August 19, 2013
For the greater part of my twenties, my body has fluctuated between 145 lbs and 170 lbs. I wish I could blame it on multiple pregnancies, but unfortunately 1) I’m a dude, and 2) even if I were a woman, this weight mutability would still be attributed to my marginal variations in mac and cheese cravings rather than the actual production of children. It’s not that I haven’t tried to track my diet; the problem is that I have tried to track it, but inevitably end up failing to keep up with it. This consistency issue is an important one for Ken Miller and Todd Werth, and it’s a leading principle in their design for Temple.
Miller and Worth are the cofounders of InfiniteRed, a design and development studio that provides custom mobile and Web app development, as well as RubyMotion consulting and mentoring services. Temple is the startup’s first product offering, and was released just last month. It’s a health and fitness tracking app that aims to improve health tracking consistency. Temple accomplishes this by focusing on the user experience rather than following the data-driven approach around which most health monitoring apps are designed.
If you’ve monitored your dietary and fitness habits, then you know how much work actually goes into keeping track of everything. Most apps on the market require that the user put in an actual effort in recording their activities: how many servings did you consume? What time did you eat? What activity did you engage in, and how many calories did you burn? Simply: they require users to spend copious amounts of time calculating figures and inputting this data. What’s even worse is that these efforts must be exerted across multiple apps (one app for calories consumed, one app for fitness activities, etc.). Being health-obsessed themselves, Miller and Werth have tried most of these apps, and have found that it’s difficult to keep up with any one app over the long-term.
“[Those] other apps just ask way too much from the user – just way too much info. And, really, [users] don’t need that,” says Miller. “The real benefit of [health] tracking isn’t all of that intricate data…In the long run, consistency [of tracking] over time is what matters more [than these details].”
In monitoring one’s diet and fitness, data is certainly important, but Miller and Worth recognize that the specific details behind each data point don’t matter. Rather, they’ve recognized that the consistency with which people use health tracking apps is more helpful for users. Based on this principle, they designed Temple with a focus on the user experience: how could they keep users engaged in the long-term? Whether you’re a veteran in using health tracking or just starting out, Temple is designed to keep you involved over time. Instead of needing to record specific values, users just tap to record each and any activity they perform throughout the day. The interface is simple, featuring clean symbols and minimal text, rather than a text-heavy design that has become standard for health monitoring apps.
“We designed Temple to be your companion over time, instead of just your short-term fling.”
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