FitConnect: Connect. Sweat. Belong

CSE 440 Staff
6 min readDec 14, 2023



Chien Le: User research, task analysis, prototyping, usability testing, digital mockup, documentation

Ray Oh: Task analysis, user research, prototyping, usability testing, digital mockup

Clarence Muchina: Prototyping, Task Analysis, Storyboard, Digital Mockup, User Research

Aaminah Alam: Task analysis, sketching, storyboarding, paper prototype, usability testing, digital mockup

Problem Overview

In a contemporary landscape marked by frequent relocations, particularly among young adults aged 18 to 30, the endeavor of establishing a robust fitness community in a new locale presents a considerable challenge. Our in-depth user research brought to light an intricate struggle faced by individuals within this demographic — engaging in sports activities upon relocating and finding like-minded people to work outor play sports with. This challenge significantly impedes their capacity to sustain an active and socially enriched lifestyle following a move. There is a web of factors that hinder the seamless integration of fitness into their new environment, underscoring the pressing need for an innovative solution that not only facilitates physical activity but also nurtures social connections within their relocated communities.

Proposed Solution

Introducing FitConnect — an innovative fitness and sports app designed for young adults who have recently relocated. FitConnect serves as a bridge between fitness enthusiasts, facilitating connections, and creating a supportive community. The app’s dynamic features include being able to easily schedule workouts that fit into your personal schedule, personalized user profiles, and geolocation-based partner matching. Users can easily find workout partners, ultimately fostering a sense of belonging in their new environment.

Design Research Goals, Stakeholders, and Participants

Our design research journey commenced by empathizing with our target users: young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 who have recently relocated to a new city. We conducted surveys and interviews at locations frequently visited by newcomers, including gyms, parks, and sports clubs. The objective was to gain insight into their challenges, requirements, and technology preferences. This approach was deemed suitable because genuine solutions arise from understanding the real needs and experiences of the end-users. Furthermore, we recognized the value of involving secondary stakeholders in the fitness ecosystem, such as fitness trainers, to gain a comprehensive perspective.

Design Research Common Themes and Problems:

1.Adjusting to a New Environment and Finding Like-Minded Individuals:

  • All participants, having relocated to new cities, find it challenging to adapt to new environments, both socially and in terms of maintaining fitness routines.
  • Each participant expressed difficulties in finding individuals with similar fitness interests, skill levels, and availability, making it challenging to engage in their preferred fitness activities.

2. Desire for Community and Technology as a Solution:

  • An underlying theme across participants is the desire for a sense of community or belonging, which they believe a fitness partner or group can provide. This suggests a need for a platform that facilitates community-building.
  • All participants believe that the idea of an app could simplify the process of finding suitable fitness partners, highlighting the potential of technology to address their challenges.

3. Awareness, Motivation, and Convenience:

  • Limited Awareness of Apps: Several participants mentioned not being aware of suitable sports or fitness apps, leading to them not using such apps.
  • Motivation and Time: Some participants face challenges related to motivation and time commitment when trying to find workout partners or sports activities. They perceive it as requiring significant effort.
  • Desire for Convenience: Participants express a desire for apps that are easy to use and provide local matches without the need for extensive outreach or data input.

4. Importance of Features:

  • There is a consensus among participants regarding the importance of features like geolocation-based partner matching, seamless integration with personal calendars, detailed user profiles, and chat/messaging functionality in an app.

Paper Prototyping and Usability Testing

During our initial development phase, we created a paper prototype to test the usability and appeal of FitConnect with the results of our design research in mind.

From that point onward, we gathered feedback from various sources during our comprehensive usability testing phase. To ensure the relevance of our insights to the target demographic, participants were carefully selected based on predefined criteria aligning with our potential user profile. Each participant received a briefing on our vision and the motivation driving the prototype, followed by the assignment of two primary tasks: finding nearby fitness partners and scheduling workouts with them.

Throughout the testing process, critical incidents emerged, primarily centered around issues related to flexibility and efficiency of use, as well as error prevention. In response to this valuable feedback, we diligently refined our paper prototype to address these concerns. The revised prototype reflects our commitment to creating a user-centric and efficient platform that aligns seamlessly with the needs of our intended audience. Below, you’ll find the updated paper prototype, showcasing the iterative improvements made based on user insights.

Digital Mockup

Our digital mockup, transitioning from paper prototypes, is crafted to support our two primary tasks: Finding Nearby Fitness Partners and Scheduling Workouts with Partners. Our overview can be seen below.

Task 1: Finding Nearby Fitness Partners

Task 2: Scheduling Workouts with Partners

Changes from paper prototype:




Opted for a clean, modern aesthetic with a color scheme that is both appealing and accessible to all users. The choice was driven by our user research, indicating a preference for interfaces that are engaging yet manageable.

We streamlined the layout for ease of navigation, ensuring that users could move from setting goals to finding partners without friction. The typography was chosen for readability and comfort, considering diverse user groups.

Based on user testing, we refined the ‘Find’ feature to include more granular control over partner preferences (Now Including skill level preference) and introduced clearer confirmation cues post-matchmaking.

Technical Constraints: We adapted features to be feasible within the technical constraints of mobile devices. For instance, the matching algorithm was simplified to ensure quick and efficient partner matching.

Digital MockUp Link


The digital mockup for FitConnect showcases a user-centered design focusing on connecting fitness enthusiasts and managing fitness routines. The two primary tasks supported are finding nearby fitness partners and scheduling workouts with them. The design uses a clean, modern aesthetic with an accessible color scheme, streamlined navigation, and readable typography. It also includes refined matchmaking features with clearer confirmation cues post-matchmaking, adapted to the technical constraints of mobile devices. The design process involved iterations based on user feedback and usability testing, aiming to make FitConnect an indispensable tool for the fitness community.



CSE 440 Staff

University of Washington Computer Science, Intro to Human Computer Interaction