Making time in the evening for both exercise and cooking can be a real challenge. This is a story UX Design and Product Management techniques to create a mobile app for improving nutrition in health and fitness enthusiasts using personal data.
As part of my Product Management course at General Assembly, I was tasked with creating a digital product or service of my choice, the result of which was a mobile app named Fuel-Up. The project was designed to help me understand my users, analyse the market, and outline my assumptions. I needed to validate my assumptions using experimentation and an MVP, to then create a clear roadmap for product development.
My initial assumption was that people struggle to make time in the evening to fit in both cooking and exercising. However, I found that no one would pay to solve this problem, so I pivoted. The new problem I found was that people tend not to know what to eat after exercise to give them maximum benefit.
What I did
Before I began my discovery phase I created a Lean Canvas with the aim of validating each point within the canvas as I went along to ensure my product would be something unique that people would want to buy. I interviewed people who exercise at least three times per week, paying particular attention to their perception of value around saving time in the evening when cooking and exercising.
I found that not enough people were willing to pay to resolve the problem, but they would pay to receive personalised exercise feedback and nutrition advice. So, I pivoted and began defining my idea based on this new piece of insight. I conducted market sizing and competitor research to help understand where the opportunities were that my product could exploit. The goal for the user changed from wanting to save time, to determining what would offer them the most nutritional value once they have finished exercising.
I created an affinity map and a subsequent persona. After this I created an MVP which used text messages to test whether users would continue to use my service over an extended period of time. I then created a user flow and wireframes to test on users. As an exercise at the end of the project I wrote a number of user stories that I could use in the development stage.
This project helped me transition into Product Management and UX Design. Within one week of finishing the course I got my first Product Management job by demonstrating knowledge gained through this project.
My final presentation score was 8 out of 10, putting me in the top 5 for the class (out 25 class members)
“ A very interesting space with a lot of opportunity, some very good market research to size the opportunity. Fantastic understanding of the process, great early pivot from the initial customer interviews, good work with talking to so many people and your clear efforts in customer development.”
- Chris Bradley, GA Course Leader
If this was a live project the next step would be further validation. I would test my MVP on a wider and more varied audience to further validate need and perceived value. I would also expand on the user journeys I have created in order to generate a wider list of features for my product roadmap. From here, I would begin building it in iOS (and teach myself how to code an app).
The product roadmap would be challenging and exciting, but based around providing as much value as quickly as possible. The biggest challenge would be creating an algorithm that could equate the type of exercise and measurements to a certain meal, taking into account the users preferences and nutritional needs. If this was successful, the next step would be exploring the onboarding process. This would be key in creating an early sense of value and connection with the product.