My final project

How I planned my project

As a preparation for the internship I wanted to become more independent in my role as a UX designer and my goal with this project was to complete a project entirely by myself.
I already knew that time would be a limitation for me during this project, due to the holidays I would not only struggle to schedule my own time but also the time of others, as I knew I would need other peoples time to be able to conduct interviews and do user testing. Therefor I decided to arrange my project in the form of a 10-day design sprint, instead of the regular 5-day set up, I gave some of the parts a few extra days, since the length of his project allowed it, and it enabled me to adjust my schedule after my interviewees if necessary.
This method allowed me to complete a project from start to finish, as well as setting the limit for what is attainable, as I otherwise easily get stuck in details and strive for perfection.

Background

As I have been working out regularly at the gym for years, I have noticed that the majority of the gym visitors are men. More specifically when it comes to weight lifting.
Over the past years the interest for weight lifting amongst women has increased, but when talking with friends and scrolling through online forums dedicated to lifting, the thought of going to the gym still seems intimidating for many women.
I want to find out the underlying issues for that and hopefully find a way to encourage more women to start lifting!

Day 1 -2. Empathize

To make sure I was heading in the right direction, I started with identifying the long-term goal for this project; create a solution that will encourage women who otherwise feels insecure to go to the gym.

To really understand the underlying issues to why some women experience insecurities at the gym, and to get an idea of how big the problem is, I sent out a survey.
The survey showed that 30 out of the 56 women who answered my survey felt insecure about going to the gym.
While I got a lot of interesting information from the survey about what it is that cause insecurities, there were 3 things that were mentioned significantly more than others; Being alone, not knowing what to do, and men.

I also contacted a few gyms to ask about their point of view on this problem and what they have done or are doing to make it better.
Both of the gyms that I were in contact with told me about similar attempts to encourage girls to lift, where they had events or PT-groups, especially for women where they would get an introduction to weigh lifting and practice technique together.

Day 3–4. Sketch & Decide

Before I started any type of ideation, I diverged and look for inspiration in good, already existing examples of solutions in different platforms, technologies and in real life.
Then I referred back to my research findings and started to sketch out some ideas.

Crazy 8 ideation

I then decided on a concept that would help women find other nearby women to work out with. I visualized this with a storyboard and a lofi prototype on paper.

Storyboard

Day 5–6. Prototype

I wanted to create a smooth process where you can easily find your gym partner, by choosing your location and gym, and then edit your profile so that others can find out more about you and your preferences in the gym.
This resulted in a quite simple prototype, because for me the goal was to be able to test my MVP and the main functionalities of the app.

Prototype made in adobe XD

Day 7–10. Test

During the user testing I got the feedback that it was a fun and interesting idea, and a good way to get in touch with others, because you know that the ones you find in the app are open to talk and meet new people, since when you see people at the gym you almost take it for granted that they want to be left alone.
Many of the users expressed that they wanted to have some type of filter where they could easily search for people with similar goals, type of training and experience level to make the matchup process easier.

Reflection

It is amazing how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time when you really put in time and effort.
At the end of the day I am proud that I did all this by myself, because it was challenging sometimes since I am used to have a group of classmates to back me up, to ask questions and discuss ideas with. During this project my only friend, my best friend, was google.

To be able to stay focused I forced myself to take breaks every hour, and get up and do something else for a little while, I also tried to go for a shorter walk at the middle of the day to cleanse my head and be able to work better. I worked more or less about 8 hours per day which worked well.

The most difficult thing for me was to find people for the user testing and a time that suited well in the holidays, I solved this by dedicating 4 days for the user testing.

This was a fun project since it was close to heart, and I especially enjoyed reading through the survey responses and talking to the gyms.

My only wish is that I would have had more time to make a hi-fi prototype, but that is something I will do anyway, even though the project itself is over :)

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