While working in restaurants I always struggled to find the time, motivation and energy to work out. I suspected that my colleagues faced the same problems and I wanted to create a solution. I wanted to build a pedometer app that also encouraged activity with positive push notification messages to get you moving. I started by asking my friends: what are the biggest problems you're facing in the hospitality industry? Were there recurring themes to their problems? Common concerns surrounded scheduling, maintaining a healthy diet, reducing alcohol intake and staying active.
I brainstormed how I might be able to help people tackle these problems. There wouldn't be much I could do around scheduling or changing the general nature of shift work, except maybe making a better calendar app. Solving personal eating and drinking habits was also too broad a problem to solve.
It seemed that fitness motivation and might be an area where I could come up with a solution. I thought of pain points, created personas, and made my assumption. Initially my assumption was that if someone tracks their physical activity, such as number of steps walked in a day, then they will likely be more motivated to modify other behaviors they'd want to change. Additionally, I thought that positive messaging might be the way to encourage this behavior modification.
Positive push notifications will motivate someone to do physical activity.
I realized I didn't know much about my target audience's current behavior or their attitude towards working out, creating fitness goals, and most importantly their preference for positive messaging over tough love. I conducted a short survey among my industry colleagues to guide me in what to build.
I learned that it can be hard to ask the right questions. I wanted to understand what type of messaging was more motivating for people when they were working out or setting fitness goals. I incorrectly assumed that people who said they preferred "tough love" messaging would also prefer a "no pain no gain!" message. However, it still seemed that people preferred positive messaging.
I wanted to build a simple pedometer app that tracked your location, recorded walking, running, and cycling activity and sent positive push notifications to get you moving and encourage you to keep moving.
This is still a work in progress, next steps are live prototyping and user testing!