I’ve used several interval timers in the past but always found them either ugly or unintuitive to use, so I decided to design my own.
I wanted to create something with a very simple interface which would work in either portrait or landscape views to accommodate whichever exercise you may be performing. From this the idea of Pulse was born. Pulse consists of a weekly dashboard to keep track of how many workouts you’ve performed and the ability to add multiple customisable HIIT sessions. The interface is kept purposefully simple and sleek so the user can focus on setup and performing their workout.
To understand the issues with existing interval timers, I conducted some research by performing a HIIT session myself and recorded the problems I encountered whilst exercising. They were as follows:
- Set up of intervals was confusing in some cases. Wording didn’t make sense.
- Whilst exercising I wasn’t focused on my phone but the exercise I was performing.
- I required a method of letting me know when each interval had started/ended without having to look at my screen.
- When I did glance at my phone I wanted to quickly see how long was left during each intense exercise.
- When performing exercises like a plank I moved the phone so it was in front of my face, however adjusting the phone to the correct orientation during a rest and setting it the right way up seemed an effort during valuable breather time.
- What if my phone wasn’t accessible for exercises such as swimming?
Problems to solve
- Whilst exercising focus will be on the task at hand and user will not want to interact with their device once the workout is underway.
- Sound used to mark countdown to workout start, rest and end.
- Apple Watch integration for easier access to app whilst exercising.
- Haptic feedback on iPhone (if in exercise band) and Apple Watch to add extra feedback to user whilst in motion.
- Orientation of phone changes depending on exercise being performed.
Apple Watch integration for easier access to app whilst exercising seemed like a no-brainer. The ability to workout without having to constantly check your phone removes friction.
Microinteractions and motion used to enhance the experience. Audio is also utilised to notify the user of workout and rest periods.