An app-based platform aimed at reducing the social anxieties people feel when going to the gym.


My Role: Lead Designer*
What I Did: User Interviews, Personas, Feature Prioritization, User Flows, Wireframe & UI Layouts, Branding, Illustration, Usability Tests, High-Fidelity Prototyping

Project Type: Mobile App
Software: Figma, Illustrator, & After Effects
Timeline: 10 weeks

*This is a personal project, so...duh


Humanform is the student project I created during my General Assembly User Experience Design Course in Spring of 2020. Throughout the course I worked through an entire UX design process from start to finish.

I loved every second and creating every pixel. This project affirmed my desire to transition my design career into UX Design.

You can the view full, more-detailed Figma Case Study here and a Figma clickable prototype here.

The Problem I'm Trying to Solve

Before we get into the details, I want ask you something: How do you feel about going to the gym? Beyond the sweaty, physical part. What kind of state of mind does the environment put you in?

Most people would say they feel uncomfortable, anxious, and even overwhelmed.
So how can we help people feel more comfortable? Enter: Humanform.

Essentially, it's a comprehensive library of mental-health focused fitness content. The cornerstone feature is its repository of blog posts and guides about holistic wellbeing beyond the physical. It also includes interviews with professional athletes that highlight the mental aspect of athleticism. These are meant to help improve a user's confidence in their own level of physical ability by humanizing the people that seem like invincible heroes and showing how we are all susceptible to mental anxieties around fitness.

Beyond the wellbeing features, Humanform also contains functional workout how-to's and detailed guides on various gym equipment that show you how to actually use them. How to load weights on a machine, how to move your body without hurting yourself, and how to get the most effective workout. These guides are meant to help familiarize novice gym-goers with the machines and equipment they'll encounter in a gym environment, so they feel more confident while working out.

Figuring out the Features

When I first started the feature prioritization for Humanform, I put a lot of focus on features that only addressed the physical fitness. But soon, I started to realize that the product I was building wasn’t solving my original problem: Reducing Anxiety in the Gym. It seemed like I was on the way to building just another workout app––Clearly I needed to pivot. So I read back through to my user interviews and realigned my feature priorities to better focus on my main goal. That helped me come up with what I call a Comfort Assessment that I hoped would differentiate Humanform from other fitness app competitors.

To provide a truly personal user experience, Humanform uses a Comfort Assessment Quiz to tailor the content guides to match the user's fitness comfort level. The quiz asks just a few questions and is structured to focus on how much experience the user already has with gym equipment and gauges their emotional comfort around using new equipment.

After completing the quiz, a feed of recommended guides and mental health related posts is placed prominently at the top of the user's dashboard. It's this feature that differentiates Humanform from other typical fitness-focused apps and helps the user address not only their physical health, but their holistic mental health and wellbeing.

User Interviews Set the Goal Posts

I interviewed 5 people with varying experience working out in gyms–from life-long gym goers to those who have never had a membership. From my user interviews, I was able to pinpoint these common concerns:

They Feel Self-Conscious
Most interviewees feel self-conscious working out in-gym. They feel as if they’re being watched and judged by other, seemingly expert members. They don’t want to appear like they don’t know what they’re doing.

They're Confused
Most interviewees expressed a confusion with how most gym equipment works and they don’t know where to go to learn how to use the equipment. They also don’t want to hurt themselves, so they rarely try to test the equipment to see if they could figure it out.

They Need a Clear Plan
All interviewees said they can only workout in a gym environment if they have a clear plan of what exercises they’re going to do during their session.

User Persona: Robin

• Active on Instagram & Pinterest

• Aware of new lifestyle trends, but not first to adopt

• Social; Spends time out with friends most weekends

• Runs outside occasionally; Goes on walks and hikes

• Goes to classes at boutique fitness studios (pilates, yoga, etc)

Goals & Needs
• Wants to improve overall fitness

• Somtimes watches workout videos on Instagram

• Feels self-conscious in gyms

• Does not have a gym membership, but is considering joining one

• Thinks gyms are more for serious weightlifters and are not a place she belongs

Usability Test & User Flow

The main takeaway from my testing was that my original flow, which required the user to both create and account and also complete the comfort assessment quiz before being able to actually use the app was frustrating to some users. They just wanted to get in and poke around before they jumped through all the sign-up hoops.

So I decided to allow users to test-drive the app and view some content before urging them to create an account. You can see the streamlined approach in the final user flow above.

Visual Design

At this point I began visual design explorations and high-fidelity prototyping. This was honestly my favorite part. I landed on a name, created a color palette, visual styles of elements, and custom illustrations to support the images and copy I'd developed.

It was important to me that the UI styling projected an air of approachability and human-ness. I leveraged bright and energetic colors and purposely avoided all-caps italic typefaces and "HULK-SMASH" wording that is all too prevalent in other fitness-focused apps. My goal was to create a visual style that was confident and clear, but not aggressive.