New Era of Fitness

About: AVA is software and hardware that aims to reinvent personal fitness by calculating virtually every variable in a client's workout and controlling the timing and resistance second by second, enabling personal trainers to zero in on the optimal workout.

Distilling Information

Challenge: Personal trainers in gyms are frustrated with the software programs to track clients and are looking for an intuitive solution. We aimed to create an understandable platform on iPad where trainers could easily zoom in to small details during an exercise and zoom out to the monthly schedule.

Product Designer

Role: From end to end, I played a core part in the research, usability testing, prototyping, and visual development stages in the agile 7 person team. I lead the creation of key visual components for wireframing and high fidelity mockups.




Interviewing Personal Trainers

We were having a tough time understanding our audience, so we interviewed 3 personal trainers from nearby gyms to gain more insights. Although it is suggested to have at least 5 participants, we had a limited budget that only allowed for 3 interviews.


3 key pain points:

  1. No clear way of client communication for gyms, All personal trainers improvised
  2. Information management, or ways to keep track of client info, ranged from Microsoft Excel to slow 3rd-party software. All personal trainers were dissatisfied with available tools
  3. Programming workouts in one on one settings could take a long time. Sam mentioned "We're supposed to spend a short amount of time programming for one client, but I spent 8 hours programming for 4 clients"


This was a complex system, and team wanted to learn how interfaces dealt with a high volume of information. We benchmarked iMovie, Google Analytics, and mind maps. To learn more about competing fitness systems, we looked at Crossfit, Wodify, Equinox App, Orange Fitness, Jefit, Peloton, My FitnessPal, and Soul Cycle. Key takeaways:

  • Strength Training programs have more data needs in terms of progression, programming, and monitoring i.e. CrossFit + Wodify
  • Group cardio sessions have less of a data need and more of a group motivation component i.e. Soulcycle, OrangeTheory
  • There is a deep desire for the general population to feel like athletes through community and evolved workouts (more functional, less machine) i.e. CrossFit, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, etc.


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Aligning Business Goals with Trainer's Interests

We mapped out the pain points in relation to it's impact on business goals and trainer's interests to figure out the most important problem we had to solve: programming workouts.


Persona & Task flow

Based on our interviews and benchmarks, we created 2 personas: a trainer and client. After, we created a task flow that would guide the features and movement through our app. We worked with the assumption that our app had pre-built templates that would not only save time, but also make it easier to create a workout.


The task flow allowed us to ask, how does a trainer:

  1. Select Type of Training Template
  2. Select Workout
  3. Select Move
  4. Adjust Variable
  5. Adjust Move

We worked to solve these these 5 main functions in order for a personal trainer to create a workout on AVA.




Round 1: Ideation

The original platform (below) was difficult to understand because it came from a purely engineering perspective. We wanted our persona, Brock, to understand the platform the first time around, with minimal frustrations.



Adding blocks: True/False statements

Adding blocks: True/False statements


Using the task flow and understanding pain points, we also needed to understand the structure of workouts. If we could make the chart (below) of a basic training plan understandable, and give context to the progressions that AVA wanted trainers to plan for each move and exercise: we will have solved the problem.

6 week training template

6 week training template


Round 2: Ideation

We had several rounds of brainstorms to decide on various ways we could show this interface, then we converged onto one strong idea that we voted on. After, the team diverged again to make that interface even better.


We user tested our wireframes on 3 personal trainers and came up with 3 key pain points to solve in HiFi:

  • Customization: 3/3 participants agreed that it was important to have client information available when programming
  • Progression Details: 2/3 participants mentioned that there needed to be more details to program. For example, a concentric movement had a in, hold, and out motions.
  • Program length: 3/3 participants mentioned that it makes more sense to able to add/delete the number weeks, depending on what workout it was



Building from our wireframes and usability test learnings, we made several rounds of high fidelity prototypes. To validate our assumptions that we were heading in the right direction, we did a final usability test.



The founder is using this iteration of AVA to fund his seed round.

Next steps:

  • Although most of the workout planning could be understood by non-technical trainers, 5/5 participants did not understand the jargon in "Intensity and Volumes". 
    • Items with advanced knowledge can possibly be hidden for harder access, if it's used less often.