The world has been a busy place for a while now. No wonder somewhere deep inside people recognize the need to stay healthy amidst all this, now that the pandemic has shaken things up even more.
Many people realized stay-at-home fitness was a thing, while others found a trusty friend in their smartwatch as they started running for stress relief. Fitness and activity tracking apps are indeed the dominant segments. Yet some find refuge in a meditation app, and the rest is being tucked in by a sleep tracker. The market is growing, especially in the Asia Pacific region. It might turn out to be true that many more people will adopt a technology-related job to not be so vulnerably tied to their workplace. Whether or not a surge in tech stabilizes, fitness applications are here to stay. Safe to say now is the best time to get into fitness app development. For a step-by-step on how to do that, read on. This guide gives you five steps from an idea to post-rollout maintenance.
Step 1. Define app category
What are fitness apps, anyway? Before you begin, you want to understand what your future application is. Below are the five most popular types.
As a Market Study Report paper points out, these are among the most used. Understandably so, since people enjoy being able to look back at their activity. These apps monitor daily stats, such as steps taken, distance traveled, the difference in altitude, median walking speed. Apart from the basics, there are also creative uses of data collected. For example, whether a person has a problem with their feet based on the distance between steps. Activity trackers rely on a huge array of sensors, so they tend to be feature-heavy.
Dieting and nutrition
People who are trying to get in better shape like to keep track of their meals. First and foremost, they want to easily count their daily calorie intake. Nutrition isn’t always solid, and that’s where water balance tracking comes in. These apps generally rely on user input to function, so developers should think about making it as effortless as possible.
The idea is simple. These apps act in the capacity of a trainer, providing users with exercises and training plans. User experience becomes a major point here. These apps must carefully manage workout difficulty, intensity, and duration. At the time time, the exercise must fit the user.
This category accompanies a real trainer and includes his schedule, routines, guidance, and so on. There is usually an ability to book private sessions or maintain a personalized program. These apps must have outstanding reasons for existence to retain users and often work off the trainer’s brand.
A fit body, a fit mind, as they say. Well, sometimes a fit mind isn’t the one able to handle the most, but the one who can relax after all that. Introducing: meditation apps.
Step 2. Pick the monetization model
In a modern world, these models may all be intertwined with each other, but these are the basics.
An upfront fee, then the user owns the app. A convincing price in line with the brand is sometimes challenging to achieve. Another way to spin this is to introduce subscription plans.
This model may be layered on top of any other. It all boils down to this – there are additional features or services that a user can pay for.
Divides the app into two versions: free and premium. The first one has a limited feature set or is a trial. May involve a subscription.
Users may not have to buy anything directly, but they will see ads that your app shows.
A variation of the ad model in some ways, yet the difference is in substance. Sponsored content in this case focuses on a partnership with a training center, or a wellbeing expert. They provide information, tips, videos, anything useful to the customer. You get paid for putting them through to your audience.
Step 3. Research and plan
Researching the market
It is paramount to understand the platform and the target audience. Think of who your customer is, what are their fitness goals? How will they use the app? Is it going to be available on their phone only, or can they use it on the smartwatch too? This stage might take a while, but it’s better to have a good core and iterate on it than doubling down on an unfeasible idea.
Prototyping and planning
At this stage, you know your customers well. That means you can predict what features they might enjoy in your app. With those in mind, make a prototype of the most important points. The low-fidelity design comes before the fleshed-out high-fidelity one. Don’t forget to iterate and user test as often as possible. As you get to know your app better, more technical specifications will become clearer. Then you can focus on the development of your features. Take a good stock of what you’re planning to build because users’ expectations of a fitness app are ever rising.
Fitness apps cater to specific needs and thus, certain features are common or welcome in most of them. Consider letting your users sign up with an existing account, mail, phone, or Apple ID. Afterward, they would most probably use a profile with all their data available at a glance. Workout apps especially would benefit from having a feature to type in and track user body measures. Workouts themselves need schedules, adjustability, and sufficient information.
Some apps function by tracking data, and those that mainly collect user input. Yet both could find a goal-setting feature applicable. After all, this is what helps people grow, as they set clear objectives and achieve them.
Some apps would benefit greatly from having a live streaming feature to have a shared aerobics class, for example. Other integration ideas could come from an audio streaming service or a smartwatch.
Step 4: Develop
Building the final app
After the roadmap is clear, begins development. Software is created along with planned architecture, all the while testing is continuing in between. User experience is polished, user interaction systems are executed.
At some point before release, it’s crucial to have a marketing strategy in place. After all, you can’t just release an app and hope people will come to it. You must show it to them. Think about the overall plan to roll out the app, as well as about the tactics. Consider Google or Facebook adverts, tapping the potential of social media, perhaps even partnering with influencers, or shaking hands with fitness companies.
Step 5. Post-release support
As the saying goes, the software is never really finished, it’s just the work on it that stops. Thus, as long as you believe in your app, maintain it. Within the limits of reason, of course. Also, consider the features you weren’t able to release at first. Perhaps, customers surprised you with how they were using your app. If so, adapt, make use of the circumstances. There are always more bugs to fix and marketing tactics to execute.
And with that, a complete guide is concluded. To recap, there are five steps in fitness app development. You figure out what your app is and think about the business model. Next, you research the market and plan your features. When all is laid out, you build your app and test it rigorously. Then, you have a marketing strategy ready to execute. Finally, you maintain your app after the release. Feel free to look back at these steps once more. Lastly, get inspired and you are ready to dive right into fitness app development.