This New York Times bestselling health author and the co-founder of one of the fastest-growing health and wellness communities has spent his career focusing on making the public healthier by guiding individuals in developing better physical and mental habits. We were approached by the client while launching the second edition of his book to extend that content into a companion app, bridging the gap between theory and practical application for users.
The client wanted his app to be truly impactful, to create the experience of working directly with him in terms of support and results. He wanted the app to function as a digital health coach that could help users make healthier decisions throughout the day, much like his book does. But that was the problem. The book was written upon mountains of scientific research, something that’s easy to explain over 200 plus pages of a book but difficult to present in app form.
Distilling that scientific data and guidance into an easy-to-use coaching app proved a significant design hurdle. To pull it off, we needed a concerted effort between the content team, a designer, and our developers in order to decide how best to package the information. Over a 5-day design sprint, we developed the layout, system and structure for the app.
Though the challenges were persistent, they were also enticing. If we take the app’s user data and use machine learning, we can collect additional research to pinpoint factors like how many days people stick with habits, when they’re most likely to fail and need a push, and on and on. The possibilities are endless.
The app experience begins with a health assessment. After a quick round of multiple choice questions, the app presents you with your daily challenges, which are designed to help you develop healthy habits. As you move along, your daily challenges remain on your home screen so you can update your progress with ease.
The app is designed to help you build better habits in six categories: weight management, food and hydration, motion, sleep, mind, and surroundings. After you pick a habit you’d like to form in each category, the app holds you accountable by showing your success and unsuccessful days on a calendar.
As a reward system, the app also features a series of badges. As users hit different mile markers, they receive a badge.
Completing the app required a concerted effort from multiple teams, but it paid off. The app quickly earned 20,000 downloads within days of its release, and the beautiful design and functionality are reminders of an important lesson: big hurdles can be overcome with the right process and right team. A great idea is more than just an idea. Our client wanted a great app, but it took a careful team effort to get it done.