Let’s face it, a lot of people have a rocky relationship with gyms. All of us want to get in shape, but it doesn't always convert into putting the work in. It’s estimated that around 14% of the US population has a gym membership, but 80% of them don’t use it. That’s a lot! (source)
Most fitness centers are aware of this problem but don’t have a clear solution. Some try investing more money into better equipment, creating a better juice bar, or stack up more types of classes. Unfortunately, this is mostly shiny stuff that doesn’t address the real issue - people’s motivation.
The team researched gyms with high member engagement and found out that constant communication between trainers and members is a key factor in helping people stay on track.
That is when the foundation of ActiveLinxx was laid.
Knowing that communication is the driving factor of gym members being successful in their fitness goals, ActiveLinxx contacted us to begin working on their personal trainer app development.
The app’s main pillar is integrated connectivity - members and trainers would sync on fitness programs, with feedback given based on fitness metrics. To facilitate help for the gym members, trainers need to have a very good overview of all their trainees and the special coefficients that help to prepare custom exercises, to reach their fitness goals.
The app provides an internal chat that needs to be able to house more than just written text. Trainers should be able to send multimedia files like short videos about how a certain exercise is correctly performed, as well as audio files that add more context to the program. Internal videos were uploaded to the app so that trainers can share relevant resources with their trainees to improve the way they are doing the exercises.
Moving away from the user-facing features, a few other critical features need to be present. One of them is the analytical tracking of members’ workout routine, which they manually entered after each session. The app then compiles it into fitness coefficients. Trainers would be able to create pre-defined reports with them in order to get the full picture of the trainee’s progress and tweak their programs if needed.
Wrapping it all up, a comprehensive admin panel will need to be present for the app’s team in order to provide customer support on a user level whenever needed.
WORKING OUT THE MVP
Our digital studio was brought on board to bring ActiveLinxx’s idea to life by MVP development. We approached to project systematically: pen out the core functionality to fit the client’s budget and timeframe, develop the app through the agile methodology, and ship it bug-free.
As with most of the MVP’s which we’ve launched, the client gave us a list of features that the app would have. Since time and money are also factors in building the concept, together with ActiveLinxx, we filtered through functionalities to keep only the ones that we’re the DNA of the app.
First off, people needed a way to create their accounts. We’ve chosen MongoDB as the central database, which enables us to save data to the cloud and use it for all the other functions. Tracking and analytics are also saved through, in different silos, to ensure clean data administration.
After users could create their account and their data was saved safely, the app’s UI and the whole UX was our next target. The framework of choice? React Native. This allows us to easily build the app for all smartphone operating systems, and deploy changes without needing to spend precious time individually tweaking different OS versions.
To make the backend work well in real-time, we’ve added Firebase into the mix to ensure a smooth interaction whenever an app admin makes a change in the back-end. We highly recommend Firebase for any project which involves collaboration, such as ActiveLinxx’s chat and admin panel.
Finally, to make sure people will have an overall high quality experience, we’ve put on our bug-squashing hat and thoroughly QA’d our project on all platforms.
Our team was tasked with the native app development of ActiveLinxx’s idea. By setting up initial workshops, the client transmitted their vision effectively and we caught on quickly. By using efficient tools which gave us real-time status on development progress helped us stay on track, making the whole development cycle run smoothly with minimal revisions. We delivered the fully functioning, bug-free MVP well within the timeline.