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Hero is a fitness app designed to support beginners on their exercise journey, ensuring they not only adhere to their fitness routine but also find joy in the process


5 weeks from May 2023

​My Role

UX Designer,

UX Researcher

Project Type

Individual project

Mobile app design

The Problem

There are 30-50% or an even higher range of dropout rates for exercise routines among beginners

Many people are jumping on the fitness trend and trying to keep it in their daily lives. As a result, having a personal trainer and joining a health club has become one of the popular trends among young people. However, from my desk research, there are 30-50% or an even higher range of dropout rates for exercise routines among beginners. In this project, I will explore the underlying reasons and possible solutions. 


Welcome to Hero—where your fitness story begins with you


Seamless fitness journey with personalized onboarding

Simply answer targeted questions about your physique and goals, and let Hero expertly guide you with efficient defaults.In no time, receive your free, tailored fitness plan, complete with recommended weekly workout hours and ideal exercise types. No more wasted time exploring unfitting routines!



Community-driven motivation

Hero inspires users to share their fitness routines, connect with workout partners, and join exercise events collectively. This ensures beginners never feel alone on their journey, offering vital moral support to keep them motivated and committed!



Racking and regulating users' journey

The fitness calendar ensure users have a clear overview of exercise schedule for seamless planning. Hero records post-workout data, evaluating your fitness journey with advice for consistency. It fosters an encouraging environment, aiding commitment to goals. 



Ok, but how did I actually get there?

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User Interviews

Interviews revealed 3 insights in beginners’ exercise journeys

To understand why it is hard for beginners to stick to exercise and to understand their needs and frustrations. I interviewed four people. All of them are beginners and trying to have a fitness routine. My questions were mostly about why they started a workout, their goals, fitness routine, feelings after working out, etc. Through a synthesis, I extracted beginners' 3 main pain points on their journey. 

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Target Users Analysis

Identify users characteristics and needs

Based on interview data, I synthesized my target users’ characteristics and created a quote to empathize better and understand user needs.

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Design Opportunities

How could I translate these pain points into design opportunities?

I mapped a beginner's journey to identify the pain points at each stage of the current experience. Every stage is connected to the next, and they have multiple pain points in each stage, which would determine whether they can continue the entire journey. So, it's necessary to intervene at each stage to ensure a smooth transition till the journey ends.

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Competitive Analysis 

None products addressed all the beginners' pain points

Many products have tried to capitalize on the growth rate of the fitness industry and change gym-goers behaviors. Through market research, I realized that because no competitors like Hero set beginners as their target audience, and they only addressed some pain points, not all. 

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Concept Ideation and user testing

Brainstormed the possible design concepts and pre-test

I explored several concepts based on the research insights and the proposed design opportunities and decided to create storyboards for them. After conducting a pre-test session with three users and filtered out some concepts based on the feasibility level. They left me some enlightening feedback on these concepts.

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Design Solution

The rationale behind the solution

I outlined product essentials, considering minimum requirements, constraints, and key features. These align closely with research insights and user feedback, forming the groundwork for our next phase.

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User Flow

How does it work


Visualizing Concepts

After identifying the user flow, I created wireframes on papers since I wanted to make sure that each screen was given thought to what should be placed. Drawing on paper made editing changes in different iterations easier.

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Mid-fi and Usability Tests

Evaluate the mid-fi prototypes

After deciding on the final version of the wireframes, I made mid-fidelity prototyping in Figma and did a round of user testing with 5 users to ensure my mid-fidelity design flow made sense before moving into high-fidelity prototypes. 

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Fig: mid-fi prototypes

There are 3 main improvements after mid-fi usability testing...

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Fig: hi-fi prototypes showcase

Evaluate the hi-fi prototypes

After finalizing the high-fidelity design phase, I conducted a third-round usability test with 8 users to collect feedback. The findings highlight that 80% of users are more inclined to discover the activities in which their friends or those they follow are involved. This could serve as a motivating factor to encourage their participation in these activities.



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Final Design

Clickable Prototype

Result & Impact

After fine-tuning the ultimate design, I conducted an evaluation, inviting 12 beginners to navigate through the product. The outcome yielded positive feedback!

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Future Considerations

Product Design - Tracking more data to help people better stay on the journey 

Considering that users' exercise time is closely related to their sleeping time, working hours, and even diet. We can add more tracking for users' daily routines to adjust our recommendations to help them stick to it better. In terms of how to implement, perhaps we can use other devices, for example, an Apple Watch app, to assist us in getting more precise user data. 

Monetization Strategy - Collaborate with commercial fitness places

Due to all the offered events in Hero being offline, the Hero team could do paid collaborations with commercial fitness places. It’s a good way for merchants to get traffic. Hero users, they can also get special prices. While they are sponsored events, I want to maintain the events’ quality so that user trust is not affected. 


Brutal honesty in feedback is vital

Through several iterations, I learned to treat failure as an opportunity, not an ego bruise. As designers, it's easy to get immersed in our designs and take for granted that they make sense and are logical. But user feedback allows you to find opportunities you would never have noticed any other way and know what to improve. 

Ask more why

Ask more why helps to uncover the underlying motivations and goals of users which in turn, lead to more effective and creative design solutions.

Next Projects

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