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CASE STUDY: Snap Fitness

The Challenge

We asked ourselves, how can we improve the Snap Fitness offering to maximise revenue within each local branch, while also enhancing the experience of personal training?

This case study dives into the world of personal trainers and gyms. Gyms can be an intimidating place, and trainers are typically left with many spare hours in the day to assist with this. We observed that Snap Fitness Sydney was not hitting revenue targets, which was causing personal trainer staff to atrophy. This is where we, after a little research came up with our problem statement.

The timeframe provided was two weeks, and if the analysis permitted, a tech solution was expected by the client.

    My Role

    My role in this two person project was as follows;

    • Development and marketing of surveys
    • Recruitment and conducting user interviews
    • Synthesising research
    • SWOT and Business Model Canvas
    • Persona development
    • Design of our first prototype
    • Facilitation of design studio, empathy mapping, and affinity map

      Project tools

      • Trello
      • Google form
      • Sketch app
      • Invision app

      Our challenge was to increase the customer experience of gym goers, and to make conversion easier for personal trainers

      Understanding the business

      We began our project with a strong emphasis on business analysis, to provide a more practical and applicable solution. Snap Fitness is a 24/7 global franchise, with gyms all over Sydney. The methods of analysis we chose were directed at understanding the market Snap is in and Snaps potential opportunities for growth. By following the market and opportunities, we hope to ensure our solution adds the most value to the Snap brand from a business development perspective, while also championing the gym-goers.

      The Snap business model

      As a first step towards understanding the business model, we interviewed subject matter experts. The interviewee’s included; 

      – The weekend gym manager
      – A snap fitness personal trainer

      We developed two business model canvases to overview the business and help direct our efforts. One for Snap the gym, and another for personal trainers at Snap. The reason we did two canvases, is because the personal trainers at Snap are treated as sole traders, therefore are separate business entities.

      Throughout our project, the business model canvas assisted us in generating ideas, helped us in understanding Snaps limitations, and creating a pathway in which our solution can execute.

      Business strategy

      The tools we chose to understand the business further was a SWOT analysis, and competitor analysis. 

      The SWOT (Assessing strength, weaknesses, threats and opportunities in business) assisted later in the project when ideating solutions. Providing strategies to maximise strengths, and compensate weaknesses.

      Our competitor analysis gave insights into how other gyms improved the customer experience for members, using personal trainers as the critical resource.

      Both these techniques provided immense value throughout our project. They guided the partner and me, gave us limits, and allowed us to get a better understanding of what Snap as a business goes through here in the Sydney market.

      Understanding the Snap business and market was a critical component of the project. It gave us a starting point, a way to understand how our solution can be implemented in a logical manner.

      Understanding the users

      So who are the users? Well, our users are first and foremost “users or potential users of personal trainers” at Snap Fitness. Second, the personal trainers. Third, the staff at Snap Fitness. 

      With the limited time we had on the project, we decided to focus our attention on “users and potential users of personal trainers” and “personal trainers.”

      Beginning the research with a survey: We released a survey after our initial meeting with the SME’s. They were marketed to a general audience via social media, bodybuilding forums and personal connections.

      After getting responses from 28 people this is what we learnt;

      • Cost is the biggest stated pain point associated with personal trainers.
      • Interactivity & intensity were factors that could positively influence achiever personas (see “the three personas” below) perception of personal trainers.
      • 5 out of 14 respondents claim to be neither confident nor unconfident in the gym, those being less or more confident were more likely to see a personal trainer.
      • 4 out of 9 respondents that used a personal trainer claimed that it has been “great for them” in the past.

      The three personas

      Our research gave us insight into the personas motivations and relevant emotions. We developed many ideas from our study, which I outline in the persona artefacts.

      An example was the drivers that we found. Model: The achiever persona was driven by goals, and was the only persona whom we saw wasn’t primarily concerned with cost. How interesting right? The persona that was the least money focused was the most goal focused.

      This information was an enormous insight for the design team because it allowed us to tailor our solution to meet persona objections, and design for each personas goals to be best achieved. 

      Empathy mapping

      After interviews with users, I took to the board and with the partner drew up empathy maps. This wasn’t with all users, but users that depicted persona types fairly well. 

      Normally, empathy maps are drawn up prior to persona creation, but in this particular case we wanted empathy maps to make our personas more real to us. 

      The empathy maps were used throughout the process to continuously refer back to empathy. Remembering that in our solution we have to cater to the feelings, and thoughts of our users. 

      Empathy maps were created for personal trainers, and “the three personas.”

      User scenarios

      To truly understand the personas we also created user scenarios. The user scenarios were created using the following; When (situation) I want to be able to (motivation), so that I (outcome).

      The user scenarios really help encapsulate the difference in essence between each persona. By reading each user scenario it is clear to see how each persona has different design needs. 

      The users were seperated into three personas, each with unique goals.

      Now we know the users, what could we do to service them

      We began structuring our feedback at this point, gaining clarity on the users pains/ gains, and potential features we could develop to address these. It was time to put together our ideas, findings, and research.

      Putting it all together

       As a tool for identifying commonalities within our research, we began to affinity map and ordered our solutions based on perceived importance to the user.

      The affinity map was excellent in getting the team together, collaborating on what we found and solution generation. Whilst the organisation of ideas into levels of importance gave us the structure to work with on our future prototypes.

      With a better understanding of our users, things got both clearer and also messier. We knew it was time to organise our research, and make it actionable.

      Prototyping and designing

      We had it all laid out, the plan was ready to be implemented and now the design was awaiting. We had decided upon our next step to be a design studio…a way in which our team can collaborate on the design of the UI and put together the pieces. 

      Also, to keep focused…it was at this point we reiterated our problem statement as the following; We have observed that Snap Fitness Sydney isn’t hitting revenue targets, which is causing personal trianing staff to atrophy. How can we improve the Snap Fitness offering to maximise revenue within each local branch, whilst also improving the experience of staff? 

      Putting together a prototype

      A design studio session left us with our first sketch, which we used to get user tests done.

      With every test came useful feedback, iterations that we actioned periodically. After a few user tests we decided to redesign, but this time to something more mid-fi.

      Many insights came from our prototype iterations. Persona preferences, such as what features they value became more apparent. Example, achiever persona taught us how vital tracking data is, and accountability to them. 

      Each persona had proven to be attracted through our tests to separate features, all leading down the road of working with a trainer. 

      Tracking emotions, not workout results to determine progress

      We implemented unique and tested features over our process. For example, a function we tested and eventually executed in our final solution was a workout mood tracker.

      Through our research, we found all personas cared about tracking workouts. But through digging, the reason for tracking was to “feel” progress, not quantify the progress.

      Monitoring workout weights is a feature in many competitor apps, and it takes lots of time to do, making many users too lazy to follow through. This tendency to skip tracking workouts, as it requires too many actions was an opportunity we decided to capitalise.

      Combining the insights from user interviews with gym-goers and personal trainers we decided upon a “mood tracker” instead of numerical tracker for workouts.

      Mood tracking came as a fascinating insight to the personal trainers because that data assists in increasing client retention. To quote a trainer “I never know if a client is losing motivation, and is about to drop off.”

      After user testing this feature, we had excellent qualitative feedback from our users. The function quoted as “simple” and “easy to use.” Also, the personal trainer can now track client emotion and knows if a client has a few negative mood workouts in a row. With this data, the personal trainer can reach out to users if there is this downward spiral.

      Mood tracking ended up being an exciting differentiating feature and provides Snap trainers with a unique feature in the local market.

      Gym connection

      Our users desired comfort at the gym. The app allows a more personal connection between gym-goers and key staff.

      Tracking workouts - The easy way

      It was found through research that workouts are kinda tough to track. Jotting down all those numbers per set can be a headache. Take the simple approach, what you really want is progress. Track emotions after a workout.

      Booking events has never been simpler

      We want our users to feel a sense of community at Snap gyms. Providing Snap with easy ways to market events, and the gym-goers easy ways to book events is available in the app.

      Our final design

      We and the trainers at Snap fitness were very happy with the final design. By listening to user interviews and feedback, it had been showed through our tests that we were able to achieve the outcome “connect trainers with users,” and also ensure the app has unique features to provide Snap with differentiation in the app-market.

      Interactive prototype

      A key learning

      Never stop digging for user insights, even in a saturated market like fitness apps. Our intention wasn’t initially to come across features genuinely unique in the Sydney marketplace; it seems at times like finding something new would be tedious. But in the case of this project we were able to derive a business-ready solution, through paying more attention to the customers.

      With this case study, it was also learnt early on that sometimes what the users want isn’t already out there, and that we can make things better and at times reasonably easily. For example, tracking progress has been a numbers game, such as weights and sets researching and finding users would prefer to track emotions was a unique and useful finding.

      Overcoming the challenge

      The challenge, as highlighted above was to assist in connecting gym-goers with personal trainers, while also increasing engagement in the gym.

      This required us not just to solve the problem of attracting new customers for personal trainers, but also in retaining them. We hypothesised that this would lead to better overall engagement with the Snap brand.

      While this project was only the short time frame of two weeks, we have prototyped a solution with some features that address this challenge. 

      Features tested to increase connection and retention with Snap.
      – Chat with Snap personal trainers and staff via the app
      – View Snap personal trainer social media pages, and newsfeeds
      – Sign up for Snap classes, boot camps, events

      Features tested to increase relationship between clients of personal trainers and personal trainers at Snap;
      – Mood tracker post workout that is shared with trainer
      – Ability to input recipe and diet sharing
      – Ability to input workout routine sharing

      Next steps

      We provided Snap fitness with a prototype app that would bridge the gap between personal trainers and gym-goers.

      As of now, we focused our needs primarily on two of the three users, the gym-goers and personal trainers. The remaining time possibly spent, would be understanding the Snap Fitness staff.

      Another next step would be analysing the franchise structure, and getting involved in designing the user-friendly interface tailored for Snap management/ staff. The outcome would be to allow management/ staff access to the personal trainer and client interaction, also giving Snap Fitness more control over the online sales cycle. 

      The process would ultimately need to start fresh, interviewing managers at Snap Fitness and designing the interface specifically for that user. Following this we would need to test the app in the real world, rolling out the app ideally with one gym instead of the entire franchise and tracking usability and reviews.