MAX Trainer App
After completing a research project on the MAX Trainer I took on a creative role and worked directly with our Digital Product Line Manager to explore the idea of live functionality as a feature for the MAX Trainer app experience. Live functionality refers to the app responding to inputs on the machine during a workout. This functionality was seen as a way to address the confusion experienced by users. The hope was that by further explicitly calling out the desired actions of the user to sprint or recover along with the MAX Interval programming found on the console that users would ultimately be more successful with the machine.
We found that users were not following the console correctly. The MAX Project Manager wanted to fix the UI issues in newer generations of MAX but for existing owners he hoped to try and create a patch in the form of an interactive app. The app needed to reflect the styling and inspiring design aspects of the MAX Trainer. Specifically, I was told to add a little extra "Wow" factor to the MAX User Experience. At this point in time Bowflex had never created a real-time app experience.
The development of the app concept went through a series of sprints to create a solution that met the needs of the digital line manager, matched the design cues of the MAX Trainer, and reinforced the marketing message of the brand.
Sprint 1: Identify
The issue as identified in the research was that users were not following the Sprint and Recover cues as directed by the MAX console. The app at least had to help guide users through these steps. Additionally, the Bowflex consumer is very concerned with burning calories. They need a lot of encouragement and inspiration to continue being successful. Below is a view of the existing MAX Trainer app. This app was not inspiring, all numerics based and was considered not very inspirational.
Sprint 2: Understand
Having understood the problem the first step was to begin wireframing a solution collaboratively with the Digital Line Project Manager as well as members of the Research and Design team. The purpose of this was to understand the basic functionality and flow of the app. Much of the original structure of the app could be kept to record and track data. The Live functionality that I was working on would engage when the app paired with the machine and the user selected a program on the hardware console.
sprint 3: Get Inspired
In research interviews with MAX owners we asked about other apps which they found inspiring or functionality they would like to see in the app. The comments we received were live functionality, more graphical animations that inspire, and they really liked games like Bejeweled that offered lots of quick celebrations to reinforce their actions. A sample video of Bejeweled can be found below. The marketing team had already started using HUD (Heads Up Display) elements in their marketing materials and this really drove the style of the app. While seeking inspiration I created a moodboard to help guide the design language of the app
Understanding the functionality of the app and feeling pretty inspired I began rough sketches of how I wanted the app to function.
sprint 5: evaluate
The final design was received well and helped shape future app designs. At this time Live Functionality is in a long list of developments to be instituted at some point in the future.
Additional Content on MAX
Want to know more about my involvement with the Bowflex MAX Trainer? Check out either of the links below.