With a 128×64 screen, no swipes allowed and a single side button, the user experience and interface design for the Atlas Wristband was an interesting challenge to say the least.
Firmware – Freestyle UX/UI
Whiteboard sessions, spirited debate, UX flows, IA maps, paper and digital prototypes – it all helped but it wasn’t until we had a working prototype that we were able to discover some of the bigger usability challenges. For instance, accidental screen taps were pretty common and could navigate you to a completely different workout or end your workout prematurely, so nav-locking became a needed feature. As testing continued, it also became clear that the algorithm could and should play a much larger role in automatically advancing the interface, not just detecting and tracking exercise movements. This greatly reduced actual user interactions and streamlined the experience.
Atlas Wearables UX – Process Overview
Through online surveys, on-site interviews and market research we developed 3 personas within the Atlas audience. Their pain points, attributes and goals informed everything from product content and features to messaging strategy.
The sketch phase was crucial in helping identify and organize the key product features as well as establish the Wristband to App relationship. Sketching and whiteboard sessions continued throughout development to quickly explore added features and edge cases.
Wire-framing the app helped to further establish the underlying content structure and flow while also allowing a deeper dive into various navigation options and data visualizations.
The final stage of the design process brought everything to life with the Atlas brand colors and relevant data visualizations. Multiple tests were run online and in person to be sure the app was flowing as intended and great care was put into creating and surfacing actionable metrics to help users meet their fitness goals.
After the launch of the Atlas Wristband and companion app we maintained close communication with our user base and analyzed data to inform further product development. The request for “more exercises” that the Atlas could track was fairly unanimous. Rather than create custom algorithms for 10s or 100s of new exercises it seemed to make more sense to focus on a new “learning mode”. Learning mode transformed a somewhat limited and passive tracking device into a teachable fitness super-tracker that enables a level of personalization and customizability that is virtually limitless. This was one of the more exciting initiatives where I was able to play a role in turning a business and user problem into an opportunity that fundamentally shifted the user experience and trajectory of the product evolution.
The “Atlas” or “Muscle Man” was a popular graphic within the app. Users appreciated the simplicity of knowing which muscle groups they worked or would be worked as they previewed their workouts. We brought the graphic back and used it as a tappable interface for creating custom workouts. Just tap the areas where you want to focus and the app generates a workout which you can then edit as you please.