Retrospective: Developing a Health Tracking App

My UX Design class was given the task of designing an app this week. I was assigned the category “health tracker.”


Time-starved users lack the motivation to work out. I intended to design an app that would help motivate users to get up and be active after a long day.

Initial Research and User Interviews

To start the process, I decided to target users who had busy schedules, yet lived an active lifestyle. I did not want to limit my user base to those who currently use health tracking apps, so I also decided to include users who previously used these types of apps.

I conducted 5 user interviews, all of whom were either young professionals or students. Many of those I interviewed had apps such as FitBit, Nike Running, Apple Health, MyFitnessPal and ClassPass.

Below are some of the responses I heard during my interviews:

  • “Work affects my exercise habits A LOT. Running is the easiest thing to do.”
  • “It’s hard to come home and go to the gym after a long day at the office.”
Affinity map containing responses from user surveys which helped guide my decision-making process regarding the features and design of my app.

My assumption that work affected the workout habits of busy users was confirmed, but what app could I design to solve this? Most of the users I spoke with stated that running was their preferred workout of choice, so I knew that my app should be focused on running.

Initial Design Sketch

Wireframes of initial design I drafted after conducting user interviews.

Below are some of the responses I received during my user interviews which helped lead me to my design solution:

  • “I get motivated to be more active when I check my app and see low activity.”
  • “I used to have a FitBit, but I found it a little overwhelming.”
  • “I like how the app I currently use tracks my steps, but it doesn’t give me any information when I ride my bike.”

Solutions: One feature to encourage more activity would be to send notifications when it detects that the user has been inactive on the app for the day. It should also have a clean design so that users would be able to access all of the app’s features easily. The app should also track other cardiovascular exercises including biking and walking, so that users are given the ability to better organize and track their exercises. The most common response I heard when I asked users what they normally do after work: unwind with friends. Because of this, I figured it would be good to include a social element to the app which would allow users to contact friends who also live an active lifestyle and have the app.

App Layout

First design iteration

For the app’s home screen, I decided on a graphic which would allow users to track their activity for the week in a line graph. I also decided that the home screen should allow users to see their total activity for the day, week, month and year numerically for easy readability. I included a menu button in the top left hand corner which gives users easy access to all of the app’s features on every screen. I furthered the social element by allowing the app to notify users of when their friends log on or when their friends pass their distance (because let’s face it, we’re all slightly competitive).

User Testing and Feedback

I conducted three user tests for this project.

The users were able to navigate through the app when I asked them to complete tasks such as changing the activity tracking feature from distance to time, accessing notifications and checking to see what friends were up to. They also seemed to enjoy the app’s features, as well as the clean design and ease of functionality. Some of the responses I received were:

  • “Wow, this would notify me if I’ve been inactive? That would make me feel bad and want to go for a run.”
  • “Notify me if my friends pass my distance? That’s pretty cool.”

With their feedback, they helped me realize some of the design errors I made. Two users clicked on “Running” on the home screen instead of the menu button when I asked them: “What would you do if you wanted to track a run?” Another user commented that some of my labels were pretty vague, and made some recommended changes which I thought were very useful.

Redesigns I made to the app due to feedback I received from user testing. The highlighted green areas show the updated changes I made regarding clickable areas on the home screen after I asked users what they would do if they wanted to track a run. A completed version of the app would ensure that all items on the home screen would lead to the start of an activity.

Redesigned Protoype

Please find a link to the functioning prototype of my redesigned app “FitFriendly” here.

Lessons Learned

What I learned from my first UX Design project is that I should be more thoughtful regarding clickable areas on future designs. It made sense for users to click “Running” on the home screen when I asked them to track a run since that’s a major focal point on the screen which the eye directly goes to, and a common area for interaction.

I should have also included a bit more detail in terms of labeling call-to-action buttons to ensure that users won’t have to think twice about pressing a button to complete a desired task.

Regarding user interviews, I realized that I should better probe after I initially ask a question to uncover more needs.

Thank you for reading my blog post. I am currently a UXDI student at General Assembly. This was my first project in the course, and I will continue to document my journey as I grow in the field of UX Design. Please find my Twitter handle and e-mail below if you’d like to connect and chat. Since I’m still new to the field, I would appreciate any tips, insights or resources that you think I would find helpful in my journey.


One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.