User Experience: My Fitness Pal

With the 2011 Fargo Marathon fast approaching, many of us at Sundog are preparing to run. I’ll be honest with you: I am not a fan of running. In fact, I would say that this race might mark the end of my short-lived running career. In addition to preparing for a 6.2 mile run, I am also taking part in a weight loss challenge. I thought since I would be training to run, I might as well start eating right and losing weight as well. During the last month, I have started to rely heavily on a free app on my Android phone called My Fitness Pal.

My Fitness Pal is my fitness diary. I keep track of everything I eat and my exercise. When you start using My Fitness Pal, you will record your current weight, your goal weight and other information about your body type and lifestyle. You then get to choose how many pounds you would like to lose per week. Once you have entered this information, My Fitness Pal generates your calorie intake goal for each day. Now you are ready to start keeping track of what you eat and your daily exercise. My Fitness Pal has a great database of foods. The search function works great; there are only a few times that I haven’t been able to locate a food that I have eaten.

My Fitness Pal has provided a great user experience. In addition to being available as an app on my phone, My Fitness Pal is also available on the web. When I enter information in on the website it automatically syncs with the app on my phone. Whether I am on the go or sitting at my desk, I am always able to enter my information how it is most convenient for me. The design of both the app and the website is very simple, I am able to find all of the information very easily. Sometimes it’s easy as a designer to want to do too much when it comes to the design of a site. It’s good to take a few steps back and make sure that in addition to good design, the user is able to easily find what they need. At Sundog, we have started to think about how websites would appear as mobile sites first, before we think of them as full websites. This way we are able to focus on the most important information first. Mobile versions of websites have a much smaller area to work with, so when we first lay out a site we only focus on the most important information a user needs. Once we have a layout of the mobile version of the site, it is very easy to move into the full website design. We know what information is the most important and we can add additional information as we move forward. It gives us a good basis of what the user is most interested in when visiting the site to create the best user experience.

To anyone trying to improve their health and get in better shape, I would recommend My Fitness Pal. It is totally free and most importantly, very easy to use.


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