We began our research by talking to people with varied activity levels, from athletes to couch potatoes. We asked them to tell us about their physical activities and go into the when, how, & why. We also talked about their goals, what helped habits stick and what challenges they were facing.
All exercise is tracked through Strava or Fitbit and automatically syncs to Athlon. The game is a two-week competition. At the end of every day, the team with the most minutes in each category earns points and moves up the standings.
I began the branding process by creating a logo. Having done the branding matrix, it was clear that the logo should indicate activity & movement while also feeling approachable and fun. It was more about community than it was about performance.
After consulting with the team and testing several concepts, we agreed on a direction. The final form hints at the community aspect using the circular shape. The two sharp lines suggest competition, as if they are racing each other to form a discreet outline of a capital letter A.
Having a simple and clean form for the logo meant that other graphic elements could be more expressive. After all, our games are silly in nature and we wanted the platform to feel just as fun and low stakes. Our platform would have many opportunities for users to interact with a virtual competitor or coach, so I created Ace, our mascot, to fill this role.
We created several different games that encourage different intensities of activity. Some games are solo challenges intended to keep habits up in between social games. Others involve larger teams or just one friend you have an ongoing feud with.
Most importantly, any exercise counts, and most games have low time commitments to begin with, lowering entry barriers for users that are establishing habits.
Many of our users don't think of themselves as "athletes". But they still show up and put in the work. Most fitness apps are about performance, so they don't feel like welcoming communities to our users. By creating more casual exercise experiences, we're able to help establish habits that feel fun instead of intimidating.
Our dashboard reflects more of the silliness & fun by focusing our social feed on game outcomes rather than the exercise behind them. The games section is where users launch games and get a snapshot of how they're performing.
A great example of how whimsical Athlon games are is Battleshorts, an exercise-themed remake of the game Battleship. To cover your opponent in dirty laundry, you've got to exercise. You'll earn shorts based on how long you exercise.
This game format is short and sweet, usually resulting in a winner after two or three long workouts. Its competitive nature and built-in triggers make it hard to put down, encouraging re-match after re-match.