From idea to 1,000 monthly paying users in just 6 months

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Validate business idea, Go to market quickly

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Idea to launch in 8 weeks, 1000 monthly paying users in 6 months

Video of our Splitfit project

Quote about the Splitfit project

We have seen very very rapid growth. thoughtbot is part of all those discussions about where do we go from here, not just from a product standpoint but how do we grow this business

A headshot of Brian Gardiner

Brian Gardiner
COO, Splitfit

Creating SplitFit

SplitFit came to thoughtbot with only an idea. Day one started with a design sprint to validate their idea. By the end of week one, thoughtbot had conducted the first round of user testing and interviews.

Problem Statement

Personal training is too expensive, isn’t accessible to non-members and gyms have an excess of unused inventory.

Prototype & User Testing

thoughtbot created a prototype that was built in Xcode. This let users run the prototype on their iPhone. They were able to set preferences, build profiles and use the keyboard as they would normally with any other app. The team caught issues much earlier and more accurately than they would have with a traditional prototyping approach (creating a prototype with hotspots and images).

The outcome of the first week was incredibly successful. The prototype and business idea was well received. The thoughtbot and SplitFit team confidently moved forward knowing that we an initial round of user testing was conducted. thoughtbot product designers started to build out and refine wireframes for each of the designed user flows.

Image of early prototypes for Splitfit

The prototype was designed using a mix of images generated in Sketch and UIKit elements provided by iOS.

Building an Identity & Visual Direction

With the wireframes in a steady place, the project shifted into exploring visual directions.

thoughtbot worked with a branding agency to build the SplitFit identity. With an identity in the works, various directions were tossed around to fit the target market: millennials.

The team refined many creative options down to a final four and put them through their paces to get feedback from users. Each contained a different combination of colors — some loud, some quiet, some neutral — each with various font selections to match that feel.

There was now a brand and identity behind SplitFit. The result was focused on redefining personal training. Training should be inclusive, but not exclusive.

Image of Splitfit color variations

A series of the same screen in different color treatments

Moving Fast with React Native

Early on, both teams realized that reaching a critical mass of users was going to be crucial to SplitFit’s success as a social product.

Combined with SplitFit’s vision for inclusive personal training, this requirement meant the product needed to support both major mobile platforms from day one. To accomplish this, thoughtbot chose to use React Native as the platform for the mobile apps. This decision allowed the team to move really quickly and ship the first version of SplitFit for iOS and Android in about 8 weeks. React Native continued to prove itself as a worthy technology choice, helping split the development workload and making it easier for the thoughtbot designer to contribute to the codebase on their own.

Image of Splitfit screens

Four screens from Splitfit

The Outcome

The first version of the product was shipped and in the hands of users just two months from the start date of the engagement.

This version included the ability for a user to join a pool (the buyouts feature came later).

The initial release was piloted with the CIC (Cambridge Innovation Center, a large office space just blocks from the pilot gym). This allowed for real testers in a controlled environment. The team was able to gather feedback from customers as well as trainers.

thoughtbot continues to work alongside SplitFit to continue to mature and grow the app.

Check it out in the Apple App Store.

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