Fitocracy for iPhone

The easiest way to reach your fitness goals.

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#4 Product of the DayAugust 18, 2014
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Brian WangMaker@brianmwang · Product, Credit Karma. CEO, Fitocracy
We launched Fito 2.4 for iPhone last week and we're really proud of it. It's one of the most significant updates we've ever released and introduces two key improvements: 1. Playback Mode, which was designed to make your workout experience a lot smoother. Before Playback, you would have to load up your workout, tap an exercise, scroll through your sets, and try to remember which set you were on and which you just finished. And with so many numbers on the screen, it was easy to lose your focus. With Playback Mode, Fitocracy now takes you through your workout, set-by-set and exercise-by-exercise. Each screen displays just the key essentials: what exercise you're doing, how much weight you're using, and how many reps you're supposed to do *at that moment*. Once you finish the set, tap the checkmark and Fitocracy will take you to the next set. 2. Free Workouts! Our growing base of personal trainers and coaches have created a bunch of free workout routines that range across all experience levels, capabilities, and equipment. It pairs amazingly well with the new Playback Mode. Just choose a workout, press "Go" and Fitocracy will take you through the workout step by step. In short, we've removed much of the cognitive load that has traditionally been a part of the Fitocracy user experience. We've been using this internally for a while and have tested with a lot of users, with great results. We hope you give this a try!
Sachin Agarwal@sachinag · Founder at Braid and Product at Nylas
Congrats on the launch, man. The hardest part of working out, for me, is actually getting access to the right equipment when I'm there. I've never found a gym that has enough benches or dumbbells or squat racks or whatever. So two requests: 1) I'd love for you to curate very basic and flexible Push and Pull workouts that had options - do 5 of these 8 based on what equipment's available, in this general order (compound movements first, iso movements later). 2) Let me search by body part when making custom workouts. Let me see all the Chest or all the Back exercises at once when making rather than having to scroll through. Exercises don't appear to be tagged with muscles hit - the Arnold Dumbbell Press I see at first isn't clear - is it a shoulder, chest, or back exercise? Combination of a couple of them? 2b) Actually, I'd also love to search by equipment as well. I'm at the dumbbell rack and I managed to get a free adjustable incline bench. I need to do some back exercises. What can I do?
Brian WangMaker@brianmwang · Product, Credit Karma. CEO, Fitocracy
@sachinag Hey Sachin, thanks for the feedback! #1 gets into the "workout recommendation" world, which we have always found interesting but often offers disappointing ROI in the real world. I think if we were starting fresh or were creating a new stand-alone tracking app, this would be easier for us to pull off. #2 actually used to be inside the app and website, but we removed it during one of our iterations in the past. We have plans to re-introduce eventually. #2b similarly, this was also available back in previous versions but got removed later on. Hopefully this returns at some point as well!
Maroun@maroun · Sr. Product Designer, Netpulse
I've been a user of Fitocracy since you guys first launched on Reddit. I absolutely love the product you guys have built and have recommended it several times throughout the years. A couple questions: 1. To me, Fitocracy hits several big areas of fitness/health: Tracking, Knowledge, Social. With all of those being such wide open fields how do you choose what to focus on next, product wise? How do you maintain focus as an organization with your users asking for improvements in all three of those. 2. If you had to choose one between Tracking, Social and Knowledge which would it be? Can you choose just one? 3. It's been a bit over a year since you guys introduced Knowledge Center, how has it improved the Fitocracy experience? What's the response been like? 4. Before the Fitocracy iPhone App was introduced (or in it's early days) I know you guys mentioned expanding the "RPG" capabilities of the product by introducing specific skills (strength, cardio, etc). What informed the shift away from "gamify-ing" fitness even further? Thanks! :)
Brian WangMaker@brianmwang · Product, Credit Karma. CEO, Fitocracy
@maroun Hey Maroun, thanks for the kind words. I'm so glad to hear that Fitocracy has continued to be valuable for you over the years. To answer your questions... 1. Deciding on what to focus on is a big challenge. I'd say that we attempt to solve a problem based on how much lasting impact it will have across our users, while factoring in our available resources and organization-wide goals. And we try to incorporate as much customer understanding into these decisions as well. We started off with Tracking, moved into Social very early on, and then expanded into Knowledge in 2013. The 2.4 release was focused on Tracking because based on *years* of customer learning, we know that the people who need the most help in their fitness journey often found our user experience to be either frustrating or intimidating. The introduction of Playback Mode and the free workouts cuts out a lot of the time required to learn how Fitocracy works and gets you straight to the workout, with minimal thinking required. Playback Mode also has the fortunate benefit of making our online coaching experience more seamless. If you're working with one of our coaches, you can now load up the workout they create for you with the tap of a button and start working out. It's really a great experience. 2. If I had to choose just one, it'd be Knowledge. We have found that most people struggle with the questions of knowing what to do and why they're doing it before they ever think about the social side of things. Social can help solve the Knowledge question, but many people aren't inclined to engage with strangers to get their questions answered. We used to think Social could be the first entry point for a new user, but now we believe it to be a supporting role for most and that it's better to get to the heart of the problem another way. To be clear, Social is an extremely important factor for many of our core users, but it usually doesn't kick in until a few weeks of usage. If you can't keep the user before that point, then it's a moot point. 3. The Knowledge Center was the first time we started getting interesting content in front of our users on a regular basis. The Knowledge problem is best solved with content and having our contributors publish articles on a regular basis ensures users are continually enriched. We get a lot of traffic to the Knowledge Center so I would say response is quite good. 4. We decided that the value proposition behind deeper gamification was too limited. I think if we started introducing things like character classes and stats, it would've appealed greatly to a small base but would ultimately end up confusing and uninteresting for most others. When combined with the insight that most people struggled with the Knowledge component first and foremost, it became clear that we should focus our efforts elsewhere. This hasn't always been an easy thing to handle. Many of our most passionate users have long complained that we've seemingly abandoned gamification and our original vision.
Maroun@maroun · Sr. Product Designer, Netpulse
@brianmwang Fascinating, that's awesome that Knowledge has had such a powerful impact. You guys did put together one hell of a contributor list, I remember being really impressed with who was on there when it launched. One last question: - A lot of big products have been splitting their apps up into focused use cases. I.e Facebook -> Facebook messenger. Do you ever envision splitting up the Fitocracy app into standalone apps to cater to the Knowledge, Social, and Tracking components?
Brian WangMaker@brianmwang · Product, Credit Karma. CEO, Fitocracy
@maroun Unbundling features into their own apps (so called "app constellations") is an attractive idea to us. We did this somewhat with the release of Fitocracy Macros (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/...). We've entertained the idea internally for a little while, but don't have immediate plans to break things apart yet. Personally, I'd love to have a lighter weight Tracking app and then a separate Social app that I could easily switch back and forth between. However, I have no idea how this move would affect discoverability and usage. As stated earlier, Social is often not really sought after explicitly by new users. So I could see lots of our core users downloading the social app, but many new users missing it completely. And maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing if it meant a more focused and stickier experience, but it's hard to say.
Andy Rosenberg@andythegiant · marketing @joinroostr @aaptiv @peloton
Use this.
David Spinks@davidspinks · CEO, CMX Media
Congrats Brian! Awesome to see the platform continue to improve. Going to have to give some of those free workouts a shot.
Brian WangMaker@brianmwang · Product, Credit Karma. CEO, Fitocracy
@DavidSpinks Thanks Dave! We hope you like it. You know, we actually have so many workouts there now that it might take a little bit of time to scroll through 'em. That's a new problem to solve!
Will Lam@will_lam · PM & Marketer
Love Fitocracy @brianmwang and got a lot out of the Body Recomposition course earlier this year! Just one question - why did you guys take out the performance view for mobile? I'm pretty forgetful when it comes to remembering exactly what my PR's previously were (especially in Kg's now that I'm doing oly lifting).
Brian WangMaker@brianmwang · Product, Credit Karma. CEO, Fitocracy
@will_lam Glad to hear it, Will! Re: performance view, we didn't remove it, though it's possible we changed the flow at some point. While in the exercise list view, tap on the exercise and then tap on the "Info" button (the "i" in the circle). The History tab shows you your performance.
Will Lam@will_lam · PM & Marketer
@brianmwang Oooh. Derp. Yeah, it wasn't apparent to me, but thanks for the heads up.
Brian WangMaker@brianmwang · Product, Credit Karma. CEO, Fitocracy
@will_lam No problem! If you missed it, chances are it's easy to miss for others too.
Will Lam@will_lam · PM & Marketer
@brianmwang that being said, maybe it's an appropriate feature request to break out the performance view with its own dedicated area in the app? :)