Matthew Wilkins
Matthew Wilkins
Multidisciplinary creator generating revolutionary products, brands and experiences.

Schwinn Airdyne UX/ui design


reinvigorating a classic for a new user

The Schwinn AirDyne is one of the most iconic pieces of exercise equipment. It is also an extremely effective full body workout. In recent years it has had a resurgence in popularity as it became adopted by the Crossfit community. The existing product was far underdesigned and frequently broke down. New competitors quickly began creating more durable products and features more catered to this abusive environment Schwinn quickly lost the market they had previously owned. This page describes the work which went into winning back a product segment.


My contribution to this project included: UX Design, UI Design 



At the point that I joined this Development Team the User Research for this product had already been completed. The team had already identified and started working on solutions to the durability issues plaguing the current model. Much of the work which needed to be done had to do with redesigning not only the console but also the programming which the user would follow when using the product. Nautilus, the parent company of Schwinn did not employ a single UI Designer at this time and so the work fell upon the research team to create the design and documentation for how the console would function.

The main competitor was the Assault AirBike. Their design which had taken the majority of the market share, was an older Schwinn design which had been reinforced and a new console installed. Reviews for this product were very positive. Wanting to take advantage of advancements since this older model had been produced, the Development team started from the ground up to create a better product all around. Coming off the heels of the recent success of the Bowflex MAX Trainer and it’s unique console; there was a strong desire internally to create a console which greatly improved the user experience.


new Schwinn AirDyne Pro


The development of the console went through a series of sprints to create a solution that met the needs of the target persona and the Project Manager.

Sprint 1: Identify

Before every project I always try to make sure that there is an understanding of whom the target is. For this project I worked with the Researchers and Project Manager to understand who the target would be for this product. A Target User persona was created based upon User Research with local Crossfit Gyms in the Portland Oregon area and extensive online research in Crossfit forums. Every Target persona poster list: the product, a slogan driving the project, 3 insights, the consumer segmentation, their stage of fitness, the product value curve, description of the desired experience, list of opportunities and supporting visuals. 

Based upon this persona and an understanding of the environment the product would be used, a hierarchy of use cases was created to guide the layout of the design of the console. This was meant to ensure that as the development of the console continued, extreme cases wouldn’t dictate the layout as much as the most common use cases.


Sprint 2: Understand


Based upon the hierarchy of use cases a wire frame was created to outline how the console should function.


Sprint 3: Get Inspired

There was a strong desire within the Development Team to create a unique and dynamic console which would inspire users. The team had seen the success of the Bowflex MAX Trainer and wanted to replicate this same feeling with the Schwinn AirDyne Pro. Not wanting to completely wipe away the past there was also a heritage component which the development team hoped to utilize as well. Working with the Industrial Designer on the physical console housing, I created a moodboard to help guide the direction of the design.  


Sprint 4: Produce

At this time the Development Team met to collaborate during a whiteboarding session to begin designing the console layout based upon the Target Persona, Hierarchy of Use Cases, the Wireframe diagram and the design inspiration.

The gallery below shows an early version of the console before the hardware had been fully designed. The function and flow of the console remained the same. 

Schwinn AD Pro at the East Coast CrossFit Championships.

sprint 5: Evaluate


The final design was received well and after several iterations was finally released into the new product. The Schwinn Airdyne and the console I helped design have successfully retaken the market and were featured as part of the 2016 Crossfit Games.




"Matthew was an integral part in the development of the Schwinn Airdyne AD Pro console.  From the initial concepting of the console layout and user interface to the final design, Matthew provided insight and design expertise.  His design captured the needs of the consumers while staying true to the heritage of the brand.  I have had the opportunity to work with many engineers and designers and Matthew has the unique ability to do both.  Matthew is a great asset to any project team."

Mike Loomis

Project Manager Schwinn AD Pro