging into the application, the user would see their avatar. If a user was active (based on their Jawbone step count), their avatar would be happy and they would see they were in a “green zone” (green being good). If they started to slack, the avatar would start to look disheveled and unhappy (dropping into a “yellow zone” and finally, a “red zone” if they were inactive). We wanted to encourage women by including some useful tips to get back into the green zone, as well as a secondary screen that would give them a graph of their daily activity and important analytics.
Since we had limited time to design our app, we are currently taking time to delve into UX processes in order to launch this. I am in the process of creating a persona, sketches, wireframes, web flows and use cases / scenarios. Using our current design, I did create a user journey that shows the time it takes a user to set up their account. Also, feel free to explore the slide deck that I designed to get a better idea of how our product combats a sedentary lifestyle. I am very excited to take this project to the next level in my spare time. Given the hackathon’s time constraints, we ended up with a delightful product and branding elements.