MVMTLAB is a sports performance clinic that specializes in rehabilitating injuries back into shape by incorporating neurological reprogramming methods into their one-hour session called “Ground Control”. A lot of their patients are athletes or people with active lifestyles who have suffered short and long term sports-related injuries. The secret sauce behind Ground Control is that it resets their patients' postures by holding various positions that follow infant pattern movements that are uniquely named after animals and creatures such as "Bear", "Superbug", "Gargoyle", etc. It's through holding these positions over a prolonged period of time that challenges the mind to go beyond what it "thinks" it can take and train the body to strengthen the areas of weakness. I was the team lead for this project and worked with a team of three UX designers and two UI designers.
One of the biggest issues the patients were experiencing was the lack of access to consistently come to the clinic and participate in the Ground Control class due to commuting and time constraints. They loved the session and exercises and saw that it was making a difference but unfortunately life got in the way and patients were not able to recover as quickly as they wanted to.
The scope of the project is to design a mobile app that recreates the class session of Ground Control in the form of guided video exercises so patients can access it wherever and whenever they want.
To start the discovery phase of the design process, I went to the clinic to conduct a contextual inquiry. To better understand what the patients were going through as they participated in Ground Control, I decided to experience a small sample of it and try out a few positions. Within 10 minutes, parts of my body was burning from maintaining the postures and after the exercise was complete, I immediately saw results in increased mobility.
While at the clinic, I interviewed 5 patients to understand what they liked and didn't like about Ground Control and their reasons for taking the class. Based on the qualitative data collected from all the interviews, a lot of the patients said the following things:
"The lack of accountability makes it hard for me to practice ground control at home. I usually stop after 10 minutes"
"Class sizes are limited"
“I care about my integrity if I know others are watching my daily progress”
“I can’t fit ground control in my schedule as often as I would like”
“The instructor’s detailed explanation of my muscle groups helped me focus past the pain”
A survey was also sent out to the patient list to gain a larger scale quantitative understanding of the experience of patients and found the following:
After collecting all the qualitative and quantitative data from the discovery phase, my team displayed all the key findings on an affinity diagram and distilled the user persona. We discovered that our target audience for the app lives a very active lifestyle and is self-motivated, however, always appreciates the extra accountability that comes from friends or a team environment. Below is a user persona that summarizes the target audience.
Based on the data we collected, we knew that our user persona was looking for the following features which would allow him to effectively use the app. It was important that the users had the ability to document some form of feedback to rate their Ground Control session each day so a coach or friend can monitor their health and activity.
The main user flow of the app was quite straight forward to create once the main features were laid out. We wanted to create a user flow that was simple, focused, and easy to access when it comes to starting the Ground Control session. The initial user flow started out below (in red) and ended up being finalized (in blue).
Following the criteria to keep the userflow simple, focused, and easy to access, I made the Ground Control activity as the main screen. A card system was used to highlight the session of the day as the main focus followed by the 30-day progress tracker and options for light and heavy as the secondary point of focus. Another reason for using a card layout was the easy use of swiping left to shuffle through the days of the 30-day challenge. We originally had five buttons in the bottom navigation bar but later reduced it to three as the minimal viable product. After some testing, we found that users were confused about how the light and heavy options changed the activity and felt the screen was too cluttered, so we changed the light and heavy options into a tab system which also provided more space and focus on the progress bar.
To provide a sense of accountability for the users to keep up with their recovery, we created a separate login for the coaches/clinicians to review their patients' activity and reach out to check in on their recovery.
The profile page summarized the activity under daily reports and completed challenges. After each session is completed, the user would rate how each session went as well as document any pain levels and note any discomfort so over time they're able to track their recovery. After each user has completed a 30-day challenge, a monthly average score is calculated to summarize their overall experience in a 10-scale system. This feature addresses the users request for feedback as well as provide the coaches a quick way to access detailed reports and gauge how each patient is doing.
I realized the importance of investing into the discovery phase and taking the time to understand not only what the goals were but to see how it overlaps with the needs of the users. I felt that my team was able to clearly identify what the main design criteria were and make the design decisions to focus on certain essential features while leaving others out for future considerations. As a result, our client was very pleased with the design of the app and it met their goal to be simple, focused, and accessible.