The main idea behind this personal project was to design an advanced user interface for a treadmill. The goal is to build a UI that focuses on the workout more than the entertainment aspect. Generally there are 2 kinds of treadmills. One that focuses only on the workout and is suited for training facilities and gyms. The second one focuses more on entertainment with added services like TV, internet and radio, suited for home, business hotels and resorts. My goal was to build a UI that provides a balance of both.
This project was particularly a challenging one when it came to analyzing the current information model. Generally there are 2 kinds of treadmills. One that focuses only on the workout and is suited for training facilities and gyms. The second one focuses more on entertainment with added services like TV, internet and radio, suited for home, business hotels and resorts. My goal was to build a UI that provides a balance of both. Competitor analysis, Heuristic reviews and Content audits helped me split the UI in terms of workout related and entertainment related data. This gave me a clear-cut understanding of what needs to be there and what needs to go. Direct and indirect user interviews along with contextual inquiry helped me gain insight into several aspects like: What services the user really needs? What workout results does the user really care about? What are the problems the user face?
These were my key finding: The workout related data was not the main focus of the screen. I carry a cellphone/iPod to the gym to listen to music. Earphones are a headache while running as they fall off often. I don’t really care to check my Facebook or mail while jogging. I don’t concentrate on my workout while watching TV show. I love to checkin on Foursquare. I want a personal trainer to constantly tell me about my progress. I would like to review my workout at home? Based on these findings and rough personas I used Use cases and scenarios to build pages of information and services for the interface.
I designed the UI keeping in mind these needs and requirements. My model of services and data will work something like this: 1. User gets a gym membership. 2. User creates an account on the gym website. 3. User completes his online profile and connects his social account to it. 4. User swipes his smart card on each device in the gym before using it. 5. Swiping the card opens the user’s profile on the machine. The UI consists of 3 pages that can easily be accessed via a navigation bar on the screen. The main page of the screen consists of the all the workout related data and device settings. Everything else is pushed into a sleek navigation bar on the right. While the person is running this is what his main focus is on. Everything from the cardio readings to the treadmill speed and inclination is highlighted there. The next page which is displayed after the workout is completed is the workout report which details the current workout results and provides an over view of the previous workouts and progress. Finally the last and third page of the screen allows the user to change a couple of setting related to his account, social accounts and device options like alerts. This page consists of most of the added services.
To eliminate the need to carry a cellphone/iPod and to deal with annoying earphone wires, a user can now use a wireless pair of headphones that play music from his or her connected cloud music service. Apart from that it also allows the inbuilt personal trainer to guide the user in terms of completing his or her workout more effectively. Again these features can easily be controlled via the navigation bar. For users who want more access to their workout schedule and reports, there is a feature that allows them to have the same delivered to their inbox in a click or view it on the machine itself. Apart from that a Foursquare checkin option with social accounts connected to it. What I got rid of was the TV and Internet access.