SplitFit was founded by three childhood friends who own several gyms in the greater Boston area. They realized that typical personal training sessions at gyms are expensive, require long term commitment, and can be intimidating. On the flip side, they knew that gyms typically have unbooked inventory - with personal trainers on staff who are not busy during slow times (the middle of the day) and are being paid to wait.
Their product addresses these issues by allowing people to join a personal training pool and book sessions on shorter notice and with less commitment. This lowers the cost of training by splitting the cost between (up to) three people. If you prefer to train alone, you can also buy out a pool for a private session. As a side effect, the product also helps gyms increase the utilization of their staff.
SplitFit came to us with only an idea. We started day one with a design sprint to validate their idea. By the end of week one we conducted our first round of user testing and interviews.
Prototype & User Testing
We 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. We caught issues much earlier and more accurately than we 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. We confidently moved forward knowing that we conducted an initial round of user testing. We started to build out and refine wireframes for each of the designed user flows.
Building an Identity &
With the wireframes in a steady place, we shifted into exploring visual directions. We worked with a branding agency to build the SplitFit identity. With an identity in the works we started to toss around various directions to fit their target market: millennials.
We refined a whole slew of directions down to 4 and put them through their paces to get feedback from users. Each contained different combination of colors, some loud, some quiet, some neutral, each with various font selections to match that feel.
Out with the old
In with the new
There was now a brand and identity behind SplitFit. The result was focused on redefining personal training. Training should be inclusive, but not exclusive.
with React Native
Early on, we 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 we needed to support both major mobile platforms from day one. To accomplish this, we chose to use React Native as the platform for our mobile apps. This decision allowed us 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 us split the development workload and making it easier for our designer to contribute the codebase on his own.
The first version was shipped and in the hands of users 2 months from the start date. This included the ability for a user to join a pool (buyouts came later).
The initial release was piloted with the CIC (Cambridge Innovation Center). This allowed us to have real testers in a controlled environment. We were able to gather feedback from customers as well as trainers.
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