Home Tab Redesign

Providing motivation and guidance through data




Interaction Designer

Design vision and strategy
Generative research
Literature review
Concept testing


3 designers
1 researcher


3 months



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Tempo is a digital personal trainer with on demand classes. It uses computer vision technology that can correct form, count reps, detect weights, etc.

The challenge

Despite Tempo's promise of digitized personal training, a large scale quant study found that our users generally felt lost. They did not know what to do next in order to achieve their fitness goals and struggled to find the right workout content.

My role

I was one of two main designers on this ambiguous challenge. I was in charge of conducting research, competitive analysis, wireframing, testing, and delivering the north star vision for the "home tab" experience, while my partner did the same for the "discover tab."

“Design a better method for content delivery so that our users can more easily find their next step.”

Stakeholders: "We should be like Netflix, but for fitness."

Most stakeholders hypothesized that machine learning to surface personalized content would be the solution to this problem, as seen in products like Netflix or Spotify. 

I wasn't yet convinced that the use cases were the same for our product - so I set out to better understand what our existing research had to say about the root problem.



The spectrum of content finding

While reviewing an existing survey, I discovered that most days, users want Tempo to tell them what to do, but on other days users have a specific idea of what they’re looking for. In other words, there is a spectrum of content finding needs.


How well is our current product accommodating this spectrum of content finding?

When users want guidance, they aren't finding it.

When users know what they want, they struggle to find it.


Data analytics and diary studies show that users routinely ignore recommendations put forth by our product like the one shown below -  but we weren't quite sure why yet.

Past surveys indicate that users feel like they have to sort through a sea of irrelevant, randomly categorized content - in addition, we were missing basic search functionality (search bar, sorting, etc.)


Helping our users find the right next step

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Until this point, I had been working mostly with our lead researcher to make sense of all the existing research we had done - when it came time to move into the ideation phase, one more designer joined the team to tackle the HMW statement.


I worked with the other designer to synthesize the research I had pulled together, and brainstorm ideas.

Once we began understanding the WIDE scope of the problem, we realized quickly that we were trying to actually trying to solve a subset of three smaller problems.



In order to prioritize the sub-problems within the overall information architecture, we wanted to understand which problem(s) the “home tab” or “front door” experience should solve.


Three divergent "home tab" designs


For concept testing with Tempo users, we designed three home tabs that each solved a different sub-problem of content delivery. The goal of the study was to ask users to choose which home tab would most meet their needs when showing up to workout with Tempo.

Though we assigned different designers to craft each of these concepts, all of us worked together to agree upon what features would exist for each concept.


Concept 1: "Smart Browse"


Personalized feed of content based on goal and likes


I want to find my next class, but I’m overwhelmed by all the content here that isn’t relevant to me.


Michelle C.

Concept 2: "Progress Map"


Relies heavily on data, metrics, etc. to explain workout recommendation and shows them where they are relative to their goal (progress)


I’m unmotivated because I’m not sure if this class is right for my goals & how it fits in my overall training.


Julia Park


Concept 3: "The Coach"


Builds a conversation between Tempo and the user to adjust the content recommendation as needed


My needs change day to day. How do I make Tempo work for me when I need something different?


Julia and Michelle



Concept testing results

7 out of 9 users chose The Progress Map as their preferred home tab.

We learned that users want to be greeted with guidance and motivation - and that guidance is best given by contextualizing their workouts with data, and motivation is best provided by giving them a sense of where they're at in their fitness journey.


Recommendations are more trusted when explained using insights from data

A few good recommendations is far better than a wall of content

Most days, users show up with only a limited amount of time to work out and want Tempo to just tell them what to do. This was a very different use case than leisurely browsing in Netflix;  users said that "Smart Browse" felt overwhelming.

When users show up to Tempo, they want to be motivated by visually seeing a goal to work towards.

Currently in the product we don’t work with the users to set a long term goal, which makes users feel like they’re aimlessly working out.

When asked if there was anything they would add from the other concepts to the Progress Map home tab, nearly every user asked for the check-in feature from The Coach.


Users explained that in the current product, even if they want to take the recommendation from Tempo, there’s no way to work with Tempo to ask for a slightly different one if something doesn't quite work for them.

We are now able to propose an information architecture that organizes the 5 use cases for discovering content.



Deliverable: North Star Vision

The results from the concept testing were surprising to a large portion of the company, because it revealed that the biggest problem of finding the right next step couldn’t be solved by a better search/browse experience alone.

In order to actually address the problem of guidance towards a user’s next step, I was tasked with envisioning a system for long term progress tracking and goal setting.


The team put together a vision deck in the form of a user story that was presented to the entire company, including leadership. Since I was the designer for The Progress Map, I lead the re-design of the home tab which meant having to think about how to weave in the progress map as a system of assessments and celebrations.

The vision was given directional approval; thus, this vision project became the roadmap for the next few quarters. We began scoping out the first tiny steps we could build towards this vision.


Lessons learned

  • I had to become comfortable with a LARGE amount of ambiguity and uncertainty when faced with a large problem statement. While the solution is so clear in hindsight, I'd say the final proposal only became clear about 80% of the way through the process.

  • I learned to be an effective design partner by using constant communication, sharing of ideas, and frequent design crits.

  • I realized that the best way to convince ELT of a design is to use direct supporting evidence from user research. For the sake of documentation brevity for this case study, I left out much of the data I had pulled together to bolster this design, such as:

    • From a large survey, we know that only 49% of our users feel "motivated" when they show up to work out, as opposed to 98% after a workout. Therefore, the original assumption by leadership​ that those who show up to work out don't need to be motivated was fundamentally flawed.

    • Nearly 60% of users from another survey indicated that progress metrics would prevent them from becoming inactive

  • One thing I'd love to explore further the role of "praise" and celebration of accomplishments even before the user hits their progress milestone.