“We’re considering a flow, an experience that has to be thought through, and not just each piece defined in the silo,” Cecilia said. Before, they were designing things individually using other Adobe products such as Photoshop and InDesign — now, they’re “doing it all in XD, and doing it simultaneously, so that we can be smarter about the way we deliver messages and experiences.”
Now the team is designing with experience management in mind, enhancing features to help members track their performance, monitor class usage, discover new workouts based on interests and goals, and to provide on demand audio content such as guided meditations and runs. They’re looking at what classes are the most popular, what general user behavior looks like, and using the data gained from the digital user experiences to further optimize in-club experiences. The digital and physical experiences inspire and inform one another, becoming inherently intertwined.
“We’re starting to recognize that our members are increasingly placing value on their time, convenience, and having a choice,” Cecilia said.
Challenges in form and function
Equinox has found the community aspect of its clubs to be one of its greatest strengths. It motivates members, and keeps them coming back. “When [a member] shows up and they’re greeted by the front desk, that personalized community feeling they get in the club, that’s what we really have to bring it to our digital experience — otherwise there’s a disconnect,” Cecilia said.
Any instance of disconnect is an opportunity to potentially lose a member to one of the many other luxury clubs popping up around the country. Technology, and the user experience that comes with it, is in itself a form of currency. It is a key to keeping members engaged and motivated when they’re not in a physical club.
“When we’re talking about people prioritizing their health and wellness, motivation is a huge aspect of it — and it can get derailed very quickly. The minute someone experiences any bit of friction, that’s going to throw off their motivation, and then we’ve lost them,” Cecilia said.
The goal then becomes what can the UX design team do to prevent derailing a user’s motivation? What can they build into the apps and digital experiences that will keep them engaged and encourage them to get the most out of their Equinox memberships, including use of the facilities, making the most of programming, getting results, and achieving their goals?
“Our UX journey is to set members up for success in their fitness journeys,” Cecilia said. “We want to do some of the legwork around setting and managing goals and tracking performance, so they can just spend more time doing.”
The fitness journey meets the user journey
There’s a comparison to be made between a fitness journey and a user journey.
“With a fitness journey, it’s really about recognizing what you need. There’s a lot of personalization that comes into play,” Cecilia said. “We’ve been making huge strides in our UX journeys and digital products in recognizing some of the personal needs and being more responsive to things in real time. People’s behaviors change all the time. What their goals are change all the time. That might be things they have to tell us themselves, or it might be something we just have to recognize based off their behavior.”
As the Equinox team continues to use products like Adobe XD to seamlessly connect in-person and digital experiences, there’s no doubt that other brands will be inspired to follow suit as well. Marrying online and offline user experiences isn’t for luxury brands only, it’s something all brands must consider in order to remain competitive and ensure they’re delivering the holistic experiences their users want.
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