Monj helps people lose weight, treat chronic illness and have a healthier lifestyle by applying leading edge behavior change science in a fun and engaging way.
Create a compelling weightloss tracker focused on celebrating personal growth that is markedly differentiated from the competition.
Weightloss data is critical in tracking the treatment of certain chronic illnesses. While this is the most measurable metric, it is by no means the whole picture of someone's health and happiness. The goal was to track a member's weight while celebrating growth beyond the scale.
The demographics of Monj users are quite broad because it serves anyone trying to lose a significant amount of weight. This can span a vast age range and any gender, although membership skews slightly female.
The key differentiator of Monj users is defined by whether they are actively trying to lose weight, or in the challenging phase of maintaining their goal weight.
I created in-depth user personas were central in informing design decisions throughout the process.
I conducted interviews with health coaches who had been working with members in-person for years, so they were a wealth of information about the member experience. Weight can be a sensitive and triggering topic, so talking to these experts was invaluable.
Upon researching the wellness and weightloss marketplace, I mostly found basic and uninspiring graphs. The line graph with the downward decline doesn't create the feeling of growth that we were looking for. The donut chart subconsciously signals incompleteness until you reach your goal.
How do we make the overall goal feel achievable and less overwhelming?
What does celebrating personal growth (not loss) look like?
After establishing the key objectives, we prioritized the key features and defined the workflow before I tackled the graphic visualization.
The tracker needed to be designed to propel users through the weight loss process with a focus on positive emotional support. Simply plotting points on a graph would not be motivating for this type of deeper treatment of weightloss.
I focused on graphics that showed outward growth rather than reduction served for the inspiration. Coaches were drawn to organic forms such as growing trees and spiraling seashells, since this journey is never linear.
Several tracking graphics were selected to continue on to the user testing phase. By using a charting graphics library, the Engineering team was able to build and modify multiple designs quickly and efficiently.
Users and coaches tested the designs and provided feedback. We narrowed the directions and refined for further testing. The flower-inspired tracker became a clear leader and was modified to be more clear and cohesive.
We broke the ultimate weightloss goal into 8 smaller and more achievable milestones which informs the coaching, curriculum and progress tracking. I designed the graphic to shows one milestone at a time, conveying weight data via concentric rings that grow until the milestone is reached.
The weightloss data displayed below focuses on progress thus far and on the next milestone. Because these numbers are small fractions of the whole, it is much less intimidating than the big daunting number of how far you have left to go.
Both coaches and users responded positively to the flower-inspired visualization to represent personal growth.
Sustainable behavior change requires intrinsic motivation. By focusing less on the number and more on the deeper reasons for losing weight, the user forms a stronger connection with the process. This leads to more sustainable results and increased happiness!
At the beginning of the process, the user discusses their inner purpose with their coach - what deeper motivation drives them, and is reminded of that each time they check their progress. They also set a goal for what success looks like, which is more tangible but still personal.
Along the way the user is celebrated, both in the app and by their coach (and team in certain programs) as they reach milestones and ultimate goal. The user is reminded of a reward they set for themself at the beginning of the journey.
Monj continues to educate, track and support users after the initial weightloss goal is met. I learned from our coaches that it's more important to stay in a general range than to worry too much about an exact number.
Here the visual reinforces the concept of the goal range by graphing weight data points on the same graphic flower shape with a shaded ring indicating the range. Today's weight is dramatically de-emphasized to reinforce the message that the exact number should not carry too much importance.
Overall, Monj users have an average 24 lb weightloss and report increased emotional wellbeing. Integrating the wireless scale increased engagement and data collection significantly.
Qualitatively, coaches reported that they love this feature because it encourages meaningful personal conversations about how to get to the next level.
Our cross-functional team worked closely together from conceptualization to building the finished product. By working directly with developers to iterate and troubleshoot, we were able to improve the product in the most efficient way.
"Both coaches and end users love visualizing progress with this graphic. It’s so different than any other weight loss program. JR came up with that idea, and it works so well at both an emotional level and as a way to convey the data. This feature is key to Monj users achieve an average weight loss 5-6%."
- Steve Harshbarger, CTO