TrueCoach is a training software that trainers and coaches user to send their clients their training programs. Trainers can work with clients 1-on-1 or with larger groups. TrueCoach is commited to helping trainers save time, provide a better user experience for their clients, and grow their training businesses.
For my project, I needed to add a feature to improve the current app’s user experience. From my research findings, trainers expressed a need for community building through their online training. Clients and trainers both wanted to move away from using Facebook groups which is the most common platform currently being used.
Through many steps, I designed a social platform built into the app to help trainers build community with their clients. Trainers and clients can upload videos, links, resources, and more to interact with each other and build meaningful relationships. Trainers can also hold virtual events where clients can RSVP and see their new friends safely from their own homes.
**This was a speculative project and is not affiliated with TrueCoach.
Adding a feature to an existing mobile app
Figma, Otter, Whimsical, Notion
Jan. – Feb. 2021
- Market Research
- Competitor Analysis
- User Interviews
- Empathy Map
- User Persona
- Business & User Goals
- POV Statements & HMW Questions
- Site Map
- Task Flow
- User Journey Map
4 Prototype & Test
- UI Kit
- Hi Fidelity
- Usability Testing
- Affinity Maps
Starting with Research
To gain more perspectives within the fitness training software industry, I completed market research, user interviews, surveys, and did a competitive analysis. I also wanted to find out how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the personal training Industry.
TrueCoach saw a 300% increase in users for their app after the pandemic started.
Trainers had to shift quickly to online training as many of their cities had to go on lockdown. The online training industry has been popular for many trainers and clients, but with the pandemic, online training became some trainers only option.
I wanted to find out what trainers and clients needed out of their current training app. Most of these apps make it easy for trainers to send their 4-12 week programs to their clients.
As a trainer myself, I know that building habits is a huge part of health and fitness, and also having a community of lifting friends. I took initiative to find out what would be beneficial to add to TrueCoach.
USER INTERVIEWS & SURVEYS
What are the current training software experiences for trainers and clients?
I conducted 7 interviews over Zoom.
- 3 clients who have worked with a trainer online
- 4 trainers who have experience using training apps
For clients, I wanted to discover
- if they are part of any online fitness groups
- their online training experiences
- habit tracking experiences with or without trainers
- any wants, needs, pain points, or suggestions
For trainers I wanted to find out
- how they used their current training software
- if they have online social groups for their clients
- how they approach habit building
- how the pandemic has changed their business
- any wants, needs, pain points or suggestions
- Training app that is easy to use and simple
- Exercise form checks in a group or 1-on-1 setting
- A social feature that helps build community
- Integration of group events and live classes
For a Social platform feature
100% of clients
stated they would like to be in an online social group if they were doing the same program
100% of clients
stated they prefer to have a social feature in their app compared to an outside platform
75% of trainers
75% of trainers
mentioned disliking Facebook for their own groups, and they have clients who don’t use Facebook
25% of trainers
for a Habit tracking feature
66% of clients
wanted to use a habit tracking feature built into the app
33% of clients
33% of clients
100% of trainers
25% of trainers
insights & next steps
Through my interviews, I learned that TrueCoach is very simple and intuitive, and a client mentioned her “father could definitely use this app.” Trainers liked the customization on the app, although they did mention nutrition coaching can be improved on TrueCoach.
Because of the time frame of this project, I decided to choose one. From my trainer user interviews, all of the trainers already had a good system with working on habits with their clients, and expressed more interest in a social platform built in. Therefore, I chose to focus on the social feature because it would help trainers build more community which is more important than ever during the pandemic.
what was a common problem brought up?
One problem that client and trainer users faced was how to build community together during these tough times. Due to the pandemic, people weren’t going to their usual gyms and social gatherings. Many trainers utilize Facebook Groups to grow their community, and use it for answering questions, helping clients with their exercise form in videos. Through my research, I found that many trainers and clients did not want to use Facebook anymore for numerous reasons, such as distrust for Facebook and how easily distracted users can get on it.
From searching multiple Facebook fitness training groups that I’m in, I found that many clients only use Facebook for those specific groups, or they made new accounts and only utilize the groups. Additionally, trainers were in search of other group communication platforms.
Who are TrueCoach's competitors? What do they offer?
After learning that trainers and clients valued a group atmosphere, I researched TrueCoach’s top direct and indirect competitors to see what features they offered. Although it seems like TrueCoach offers less features, TrueCoach and another training software Trainerize seemed to be the top 2 most popular training apps.
From using my own experiences and speaking with other coaches using TrueCoach and Trainerize, it is understandable why trainers will prefer one app over the other.
- While TrueCoach is very simple and easy to use, it doesn’t allow you to save exercise cues within an exercise.
- TrueCoach is much more customizable, however that means trainers have to spend more time typing up directions.
- TrueCoach’s UI is much more modern than Trainerize
- They also offer some of the features that some of my trainer participants mentioned wanting, like automated reminders
- TrueCoach doesn’t offer any type of group messaging
- Trainerize allows you to save exercise cues in so it is easy to drag and drop exercises without having to retype cues.
- Trainerize has many features, but users have complained that it is less simple, and can be overwhelming to use. A user interview participant pointed out that it looks outdated and “like a start up.”
- Trainerize does include a group messaging feature, but it is more like a group text than a social platform. The same participant pointed out that there isn’t an option to have “channels” like Slack. It would be beneficial to design a platform to help users and trainers organize information and resources better.
Other reviews from mypthub and PT distinction stated that their apps were “clunky.” Facebook Groups has brought together people from all over the world, however from many users I’ve spoken too, it has had an overall general negative reaction when I brought it up.
Who are we designing for?
In order to empathize with users, I created two user personas: one for a trainer and one for a client. I wanted to empathize with both of the users because although the trainer is the user who pays TrueCoach for using the app, the client is still an important user to consider. If the client is happy with the experience, they will more likely continue training with their trainer. Since trainers pay per client, the more successful the trainer is, the more they have to pay TrueCoach for their software service.
What are our goals and solutions?
After doing research on TrueCoach, the training software industry, and empathizing with our users, it is important to understand the business goals, user goals, and technical considerations, and how they may overlap.
What do TrueCoach, Trainers, and Clients need?
I created these overlapping goals and also learned that everything is connected. I want the client users to be active in the social platform feature, which should result in satisfied clients. As the trainer’s client base grows, so does TrueCoach since the trainers pay more for a certain amount of clients.
POV STATEMENTS & HMW QUESTIONS
How might we help Rachel and Randall?
Now it’s time to define the problems and possible solutions. I used Point of View Statements and How Might We Questions, which helps me to figure out the next steps. Since there are two main users, the trainer and the client, I wrote POV statements and HMW questions for both users.
How might we help Rachel design a feature that is organized well and makes it easy to use for clients where they’ll want to use it often?
How might we improve from other social platform’s issues and incorporate the positives where users can enjoy the benefits of an online community?
How might we encourage the clients to feel connected and build a positive and uplifting environment?
How might we make the social platform interactive and make him feel supported?
How might we create a social feature that helps him easily use the same training app seamlessly?
How might we design a useful social platform that is easy and quick to use to share and find information?
How can I seamlessly add in our feature to the existing TrueCoach app?
For the TrueCoach Site Map or App Map, I created it including the habit tracking feature, since I believe it would add a lot of value for clients and trainers. For this project, I’m still focusing only on the social platform feature.
How might we create a social feature that helps Randall stay connected with this lifting friends, without the frustrations of Facebook?
CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPPING
What is Randall's current and future journey using TrueCoach?
Here is Randall, who is completing a task before the social platform exists and then completing the task after the social feature is available. Because I don’t have access to TrueCoach as a trainer, I decided to focus on the client perspective while still focusing on the trainer’s wants and needs. As you can see, Randall had to go to 2 extra apps to complete his task before adding the social platform. Using Facebook can lead to a lot of wasted time which can result in a negative feeling. With everything Randall needs within the TrueCoach app, he can complete his task efficiently and move on with his day with satisfaction.
Putting my ideas on paper
Here are some initial sketches. I wanted to go with something that was familiar to other social feeds so that the learning curve is not too big. I thought about how can we take the positives from leading apps and eliminate the clutter, distractions, and negativity from them.