1. About the Problem
One of the things everybody desires to have is good health and physical shape. Regardless, such are the challenges of the modern lifestyle that one finds difficult to cope with and then pursue a fitness goal. Effects of this phenomenon were expected to cause a shoot up in the number of people suffering from lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, etc. by 57% by the year 2020, as per WHO reports. This has been a major concern since COVID-19 had hit. Throughout the pandemic, the problem must have only accelerated with ‘Work from Home’ becoming a common practice. Therefore, a solution to help people shift towards a healthy lifestyle from a sedentary lifestyle slowly but surely is of paramount necessity. This paper is an attempt to propose a product in that same direction.
2. Scoping of the Problem
To understand the problem statement better, we reached out to people from different demographics who described the specific pain points faced by them while trying to incorporate a healthy routine into their lifestyles.
We reached out to friends, family members, experts in this space and took semi-structured telephonic interviews where questions revolved around what they did last time when they tried to follow a healthy routine.
The method of interviews maintained structure in terms of fixed questions, and it provided the ability to probe the participant for additional details.
The basic questions asked of the participants were :
How do they keep themselves fit?
What are the major hurdles faced while pursuing a fitness regime?
How do they overcome those hurdles?
What more would they need to achieve their fitness goals?
Post the interviews, using the insights around common pain points, a survey was created in order to reach out to a larger segment and quantify the findings.
The survey was posted on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Whatsapp, etc. It could gather responses from ~95 individuals. It asked them questions such as the number of times they skip workouts, preferred place to workout, their community preference, fitness regime they follow, pain points, and apps they use to track their fitness. Along with the demographics data, the survey provided well-rounded data to help extrapolate further and identify the insights discussed later in the paper.
Based on interviews and survey results, brainstorming sessions, using Rapid Ideation and Round-Robin techniques, allowed each member of the team to contribute ideas and insights empirically.
3. Insights and Learnings
Following the steps mentioned above, using the responses interesting insights were drawn that are shown below :
Hence, the learnings drawn from the above insights indicate that a younger demographic who are more likely to skip the workout faces hurdles, majorly, in terms of time management, motivation, and lack of results. Also, the group prefers to work out alone, an interesting observation that seems to be mostly driven by the pandemic event.
Using the above findings following personas were created that visually represents a set of users whose level of fitness differs in day to day life and for whom the product needs to be built:
Listed down are the core desires that the personas may have against the hurdles that the personas may face hence, to use a product to overcome them and build a healthy habit :
4.1. Product Statement
Based on the findings, need to create a product to help with
Product features built around these three categories can help people build healthy habits to achieve their fitness goals.
4.2. Features Prioritization Procedure
To decide on the features that should be implemented, a form of decision matrix was created by coming up with KPIs that were important in the initial stages for the development of the product.
These KPIs are:
Will the user love this?
Ease of implementation.
Will this feature retain users and build brand popularity?
Putting these KPIs on an excel sheet, each feature was rated on a scale of 1 to 5. Finally, average scores for each of the features were calculated, which helped prioritize the features for the minimum viable product.
With the categories defined and feature scores finalized, the following features were shortlisted :
During onboarding, we collect the user's vitals, preferred workout activity, work schedule and sync his calendar on the app. This creates a user profile that can be used to match against users with similar interests/inclinations/availability in the future.
Once onboarded, the users will see a feed containing posts and accomplishments of other users along with the option to visit their to-do list.
On a daily basis users will be reminded of their planned workout slot and workout activity as put in the to-do list. Once the activity is marked complete, results from the progress bar will be used to gauge the user's fitness journey progress. On completion of milestones, users will be awarded badges. These badges can also be shared with other users.
Product Features, as per the hurdles they attempt to resolve, are as follows:
A) Time Management
To spot available time frames within one’s schedule for a fitness activity once the calendar is synced.
While onboarding, the user will be asked to sync their work calendar in order to accommodate the hours and spot the available time slots for the chosen activities. In those available slots, the user will be nudged to perform the sub-activity via reminder notifications. These nudges can be postponed until the end of that day after which the sub-activity will be considered not performed. Also, this step can be skipped in which case the activities by the user would need to be added to the to-do list for every other day manually.
Option to add a fitness activity for the selected day along with time, which will be auto-populated in case the calendar is synced with the app.
If the calendar is synced, the user will see sub-activities slotted against the free time available in their calendar. Also, displaying the accomplished tasks with a checkmark. If the sub-activity is check-marked, in case completed by the user will lead to an increment in the progress tracker by adding up streak points (points that are awarded whenever any activity is performed continuously over 2 days). If the user either doesn’t respond to the reminder nudges within the next one hour of the due time of the sub-activity, the sub-activity in the list will be grayed out and not checkmarked. The user will be able to navigate to days forward and backward, as needed, to check for that day’s status (what activities are checkmarked/not checkmarked). In case the calendar is not synced, there will be an ‘add’ button that will allow the user to manually add an activity and put a time when they can perform that activity.
Automated sub-division of main activities into sub-activities.
To make task addition simpler and, using the idea from the book ‘Atomic Habits’ help create a psychology that makes habit pursuing easier and more accomplishable.
An activity chosen from the widget while onboarding or while adding it manually will be automatically divided into sub-activities, ranging in complexity from low to high. As per the complexity of the sub-activity and the time taken to perform it, the streak points will be awarded. The more the complexity, the more the streak points. This will be pre-set. For example, a main activity such as Running can be subdivided into Wake up at a particular time (10 points), Drink water (5 points), Wear shoes (5 points) and Run 100 meters (30 points). All these sub-activities will be displayed on the To-Do list.
At different stages of the user flow, a list of activities is to be made available to choose from.
At two instances, that is once when the user is onboarding and when the user is supposed to add an activity, this feature will offer multiple basic activities to choose one from such as Running, Jogging, Yoga, Swimming, Bicycling, etc. for a given set of days such as 21 days, 42 days or 84 days. Each activity can be valued against a set of streak points to be gained in a day that will be visible on the widget itself. Once the user selects an activity, he will be prompted to select the number of days for which he wants to pursue the chosen activity.
In the next stage, if the user has performed at least one sub-activity consecutively for more than 50% of the given days he will be prompted either to extend the days to continue pursuing or change the activity with the higher streak points value from the widget (all activities will be available to choose from), hence, restarting this workflow again. Any less than 50% of the given days for the previously chosen activity, the user will be prompted either to extend the days to continue pursuing or change the activity with the lower or equal streak points value from the widget (other activities will be grayed out) , hence, restarting this workflow again.
Strictly controlled company feed
Shows challenges, user accomplishments
A company feed with pre-defined challenge templates, banner, and user posts are given as below -
Feed will have a live challenge board where the currently active challenges will be displayed. It will be seen as part of the feed amongst other posts.
This challenge board will highlight the type of the activity, number of days required to be active for the challenge, number of people participating, number of streak points at stake, and an option to enter the challenge at any point.
If the user has entered any particular challenge, they will be notified as mentioned below:
About the number of days left in completing the challenge.
The activity they need to perform at any given time
Number of streak points earned so far from the challenge
The banner will show a live leaderboard that will be driven by the status of the respective progress tracker for the given challenge of each participant. It will be seen at the top of the company feed.
All users may share posts regarding their accomplishments.
These accomplishments will be about the streak they may have been on. Only once it has been notified on the app can the user share it.
These accomplishments will be about the new badges they may have earned. Only once it has been notified on the app can the user share it.
These accomplishments can be appreciated by other users in the form of an appreciation signature such as a like button.
These accomplishments can be pledged against by other users.
All these posts on this feed can be shared across other social media platforms.
On completing milestones users will be rewarded with specific badges as per the level
When the progress bar gets filled up, the user will be awarded a badge. The more times the bar is filled, the greater a badge will be awarded, ranging from bronze to platinum. It may start from a progress tracker bar of 5000 points. So, when the user starts his app journey he will have to earn 5000 points as a milestone to earn the first badge. After every iteration, the streak points required to get to the next badge will increase by at least 2.5 times than the last. Users will be notified whenever they earn a new badge which they can share the status of with the other users. The collected badges will be displayed below the Progress Tracker whenever they access their To-Do List.
To motivate users to continue the streak, other users can pledge streak points over the user’s post.
In case the user shares any kind of activity post (that may be, a badge, a milestone or a regular streak activity), this feature on his post will help his progress tracker get a boost if any other user pledges a set of streak points for the number of days the user continues that streak and then the original user actually accomplishes the pledged streak. The pledge can be made by other users with the next set of streaks and the set of streak points, such as 5, 10, or 15 points. If the streak is accomplished by the user for whom the pledge was put, both the users are awarded the pledged streak points. The user will be notified whenever there has been a pledge made on her/his post.
C) Result tracking
Progress tracker with habit streak
To keep a check on day-to-day progress identifying the phases of a streak.
Any sub-task when performed continuously for more than 2 days will lead to an increment (based on the complexity of the sub-task the level of which shall be preset. For example: Waking up as a sub-activity will award 5 points whereas a running activity will award 10 points) in the progress tracker bar and will continue to increment unless the streak is broken. As mentioned before, these will accumulate as streak points. It is a daily progress bar that can be found over one’s To-Do List. For a streak of 10 days, 21 days and so on, the user will be notified about the accomplishment and allowed to share the status of the same.
Another way the product would interact with the user is via nudges, which can be further classified into three categories :
Reminder: To help keep the user in check and help her/him not miss out on current activities/challenges. These nudges will pop up whenever any activity/challenge is due up and until one hour later, post which the activity/challenges will be considered skipped.
Recommend: To suggest better timings for the already chosen activity in case skipped before.
Reward: To inform and motivate the user on her/his accomplishments using the streak points and help keep the habit streak going.
5. Features Visualization (UX/Wireframes)
Accommodated the above features to create a viable user experience as shown below
Feature Order and Name
1. App Launch with Product Logo
( Image Courtesy: Google Images)
2. Sign Up Page
3. OTP Acceptance
4. Gathering Fitness Vitals
5. Calendar Sync
6. Activity Widget
7. Strictly controlled company feed
10. Social Media Integration
11. To-Do List
12. Automated sub-division of main activities into accomplishable activities.
13. Progress tracker with habit streak
6. Success Metrics
Considering the product is attempting to build healthy habits, a data-centric approach to evaluate user’s regular activity is crucial to measure the product’s success, which is as follows:
Key Metric: Number of users who completed any chosen activity in a given time frame.
To determine if the users are actually building a habit, this indicator can evaluate how many users are accomplishing the tasks/activities successfully.
Client Retention Rate
To determine the longevity of each activated user (such users who have performed at least one sub-activity for 3 days consecutively) the following indicator is required. This will help indicate the stickiness of the product.
Client Retention Rate
Retention Rate = ((E-N)/S) x 100
E:- Number of customers at end of the period
N:- Number of customers acquired during the period
S:- Number of customers at the start of the period
Active User Percentage
To determine the product usage (number of users checking in the app at least once in a day) on a daily basis following indicator is required
Daily Active User (DAU )
To determine the users lost in a given period, defined as churned users here, the following indicator is required
Client Churn Rate
Churn Rate = Churned Users / Total Users
Meet The Thought Leaders
Shatakshi Sharma is a public policy advisor, has been a management consultant with BCG and is Co- Founder of Global Governance Initiative with national facilitation of award- Economic Times The Most Promising Women Leader Award, 2021 and Linkedin Top Voice, 2021. Prior to graduate school at ISB, she was Strategic Advisor with the Government of India where she drove good governance initiatives. She was also felicitated with a National Young Achiever Award for Nation Building. She is a part time blogger on her famous series-MBA in 2 minutes.
Naman Shrivastava is the Co-Founder of Global Governance Initiative. He has previously worked as a Strategy Consultant in the Government of India and is working at the United Nations - Office of Internal Oversight Services. Naman is also a recipient of the prestigious Harry Ratliffe Memorial Prize - awarded by the Fletcher Alumni of Color Executive Board. He has been part of speaking engagements at International forums such as the World Economic Forum, UN South-South Cooperation etc. His experience has been at the intersection of Management Consulting, Political Consulting, and Social entrepreneurship
Kshitij Maheshwari is a growth and user experience-focused product manager. He has worked with some of the most innovative startups and technology companies in the bay area like Tesla, Roofstock and now is working on product lead growth for Invoice2go. Outside of work, you can find him enjoying deep discussions about the future of the Marvel universe and finding great new places to satisfy his sweet tooth.
Meet The Authors (GGI Fellows)
Kanishk graduated from Ivey Business School at Western University with a Master of Science in Management, Business Analytics. He is focusing on growing his non-profit- Grad Mentors. Grad Mentors support those who cannot access traditional graduate test-prep resources due to financial or situational limitations and those from communities underrepresented in higher education. He works at CIBC as a Strategy and Innovation Sr. Associate for Enterprise and Innovation group. Apart from work, Kanishk loves to read books, draw, and write poetry in his free time. He is involved with Footsteps, a non-profit in Bangladesh focused on improving people's livelihood and bringing social change to Bangladesh.
Aditya is a graduate from IIT Kanpur, and is currently working at Pocket FM as a product manager. He has previously worked at Disney + Hotstar and couple of startups. He is enthusiastic about working at intersection of tech, business and human psychology and is willing to continuously learn about new domains.
Arjun has graduated from BITS Pilani with a bachelor's in Computer Science and a Master's in Economics. He currently works as a Quantitative Researcher at J. P. Morgan. He supports various NGO's in the education space in the capacity of a mentor and is also the co-founder of a heritage tourism startup. Trekking is something he holds close to his heart and has completed 3 Himalayan expeditions and over 50 local treks.
Yash is an engineering graduate from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, University of Delhi and is currently working as an analyst at Everest group, a strategic research and business advisory firm. He is passionate about consulting, policy and technology and aims to work at their intersection to create a more equal space for everyone.
Shubham currently works as a Consultant for Deloitte serving major US healthcare systems, as a client, in the electronic health record domain. With the ongoing alignment in automation and web technologies, exploring the product management field to formulate and deliver ideas better. Always reachable for discussing any idea or product such as being 'too ambitious'.
If you are interested to apply to GGI Impact Fellowship, you can access our application link here.