My role was to conduct a user experience audit on the XPASS mobile app during the open beta phase in its product cycle. I conducted user research to identify major pain points and designed concepts for potential solutions to enhance the user experience
Design System Buildout
XPASS is an upcoming fitness pass app that is positioning itself to be a direct competitor with other fitness pass apps such as ClassPass. I entered the project during the open beta phase of their product cycle. I was asked to perform a UX audit of their mobile app in order to enhance the user experience and increase conversion.
My goals were to:
Explore the user experience strengths of the current XPASS app.
Identify possible areas of growth in order to enhance usability and engagement.
Provide suggestions/designs that could serve as potential solutions for the identified areas of growth.
I started with researching ClassPass, the most successful direct competitor in the fitness pass space. My intention was to identify what aspects of the ClassPass user experience make it so successful. I wanted to know what delighted users and what frustrated them with goal of enhancing the XPASS experience with these insights in mind. I also wanted to examine the UI in order to draw on familiarity heuristics when it came time to assess XPASS.
I observed 5 different users. 3 women and 2 men ranging in age (22 - 46). They had varying experience levels with apps like ClassPass ranging from current ClassPass users to users with no experience with a similar fitness pass app. I would liked to have recruited more users to observe however, due to the short turnaround time required by the client and constraints dues to the current pandemic, it was not feasible.
I gathered qualitative data gathered from contextual observations of users engaging with the mobile app.
I conducted user testing through various user flows to identify strengths and pain points that users experienced.
In my examination of the XPASS mobile app I focused on 4 different personas to empathize with the potential users that would be engaging with the app:
The new user who is trying an XPASS type subscription for the first time.
The existing ClassPass user that is interested in different functionality.
The existing single studio member who is active with a home studio but might also be interested in exploring other locations.
The lapsed user who could be won back with added functionality.
I joined the project later in the life cycle of the product and these personas were provided to me by the business strategy team. Based on their research, these 4 types of users were the most valuable to their business goals. Given more time on the project I would have liked to dive deeper into the potential user base with the intention of discovering a type of user that might have been overlooked or undervalued.
How might we make it easier for users find a class that fits into their schedule?
How might help users choose a class before they change their mind about working out?
How might we help users quickly make a decision about which class they want to take?
A working professional needs to be able to easily choose a workout to attend but is impeded by their tendency to find excuses not to commit to one.
By ensuring that the XPASS experience guides the user towards the workout they are looking for and seamlessly provides the information the user needs to make that decision, we can increase the likelihood that they will book a class.
Strengths of the existing app
“Nice! Its layout is like ClassPass. I know how to use this app then.”
XPASS draws on familiarity heuristics to scaffold the user experience for users who have experience with existing fitness apps.
Elements of gamification will encourage engagement with the opportunity to earn badges and track statistics.
“I like collecting the badges like the challenge badges on my iPhone.”
“I don't know why I would turn off reviews but I like that they give me the option... it feels like they respect my choice.”
Users have agency and the control they need to manage the algorithms that shape their experiences as evidenced by the notifications toggles. Control over notifications empowers with agency in their experience.
During contextual observation of the users engaging with the XPASS mobile app I was able to identify pain points that interrupted the user experience.
Interactions that obstruct key information
Problem: The fixed scrolling snaps every other tile to positions that obstruct the view of important information. This requires user to drag and hold to view information like credit cost or the name of a brand.
Solution: Allow the user to freely scroll through tiles rather than dragging through fixed scroll positions.
Problem: The tiles within the brand spotlight appeared to the users as clickable. I observed users attempting to click the tiles in order to learn more about the studio locations or browse the instructors and becoming confused when nothing happened.
Solution: I suggested removing the boxes around the statistics in order to take away the implication that it is a button. Another direction would be to turn them into buttons to ease navigation and provide more opportunities for exploration and engagement.
Guiding the User
Problem: Some users assumed there were no search results found when zoomed in too much on a particular part of the map. There is currently no indicator that will lead users to a successful search result.
Solution: I included microcopy that guides the user to a successful search. Directing the user to zoom out will allow the user to expand their search, increasing the likelihood of a successful result.
Decisions, decisions, decisions...
“It takes a lot for me to choose to work out and I'll usually accept any excuse to justify not having to exercise...”
Every user said some variation of the quote above during the interviews I conducted. It spoke to the need to facilitate the decision making process for the user. Making the decision to exercise is hard enough that the decision to choose a class is critical. Anything could derail the user and result in drop-off. The insights I gathered from the user interviews and observations allowed me address user experience problems that could result in frustration and eventually drop-off.
“I like to plan out my workouts for the week so I’d want to search for classes on more than just one day when I search.”
Problem: 4 out of 5 users expressed a desire to search for classes on more than one day. Users did not want to search day by day to browse the class offerings for the week.
Solution: Allow users to select multiple dates or a range of dates to search from. This will facilitate successful searches and reduce the load placed on the user.
The intention behind this design decision was to facilitate the decision making process for the user by generating more results to choose from in a single search. Users with busy schedules want to be able to search multiple days to find a workout they want at a time that is convenient.
Sort Search Results
“How do I sort it so that I can look at the cheapest class or the class closest to home?”
Problem: 3 out of 5 users wanted to be able to sort by credits or distance. Currently, there is no way to sort the search results which increases the time it takes for the user to find a desired class.
Solution: Adding the option for users to sort the search results will allow users to refine their search based on a specific priority. Users may want to sort based on credit cost or might make a decision based on what location is closest to their home. Easing the decision making process will increase conversion
Adding the ability to sort search results further addresses the users need for a smoother decision making process by allowing them to prioritize result visibility based on the users specific needs.
“So how does it work? I like the classes they have but I’m not sure I want to create an account if I don’t know how it works.”
Problem: The original onboarding flow provides not context before requesting the user to create an account. After exploring the guest area all 5 users asked how XPASS worked and expressed the desire to know before creating an account.
Solution: By including short description of how it works as part of onboarding flow users will have context which they could use to enhance their exploration as a guest and provide better understanding to the elements/features offered.
There was not information for users to make the decision to create an account. Providing the users with context about XPASS will increase conversion and prevent drop-off at this point in the user flow.
“The instructor is my main reason for choosing a class... especially if I know what type of music they will be playing”
Problem: 3 out of 5 users expressed the importance of an instructor in their decision to take a class. The description is hard to scan for a key factor: music choice.
Solution: Create input fields for instructors to fill out in order to be able to display easily scannable information. This will allow users to choose instructors based on similar workout style or music choice.
Users expressed the tendency to choose classes based on instructor. By making the instructor profiles easily scannable we can make it easier for users to make a decision regarding which classes they might want to take.
Sortable search results
Expanded search scope
Text is more scannable
Copy that guides the user
An onboarding flow that provides context to the user and increases the likelihood that they create an account, increasing conversion.
The duration of my contract ended after presenting the results of my UX audit to the product team. I was informed that they intended to implement the changes I suggested and that they would keep updated with the results. At the writing of this case study it was communicated to me that the product team has conducted internal testing and their metrics showed a significant boost in engagement. The conversion rate of users creating an account during the onboarding process showed a dramatic increase with the addition of the informational screens I designed.
If I were able to continue as part of the product design team I would have liked to gather data to validate the design decisions I proposed to the team. My plan would have been to create prototypes to conduct A/B testing on the screens and flows I designed. I would have conducted more rounds of user interviews with the new iterations of the flows and gathered qualitative data about the experience.
1. Always start with the user.
2. The difference between conversion and drop-off can hinge on a single decision that may seem innocuous.
3. Conducting in-person user interviews/observations is extremely difficult during a pandemic.
4. I love the feeling that improving a user's experience gives me.
This was my first experience entering a product so far along in its life cycle. It was jarring at first to not have been a part of the inception of the product. This led me to feel a lack of ownership in the project that I had never felt before. At first I didn't know how to begin or where to start with understanding the app. My gut told me to start with the users and my gut was right. This project really crystallized in me the need to put the users first. The users are the key to the success of the product and I learned that whatever stage of a product I join a project on, the best place to start is with understanding the users. I had seen the term "user-centered" designer a million times before this project but I think this was the point that I truly internalized it.