What's the problem?

The world of fitness apps tends to bogs down users with extra information. I believe apps loaded with features confuse and discourage users from obtaining their fitness goals.

What users said

Our target demographic really wanted to get into a routine. 75% of respondents said highlighted this. Even with many common pain points, we needed to narrow things down and build around a persona.


Building this persona helped us maintain focus on the user through every step of the process. Basic demographic information and common characteristics of users were organized into one persona.


We studied multiple competitors in the mobile fitness marketplace. The most popular, by far, was Myfitnesspal. But this app highlighted what users struggled with according to our interviews: complexity. 

In just the "more" section of the app, there are 19 options to choose from. Myfitnesspal is a very in-depth app. But is this what our users want?

Our experience

In laying the groundwork for KnowCal, we kept things simple. Begin the experience with a daily motivational quote. If users want to sink into a routine, this was a good way to get them motivated. Then have users input necessary information to get their caloric need for the day. This calculator was deemed the app's MVP.

Feature prioritization

Outside of our MVP, we suspected users could benefit from knowing where to workout, what exactly to cook and how they've been doing. But we kept checking our interview notes, and some of these features didn't really connect with what users needed. 100% of users interviewed knew where to workout. Some of these features were nice to have, but, when keeping in mind development costs, were considered non essential.

Quantitative research

According to Edison Research, half of all US adults are awake by 6:30 a.m. Depending on date and location, this is before the sun comes up. So building in dark mode piqued our interest early on. We then learned dark mode uses nearly a third of the power, helping our travelling users. The choice was clear.


KnowCal does not use any artwork. Because of this, and our experimenting with dark mode, we wanted to show users only a high fidelity design. The typeface used in KnowCal is Industry, a sporty sans serif perfect for the feel of our app. Since this is not a common typeface, its inclusion in all user testing was vital.


Users were successfully able to navigate the app with no major issues. In doing so we paid close attention to what they liked and didn't like. In prototyping we were very happy with the motivational quote. But there was one small problem: no one cared. My rationale for this was simple. If someone is in this app, they are already motivated. So how do we streamline the app while still helping motivate our users. The solution was to move the quote to a daily notification reminder; an optional feature.


Click anywhere on this image to try KnowCal's prototype in InVision!

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