The majority of people reviewing UX or product design applications are impressed by 'pretty looking portfolios' with nice colours, typography and whitespace layout. They have absolutely no idea that they are looking solely at visual design and UI design, and not taking into consideration the UX skill of the applicant.
They then invariably demand that every single applicant do a '3-hour' design challenge to 'prove' their UX skill, and this only goes to show that the company and person demanding the challenge are not worth speaking to any further. You absolutely cannot do any meaningful UX work in 3 hours. The people who 'win' at these design challenges just grab a UI kit and 'throw' some UI elements on the page and there is no UX involved at all.
In UX we decide what problem to solve e.g if you take the example 'a method of personal transport to get from A to B', what features are important? Back when the first cars were made, the answers were deemed to be wheels, an accelerator, brake and steering wheel - this is the FUNCTION. It should involve solid user research, then UX Design, then user testing to get the product right.
In UI we decide the look and feel, e.g. the body style, the way the door handles work - electrical or wind down (usability).
As a tutor at Career Foundry, every student selects 1 of 4 concepts, one of which is a health app. Every student who works on this project without fail mentions that people are too busy and stressed and it strikes me that this is either a problem of society or a problem of individual mindset, or both. It makes me wonder if there could be a way to attack the root causes rather than just the symptoms - and this could be a unique approach for a student.
This also goes over into the mental health area. Rather than just accepting ones lot in life, an example of changing individual mindset is that finding remote work takes back around 3 hours every single day from cessation of the commute, which can then be spent on a 30-60 minute jog and some home weights for example.
This specific solution won't suit 100% of people - but when finding health improvements, the first step is to understand an individuals' current situation and find appropriate and attainable solutions which do improve health over time.
As an ex-personal trainer I have some insight to offer into health and fitness which may be useful. The great majority of people doing fitness training who are under 35 ish are only doing it to look better e.g. be thinner or more attractive. Very few understand the long term implications of really looking after their body e.g. such as avoiding strokes or Alzheimer's.
Anyone who hasn't got into a fitness regimen by the time they are 35 will most likely never do it. e.g. most baby boomers who are 65+ now are very sedentary and in places like Germany where I live, they eat meat and diary 3 times per day and are having stents put in all over themselves to prevent heart attacks (not kidding).
Secondly, the vast majority don't have the knowledge to create or motivate themselves to follow a health plan. So, when a student states:
"Enables users to create their own health plan, provides support and offers rewards program to keep users motivated, happier and healthier"
I would encourage careful consideration - because 'creating their own plan' isn't likely to happen (they would be able to choose goals and answer questions about current status though). The other thing is that people are motivated by different things, I for example am not at all interested in rewards and I don't react well to badges or gamifications.
I prefer seeing results over time on a graph which shows a trend*, or other things. You will find that there are groups of people who are motivated in different ways, and that is what your user research and personas are there to find and document.
*remember also though that on the other side of 40 or 50, some users may be declining and so trend graphs may not be motivational. It could be more motivational to show how far better they are than the average person of their type (gender, age, height)
My thoughts on people who are time poor is that they will not spend time entering data into an app - the app needs to automatically collect data e.g. from exercising/sleeping/other things , and there are many items like smart watches which help with this now. You can utilise this in any design. I'm sure that in the future it will be possible to to take a photograph of a meal and have AI enter the approximate nutrition points into an app.
The route to true health is a long term balanced approach for example where every day the body has enough water, sleep, nutrition, exercise to support itself in the longer term. Your body today is more affected by what you did yesterday, quite affected by what you did in the last week, but less affected by what you did 10 years ago - but it all has a cumulative effect. Conversely today is the most important time for health. Therefore it's important to concentrate on the 'now' when it comes to health, fitness and longevity.
Summing up, anyone creating a health app has an opportunity to do something simple enough, but that which breaks out of the mould of how everyone else in the industry has been approaching this subject. With some 'out of the box' thinking.
I recommend reading about human motivational types. e.g here is a start, and remember that there are many theories, some are likely bogus.
When building habits, certain chemicals are released in the brain, these same chemicals are what keeps people addicted to social media. If the experience designer understands mental process such as these and can harness them for the purpose, the best chance at a very exciting project outcome results.
Dopamine and user flows can be utilized in a fitness app to create a rewarding and engaging experience that encourages regular health improvements. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with motivation, reward, and pleasure, and by incorporating elements that trigger dopamine release in the brain, such as gamification and positive feedback, a fitness app can boost user motivation and adherence to healthy behaviors. User flows, or the sequences of actions users take within an app, can also be designed strategically to guide users towards regular health improvements. Here are some specific ways dopamine and user flows can be used in a fitness app:
By combining elements that trigger dopamine release, such as gamification, positive feedback, social interaction, personalization, and clear user flows, a fitness app can create an engaging and rewarding experience that encourages regular health improvements. The key is to keep users motivated, engaged, and empowered to make positive changes to their health and fitness habits.
Certainly! Here's an example of how dopamine and user flows can be utilized in a fitness app to encourage regular health improvements:
By incorporating dopamine-triggering elements and designing a clear user flow that includes tracking progress, providing personalised suggestions for next steps, offering feedback and reinforcement, and personalising the experience, a fitness app can encourage regular health improvements by keeping users engaged, motivated, and empowered on their fitness journey.
--End of AI--
The above AI questions and answers have been included to show how AI can be used to generate ideas, however it is no substitute for a talented Product Designer's thought process - because to ask the right questions you have to have done the research, be knowledgeable about the subject and/or industry, select the right problems to solve and create concept(s) for products.
User has previously set up the app and generally exercises on weekdays around 10am with a smart watch and prefers vegan food options.
App: you jogged 5km in 36 min, how did it go?
User: I kept stopping to stretch because I have pain and tightness in my upper hamstrings
App: I suggest this hip and hamstring yoga session tomorrow (link), then try a jog the day after.
If your training shoes are over 2 years old it's time to get some new ones. You can log your shoes and km's with me in this app.
User clicks 'Trend-lines'
Trend-lines: If you keep jogging 5km 3 times per week with 2 x 30 min yoga sessions and a 2 -hr bikeride each week you'll have 2% less body fat in a month, and will increase your cardio fitness to over 70% better than the average person of your age.
App: A brunch of fresh orange juice, dried fruit muesli, fruit salad, vegan yoghurt and cinnamon would be ideal now to balance your recent nutritional intake..or click here for other nutritionally balanced ideas.
User: takes photo of breakfast and uploads it
Every 3-6 months the app can offer a health checkin where blood results are also uploaded to keep the user on track.
The above experience is keeping data entry for the time-poor user to a minimum, is using those data points from exercise, sleep and nutritional inputs and feedback from the user themselves on how they are feeling to constantly direct their health journey for continually better outcomes.
I don't know of any health experiences doing that right now, including with personal trainers.
... and you think that UX is pretty UI, you're going to end up with a Product Design with a crappy experience that no-one wants to use because it forces people to do tons of data entry or searches that they don't have time for and doesn't have a clue how to keep people motivated and on-track.
If you're a UX Designer who's frustrated with the industry and being judged as a UI Designer, you might like to sign up for my Portfolio Clinic Event which aims to help you land your dream job in UX or Product Design
A UI/UX designer salary is the same as talking about a Product Designer salary because they're usually interchangeable job specs
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