Fitbit: Design for behavior change
peer support group to encourage exercise behavior change
Design : Conceptual product development, UX concepts, Visual Design, Prototyping
Research: Secondary Research, Interviews
Bhavik Donga -Me
Hengyi Bai
Yao Li
Yihua Wang
5 Weeks
It is easy to sustain users who are already health freaks but the biggest challenge is with users who have a hard time maintaining such habits.
Many people have the desire to stay healthy but fail to create a habit of exercising and being healthy on their own.
Peer Support is the key.
Adding a peer-support group feature to the current Fitbit community, which unites people with similar demographics and fitness objectives into smaller groups, and holds them accountable for one other's progress to bring a behaviour change in their exercising  habits.
Gather with a small group of people with similar demographics
  • Community groups have millions of users. Small groups provide a more personalized experience.
  • It's motivating to be around people who have similar fitness goals and experience.
Track and manage your personal and group challenges
  • Make it a habit to exercise by completing challenges with your peers.
  • Keep track of and cheer the accomplishments of your peer group members to keep each other motivated.
Engage and motivate
  • share proof of challenge completion to encourage peers.
  • Maintain peer accountability for exercise by urging them in group feeds.
Let's take a look at how we got here.
We studied behavior change models through articles and published research papers before engaging with the current Fitbit application. We discovered a few techniques that are commonly employed by various fitness programs.
We used Fitbit to compare four fitness apps on the market to see what they had in common and where they differed in functionality. We reasoned that fitness apps are primarily concerned with primarily track users' progress and provide progress and providing very less information to stay healthy
We conducted user interviews to validate our understanding from secondary research with actual users. We choose 3 different types of interviewees to get different perspectives and insights about exercise and the efficiency of fitness apps.
summarized takeaways from interviews on reasons for failing to form a habit to exercise into an affinity map.
  • low motivation
  • Time
  • Peer Pressure
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Fear of injuries
  • Environmental barriers
  • Social factors
  • Lack of support
We discovered that the function of peers is quite significant in the process of developing exercise routines. The patterns we found between these interviewees also resonate with some of our secondary research results.
  1. peer pressure and caring about what others think,  can make people feel embarrassed or guilty if their progress is shared with a known audience.
  2. having friends who like exercising often help them to maintain an exercising habit together
  3. short-term and smaller goals helps people to persevere in the habit of working out.
How might we help users maintain a habit of working out?
  • Streaks
  • Gamification
  • Rewards
  • Peer Support Groups
Why did we make peer support & accountability as motivation?

According to The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) :
  • Having an idea or goal: 10% likely to complete the goal
  • Consciously deciding that you will do it: 25%
  • Deciding when you will do it: 40%
  • Planning how to do it: 50%
  • Committing to someone that you will do it: 65%
  • Having a specific accountability appointment with someone you’ve committed to: 95%
Problems with the current Fitbit Community Feature found through research and interviews:
  • Very plain and boring interfaces to start with.
  • Group with way too many people that end up with no one getting enough attention.
  • Creating personal groups only allows users to invite their added friends, which causes users a lot of incentives to go out there in the community and find friends to add.
  • Although it seems like there are a lot of open communities with a large number of members, only a small portion of the members are actively engaging activities within the community.
  • Larger groups also mean less personalized and less related content.
Next, due to time constraints, we started putting together blocks in Figma based on the flow we decided on instead of sketching on paper.

We started by discussing the user discovery of the new features and how to familiarize the user with how the feature works.
Design Decisions that Create Behavioral Change
  • We propose a Peer group feature in the community section of the Fitbit application.
  • Peer group is a small group of people with similar fitness goals who seek support to keep up with workout.
  • Nudge your peer group member by starting conversations and sharing your acheivments to keep peers consistent.
But we didn't get everything right the first time! We made some iterations.
Task 1
Joining the Peer group for first time user
Task 2
Navigate to Peer group and start a challenge and status
Task 3
Navigate to Peer group from different points from the application
This is some text inside of a div block.
  • initial questions to join peer groups are vague and needs work
  • How to get people more clear on why they are answering the questions?
  • Change “Check Progress” to “Weekly Progress” and add units for days.
  • Indicate ongoing group challenges.
  • How do people choose Group Challenges? Who can start a challenge? (optional)
  • Create your own group screen.
So how does it work?
Last but not least.What did i learn?
  • Iterate as much as you can: The next step for this project could be analyzing more edge cases such as who will monitor the group, privacy concerns, and defining more points to collect demographic data.
  • Focus more on tradeoffs with each direction. I want to improve my ability to express design choices with the user in mind so that I can better convey my design decisions to myself, my mentor, and prospective recruiters.
  • Be insight- not process-driven. Despite weeks of research + development, my first version of this case study was full of unnecessary text at this stage instead of tying everything into the bigger question- “so how does this fit into the bigger picture”? Hence, I cut down the copy by more than 60% and focused on the major points in my project. Hence, going forward I believe focusing more on the insights will improve my storytelling abilities to others.
  • You didn’t fail- you just found 100 ways that didn’t work. From identifying faults in my UI to exposing more fundamental UX issues in my app, I'm grateful to have asked for input from my peers and mentor on a regular basis. Finally, I strived to have the app as good as possible, and I didn't let my own thinking keep me from evaluating if my own selections were genuinely best for the customer.