According to a recent article in Forbes written by Paul Lamkin, “worldwide wearables sales will grow by an average of 20 percent each year over the next five years, becoming a $29 billion market with 243 million unit sales by 2022.” With this increased popularity, we now see fitness manufacturers integrating fitness tracker technology within their equipment. This allows exercisers to get a complete workout experience using their wearables to gather accurate data on their performance.
With the release of Apple’s GymKit, Life Fitness is motivated to stay innovative and provide a well-rounded experience for exercisers by integrating Apple Watch connectivity. We believe by following Apple’s guidelines as well as providing an intuitive connection flow, then we will see user’s connecting their devices through a seamless experience.
UX and UI Designer
Based off key touch points already established in our app connectivity flow, we created a hypothesis for areas that a user would cognitively decide to connect their Apple Watch. From these locations, we tested and iterated until optimal areas were discovered.
Optimal areas included:
Choose workout screen
In-workout dashboard screen
Prior to the Apple Watch integration, we did not have the ability for wearables to connect to our consoles. However, we did have the ability for external apps to connect and integrate data collection. Therefore, using a similar flow we were able to begin ideating on how Apple Watch connectivity should be promoted and placed at integral touch points, as mentioned above, throughout the user’s experience.
Additionally, we had to keep in mind Apple’s guidelines for the badge size as well as placement throughout the experience and how that would affect our current offering.
From our research, we discovered >50% of users will connect their wearable prior to starting their workout because it’s easier to get all setup done instead of fidgeting and interrupting their workout experience. Therefore, we were able to validate having Apple Watch connectivity on the home screen, which in turn promotes the experience as well, and during the choose workout step.
Although we learned most users will not connect their wearable mid-workout, we still included the option during their workout experience per Apple guidelines as well as discovering an edge case where the Apple Watch may disconnect due to bluetooth issues. This way we are covering our bases and guiding the user that if by chance their Apple Watch disconnects, they can re-connect mid-workout and continue gathering their data.
Select the picture to enlarge.
While working cross-functionally and ensuring user flow ideas are getting across to all teams, we developed a GIF to illustrate the actions of the user when walking up to the equipment screen.
It really helped us get the conversation started with the team to understand possibilities and limitations early on.
Overall, ensuring we obliged to Apple guidelines while still listening to our user was a challenge, but with rapid prototyping and testing as well as cross-collaboration we were able to come up with an optimal solution
As a cross-collaborative team, we saw many opportunities to enhance the current workout experience on our equipment; however, working against an agile process and short timeline we focused on the MVP and included enhancements for future updates
We have seen popularity with the Apple Watch integration from the US all the way to China and Japan and expect the popularity to continue to grow with the increase in wearables