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UX DESIGN

BioBalance

A mobile app designed to encourage mindfulness and life balance through physical activity and mental health tracking, self-check-ins, and reward-based habit building.

BioBalance-2.jpg

My Role

UX Designer. Conducted Heuristic Evaluation, Competitive and Comparative Analysis, Persona Creation, User Journey Maps, User Research and Analysis, Wire framing, Prototyping, Usability Testing, Brand Identity

Tools

Figma

Google Forms

Team

Kendall Arata, Dustin Lu

Duration

UCLA DevX

July 2021-August 2021

The Problem

During quarantine, I really tried to prioritize my health and wellbeing and focusing on learning to be more in touch with my body. I noticed many of my friends and fellow Gen-Zers also had the same idea, committing to working out and bettering themselves both physically and mentally through frequent yoga sessions, online fitness regimes, and nutrition plans, since now everyone had the time to be consistent. However, with so much info to gather on the web and little patience to dive headfirst into it along with the challenge of staying mentally mindful, many of my friends complained to me that they were overwhelmed; and I could say the same for myself.

After talking to my friends a bit more, it seemed like one of the main challenges to finding this life balance was that they had to gather an overwhelming amount of information and determine if it aligned with their goals, lifestyle, and body type. Many of my friends mentioned that much of the information felt incredibly cookie-cutter and not personalized at all with little direction. 

Another challenge that was mentioned was that my friends had to separately track their progress across way too many different platforms. From tracking calories with myFitnessPal to working out with the Peloton app, the apps never were able to efficiently sync up to show a comprehensive view of the progress as well as the tasks that they needed to complete that day. 

My idea is a treatment for all the problems my friends and I encountered along our fitness and wellness journey–a comprehensive one-stop-shop for good habit formation, workout tracking and program development, nutrition habits, and any other biofeedback cues you need to keep track of (stress, sleep, etc). This app will allow one to visualize the whole picture of his/her lifestyle during a moment in time–and what has been developing over the long run. 

So, in order to validate these problems, I decided to conduct some user research.

Research

The Competition

Through a Competitive and Comparative Analysis, I quickly discovered that the area of apps I was in was very niche, but also had a lot of gaps that my app ended up filling. For instance, a competitor Noom, focuses on healthy habit-building specifically for weight loss. It allows individuals to personalize their diet plan, but it is incredibly time-consuming and has an expensive subscription plan.

Survey

The comparative and competitive analysis allowed me to gain insight into the types of people using these health and wellness apps. My research revealed that most of these apps had users dedicated to their physical or mental wellbeing from a broad range of ages, ages ranging from 18 to 65, so I thought my app would be able to appeal to a similar age range demographic. So, in order to learn more about my target audience's lifestyle and how they prioritized their mental and physical health, I created a survey.

In total, I collected 39 responses from my target audience: individuals who consider themselves physically active between the ages of 18-65.

Key Insights

Physical Activity

  • In general, 75% of individuals did not find it difficult to balance their physical and mental health with their lifestyle

  • Most people who struggled to balance their lifestyle struggled due to lack of time, motivation, and too much stress

 

  • Step and fitness trackers were the most popular way for individuals to stay engaged, with 58% of individuals say they use their trackers daily

Mental Activity

  • Less than 30% of individuals participated in mindfulness, citing lack of time and motivation as their main obstacles

Interviews

After conducting my survey and gathering my data, I ran into a snag. Most people I was surveying did not go into detail about how they struggled to balance their lifestyle, instead opting to not fill out the explanatory questions. In addition, the audience I was surveying seemed to have drastically different motivations for staying physically active depending on their age and types of activity they engaged in. 

To investigate this, I looked back at my survey results and noticed that of the 75% of individuals who did not have a problem balancing their lifestyle, 80% of them fell between the ages of 30 and 65. In other words, older adults seemed to have achieved a relatively good work-life balance. 

So, I decided to pivot my focus and decrease the scope of my target demographic, instead targeting physically active individuals between the ages of 18-30 in my interviews to gain more insight into the real motivations and pain points of my users.

I interviewed a total of nine individuals, between the ages of 18 and 30. From these interviews, I was able to construct an affinity diagram organized into 9 rough categories based on physical and mental activity, skill, self-awareness levels, organizational styles, and motivation.

After constructing this affinity diagram, I looked for similarities between groups ages 18-30. However, I found that the way I organized my initial affinity diagram was not the most revelatory, and the categories that I initially separated my groups into were muddled and overlapped. So, I decided to re-create my affinity diagram using a hierarchical structure, starting from broad categories or schemas and working down specifically into more niche concepts that more clearly illustrated the cause and effect and connections between categories.

Personas

After revamping and reorganizing my affinity diagram for the better, I was able to more clearly notice patterns within the types of physically active individuals–specifically, individuals who were less comparably active had drastically different motivations compared to the individuals who were fitness junkies and athletes. This laid the groundwork for my personas, which I decided to construct based on the level of activity (moderately active, very active, extremely active) depending on how often they worked out or played sports every week.

Customer Journey Map

After creating personas, I decided to map out each persona's journey and determine pain points for feature selection. For my first persona, Cameron, I mapped out what a typical day would look like as a med student struggling to balance eating and working out with a lack of time. Some of the pain points I discovered were:

  • The busy mornings where Cameron works out in a hurry and heads off to work in a rush don't allow her to time mentally destress and prepare for the day

  • The constant on-the-go mode Cameron has to be in, resulting in a lack of self awareness in noticing hunger cues, stress levels, and exhaustion 

  • The physical and mental exhaustion she has to combat everyday in order to do what she loves: tennis, sometimes causing her to get injured

  • The constant stimulation she always encounters not allowing her to relax and shut her brain off, causing her to lose sleep

  • She doesn't have time in her day to look up resources on how to better balance her life (sleep strategies, stress management strategies, nutrition, etc)

 

In Cameron's case, the main issue she suffers from is lack of time, followed by lack of self awareness and motivation to promote both her her mental and physical health. These realizations segued into my feature analysis, where I was able to determine and prioritize which features to implement based on the magnitude of issues across the personas.

Feature Selection

In order to understand more in depth the root of the problem and each persona's goals, I decided to make a problem, goal, feature diagram. This would better allow me to pinpoint the most relevant problems along each of my customer's journeys–Cameron, Dillon, and Sarah–and thus determine the most helpful features based on those pain points. To do this, I took the top three issues each person had and derived features that would solve each one. For instance, in Cameron's case, her struggle to read her body cues to better care for her body could be solved with daily self-check-ins, reminding her to log her energy and stress levels for the day, so that she can consciously be mindful of how she is feeling.

Bolded features are the features I chose to implement in my prototypes. These were chosen based on the magnitude of importance as well as the based on the time constraints of the class.

Wireframes

After determining which features I was going to implement, I created a rough wireframe and prototype to demonstrate the functionality and features of my app.

Clickable Prototype

Style Guide

Final Presentation Deck used to pitch design concepts to senior leaders and managers

What I Learned

After pitching the design concepts to senior leaders, I earned a return offer with the opportunity to continue working on Aiva, focusing more on usability testing and delving deeper into the user research. My pitch effectively aligned design goals with Amazon's strategic business goals, and it influenced a 3 year plan to develop the web application I designed with eventual global rollout and company-wide adoption.

What's Next?

  • User testing

    • Determine which features are most effective in achieving customer goals relating to physical fitness and mindfulness

    • Determine the features that promoted the best user retention

    • Determine the effectiveness of the gamification system

    • Iterate to optimize features and functionality

  • Personalize nutrition plans by incorporating a machine learning model that analyzes user activity level, food preferences and physical goals and matches them with a diet/recipes to align with their goals

  • Promote inclusivity within user base and collaborate with mental health professionals to better tailor to those with conditions like ADHD and Autism

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