Building Community

Working to improve the community experience by allowing users to follow each other, view an automated activity history, and engage more with other users in the Aaptiv community. By doing so, we hope to help users keep each other motivated and accountable while increasing product stickiness and engagement.


Senior Product Designer


iOS, Android, Watch OS, Web


UX Flows, UI Screens, User Research, Usability Testing, Prototyping, Project Management


Based on research and data we've gathered about our users, we understand that there is a strong desire for community connectedness. ~ 40% of users are partial to group fitness classes and prefer working out with others. They are motivated by others and open to building relationships in their community. Additionally, have an active FaceBook community where users are able to engage with Aaptiv, trainers, and each other as well as a Team tab in-app where users post updates, photos, workouts completed. Users comment on posts and give confetti, but the Team tab is not as active as the Facebook and Instagram communities. We want to bring the same energy, engagement, and sharing of ideas into the app experience.


We do not provide an easy way for users to keep track of their favorite Aaptiv members, see the progress they’ve made, or the workouts they’ve taken. Users are more engaged with each other outside of the app than in the Team tab, where users should. This ultimately creates a challenge for the business because user time spent in the app is lower than what it could be.


We believe that by enhancing the in-app community experience, we will provide users the ability to share ideas, process, activity, accomplishments, and struggles from their personal fitness and wellness journey to help encourage, motivate, and keep each other accountable. Users will be inspired by relating to shared struggles, accomplishments and more. The business will benefit from increased engagement, creating positive impact, and encouraging healthy habits. 

Goal: Facilitate Community Engagement

Our goal is to enhance and evolve the in-app community experience by allowing users to follow each other, view automated activity history and engage with other users in the Aaptiv community. By doing so, we hope to help encourage healthy habits by helping users keep each other motivated and accountable while increasing product stickiness and engagement. 

Who are our users?

While our user base spans a wide diverse set of attributes, we’ve found that their demographic does skew toward younger, well-educated female professionals. We have identified the “Healthy Selfies”, the “Boutique Fitness Wannabes” and the “Lone Wolves” as our target segments. We’ve also found that a large portion of our user base enjoys working out in social settings (ie. group workouts, fitness classes, with friends) and many have turned to digital fitness during the current COVID-19 pandemic while gyms and classes have moved to digital experiences. In this scenario, our users still desire social interaction and the sharing of progress. We looked at our user groups and assessed how many users are extroverted, enjoying social fitness experiences, and would likely enjoy more community in Aaptiv.

Social Media Community Post

Scope & Constraints

This project hit many points in the app. From the Team tab to user profiles and activity types, there was a significant amount of technical complexity that we would have to solve for early, especially to create automated posts, permissions and privacy, as well as clarifying types of activity to users in the experience. We would have to address issues such as how would automated posts differ from the current Team tab post so that users wouldn’t be confused between the two. What posts could we automate and what data should we show to add value to these activity posts. The initial project scope looked like this:

  • Users can follow and unfollow other users
  • Users can see a feed of activity from the users they follow including posts to the Team tab, workouts completed, and programs/challenges joined and completed.
  • Users can opt out of automatically sharing their activity with their followers
  • See your friends highlighted in a challenge or program
  • Share workouts with each other in app
  • See a feed on Team of just the people you’re friends with or follow (including team posts, what classes they’ve taken, when they earn badges or level up in category) + receive notifications around these things
  • Recommending classes/programs that your friends have taken
  • Recommend people to follow based on FB/etc.
  • Share activity and posts to social media
  • Run a challenge with a group of friends or invite them to a challenge
  • Turn a saved list into a challenge
  • General leaderboard within your network over last X days
  • Privacy controls

Process: Information Architecture

Process: User Flows

Example user flow for following functionality

Process: Wireframing, Iterating, & Prototyping

Rapid iterating on Team tab feed toggle

Automated activity module iterations

User profile with following iterations

Outcomes and Lessons

Unfortunately, due to roadmap re-prioritization, we did not move forward with testing this project in production. With user testing I believe we would see increased user engagement, a greater sense of community and accountability, and product stickiness as people would be motivated to come back to the app more than once or twice a day. Increasing the time spent in the app and providing a more engaging sense of community, could help users in building their healthy habits as indicated by Beata Souders, MSc., PsyD candidate in her 2020 article, Motivation and What Really Drives Human Behavior.

"...our behavior is also influenced by social approval, acceptance, the need to achieve, and the motivation to take or to avoid risks, to name a few (Morsella, Bargh, & Gollwitzer, 2009)" - Beata Souders, MSc.

The resulting designs and prototype illustrated a clear call to action, encouraging users to become engaged with what other fitness and wellness journeys look like. We took into consideration privacy and allowing users to keep their profiles private, their activity private, or to allow users to follow them. Simple UX patterns that are recognized across various social media and consumer facing experiences where adopted to create familiarity, reduce cognitive load, and reduce friction.

following sample final screens
Sample set of final screens


visual design projects
Team Challenges


With the COVID-19 era and the continued rise of the global digital fitness market, estimated to grow 33% to be around $27.4 billion by 2022 (Weiner, 2020), it is clear that there is a demand for digital experiences to keep user focused on fitness and health isn't ending any time soon. COVID-19 and the adoption of remote work has also led in-person group fitness class goers (similar to a large portion of our user base) to move to digital solutions. These users are looking for the same type of fitness community through experiences like Aaptiv rather than just working out alone. 


There is a strong desire from our users to be able to create their own challenges and interact with each other in a friendly competition. We have seen users create work-arounds by starting Apple Challenges for Apple Watch users, creating their own teams, and competing with Aaptiv workouts. We see an opportunity to bring that engagement in-app, making it easier for users to engage with each other, keep each other motivated, and become a more integrated member of the Aaptiv community. The problem is that users are seeking alternative solutions as our Team Challenges do not currently meet their needs, have low engagement, and have low completion rates. We see that users are signing up for challenges, starting them, but not following through which we attribute to the lack of user to user interaction. We want to find a way to resolve these issues. 


By providing a clear understanding of where a user stands in a team challenge and what their team's metrics are, we can automate daily recommended activities (ie. your next workout is X! Keep it up, your team is counting on you!), keep them in the loop about personal and team progress made, and increase the community interaction with each other throughout the duration of the challenge. We believe by re-thinking the team challenge experience and building out more useful functionality, we can increase the community aspect of Aaptiv.

Goal: Facilitate community engagement

Our goal is to revamp and enhance the team challenge user experience. We aim to provide a cohesive, flexible experience, that makes it easy for users to build their own teams, engage with each other easily, and keep each other motivated throughout the entire duration of the challenge.


Nearly 50% of our user base would describe themselves as "an adopter of new technologies" and over 50% respond well to group training. We see challenges and motivational aspects of our user experience as an alternative to in-person team activities and group fitness classes. It's a way for users to help keep each other motivated and engaged in their fitness goals as well as increasing user engagement in the app. Additionally, our enterprise offering was created to provide a more personalized experience for companies and their teams of any size. Moving to remote work has increased the demand for digital wellness solutions in the employee benefit space. These users are not typically used to a more sedentary life indoors and a lack of face to face social interaction, typically found at the office. 

Scope & Constraints

The scope of the project was significant because it would require a large amount of developer work, reconfiguring how the current functionality is architected, adding new functionality, and updating the UI components.

  • Allow users to see their daily activity and progress throughout challenge duration
  • Surface daily recommended next workout in challenge 
  • Provide users a way to interact with their team, share updates, workouts, progress, and more
  • Display a leaderboard that can be filtered by team or all
  • Show change in position as users move up and down in ranking (in real time)
  • View daily contributes to team progress (points)
  • Types of challenges: passive challenges (count steps, miles, standing), team challenges, create enterprise team challenges, invite users to private challenge
  • Wider range of wearable integrations (Fitbit, Garmin, etc.)
  • Team stats
  • Enterprise personalized branding/themes

Constraints were generally limited to developer resources and a small team with a frequently changing roadmap. Final scope would be determined by performing user interviews, gathering user feedback on prototypes and iterating based on perceived importance of functionality. 

Process: User Flows

Process: Wireframes, Iterating, & Prototyping

The design process involved significant user and market research. From there, I set out to understand how we could create a competitive advantage while creating a way for users to easily digest data on a daily basis to track their progress and the teams progress throughout the challenge.

Example UX exploration
module UI explorations

Outcomes and Lessons

Unfortunately, we weren't able to build out the entire experience, as it would have been a large engineering effort over a long period of time for our small team. We were able to ship our leaderboards, which has seen significant engagement and enhanced the Team Challenges experience overall. It has been one step toward a more engaging community product experience. Additionally, we did receive positive feedback and reactions to the new experience prototypes from enterprise customers, but the number of enterprise customers to sell to currently does not outweigh the cost of building the product. Hopefully, in the future Aaptiv will have the chance to further test the prototypes and build the V1 experience for users. Overall, we learned a lot about what our users want to keep them motivated throughout a challenge and that further wearable integrations would be needed to really enhance the experience of different types of challenges, such as more passive team challenges like counting steps. We learned that by breaking up the lengthy project scope into smaller stories, we could slowly chip away and test iterations and updates to the Team Challenges experience.

Team Challenges Prototype

Mobile Screens & Create Challenge (Web)

"January 2020 Aaptiv Challenge created. Ladies and gentlemen...start your teams!!!." - User Post, 2020
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