Starting a workout routine is hard. Sticking with it is even harder.
Up to 95% of people abandon their workouts within the first week.
As a fitness app developer, how can you design an experience that users not only enjoy, but stick with long-term?
The key is leveraging UI/UX design to motivate and engage users at every step of their fitness journey. With thoughtful user experience, fitness apps can help users form healthy exercise habits, provide the right tools to progress, and ultimately reach their fitness goals.
In this article, we’ll explore UX and UI techniques with fitness app development to boost motivation and habit formation in fitness apps. You’ll learn strategies to;
Onboard new users and set goals
Track progress and offer personalized feedback
Leverage motivation design principles
Guide users through workouts intuitively
Build community and accountability with social features
By putting these app design best practices into action, you can boost engagement, promote habit formation, and help users stick with their workout routines.
Let’s dive in!
How Can UI/UX Design Boost User Success in Fitness Goals?
Grab Attention with Onboarding and Progress Tracking
The first step to engaging users is getting them invested from the moment they start using your app or device. Create an onboarding flow that sets goals, asks about past fitness experience, and establishes baselines. This feeling of personalization helps boost motivation. Equally importantly, continue that personalized progress tracking as a core app feature.
According to research by growth design agency Appcues, apps with thorough onboarding see up to 40% higher retention. Meanwhile, studies by fitness companies like Strava reveal that runners who track progress are 27% less likely to churn.
Specific strategies include:
- Ask users to input goal types and dates during onboarding. Use this to generate tailored workout plans and reminders.
- Allow for progress photos, which studies show increases motivation by up to 43%.
- Send notifications when users hit milestones like new running distances, weight lifted, or activity streaks.
Motivate Users With Psychology-Backed Design Strategies
When designing fitness apps, a key goal should be motivating users and building their self-efficacy. Fortunately, decades of research have uncovered strategies that tap into human psychology to drive motivation.
Here are some techniques to weave into your UI/UX:
- Set up clear, achievable goals: Breaking a big goal like "get fit" into smaller milestones makes it less daunting. Celebrate mini-wins to reinforce progress.
- Use streaks and reminders: Daily "streaks" leverage our desire for consistency. Notifications remind users to keep their streak going.
- Enable social sharing: Let users share progress to get accountability and encouragement from friends. Social validation is powerful.
- Personalize content: Tailor onboarding, recommendations, and messaging to the individual user. Personalization boosts relevance and engagement.
- Gamify with points and rewards: Elements like points, levels, challenges, and virtual rewards take advantage of our competitive instincts.
Research shows these motivation design strategies can substantially increase fitness apps solution usage and goal achievement.
Providing Clear, Supportive Feedback
Clear, supportive feedback helps users understand how their actions impact their progress.
Follow these UX tips for effective fitness feedback:
- Track measurable progress: Show specific fitness indicators like weight loss, strength gains, or running pace over time. Quantifiable measures are meaningful.
- Celebrate milestones: When users complete a workout series, increase their lifting max, run farther, etc., celebrate these wins. Milestones mark progress.
- Use positive reinforcement: Motivating messages like "You crushed that workout!" or "New personal best!" encourage users.
- Review trends over time: Allow users to review trends in key metrics. This fosters awareness of progress.
- Send recaps and highlights: Email or push notification recaps of activity help to sustain motivation.
Feedback should provide users with a clear sense of progress to keep them engaged.
Guide Users Through Workouts with Intuitive Design
The actual workout experience is another opportunity to boost engagement through thoughtful UI and UX decisions. An intuitive, unobtrusive interface allows users to focus on their exercises.
- Use minimalist design with clear fonts and ample negative space.
- Feature subtle animations and transitions between screens.
- Prioritize graphics and visual elements over text.
- Ensure one-handed usability for glancing mid-workout.
Specific best practices include:
- Display exercise demos and adjustable workout timers prominently.
- Allow users to track reps and sets with simple increment buttons.
- Use color coding to distinguish different exercises and rest periods.
Build Community and Camaraderie with Social Features
It can be hard to stay motivated to exercise alone. That's why many leading fitness apps and wearables incorporate social features that tap into our desire for community and friendly competition.
- Allow users to follow friends' and influencers' profiles and activities.
- Facilitate virtual races and challenges between connections.
- Share workouts on social media to showcase achievements.
- Enable users to “like” and comment on others' workout updates.
According to studies published in scientific journals like Obesity Reviews, social features boost engagement by satisfying psychological needs for relatedness and accountability.
Start Reaching Your Goals with Consagous
The bottom line is that thoughtful UX drives long-term fitness app usage - helping you make progress instead of quitting!
If you're looking for custom fitness app development with world-class design, check out Consagous Technologies, a leading fitness app development company. Our user-centric process and proven UI principles will engage users day after day.
Together, we can transform lives through health and technology. Contact us today!