Designing a User-Centric Fitness Website
Scroll through the websites of a few fitness companies and you might see a trend. Does it seem like the focus is all on promoting what they do and gaining membership? You might be thinking, well of course, that’s what having a fitness site is for, and it is one of the primary reasons. But consider for a moment what value members and potential members take away from this approach. Then consider that fitness is a heavily saturated market with plenty of competition.
If your web presence is too internally focused on meeting only your needs, (new signups, providing information online to cut down on administrative calls, etc.), you’re missing an opportunity to provide true value to your customer. Having a user-centric focus can be what sets you apart from the competition and what draws people to you. In any relationship, people stay where their needs are met. Providing for the needs of users is a strategy that is often overlooked in the website development and design process.
So, what are the ways that you can create a user-centric fitness site? The answers may vary depending on the type of establishment that you run, the demographic that you serve and a host of other factors. The first step is to change your perspective and try to understand and even anticipate what your users, members and prospective members want and need, when they come to your site. Again, this list may look different from company to company but the idea remains the same.
Some of the best insight comes from looking at your day to day operations and interactions with your members. What are some common questions that they ask? Are they nutrition related? Do they need assistance with the equipment? Do they ever have requests or offer feedback? Taking note of these things can give you the insight necessary to build a site that your users will want to engage with.
Here are a just a few examples of user-centric features that you can incorporate into your website:
- Great fitness advice through articles or blogging – So many users are looking for fitness advice. Make yourself a reliable source for information.
- “How To” videos for the proper use of gym/studio equipment – For those that are new to the gym/studio, fear about how to use equipment may prohibit them from taking full advantage of their health resources. Breaking that barrier can be a welcome relief.
- Discounts and vouchers – Offering limited-time only discounts and vouchers online may be just what a prospective user needs to take the next step to membership.
- Current health and fitness news – Providing health and fitness news on your site is a great way to keep your users apprised of important health information. For example, in the wake of the Covid 19 crisis, you should consider having status updates or having links to recent articles from reputable sources.
- On-demand and live streaming workouts – The fitness landscape is changing and more and more people are looking for online, in-home options to keep fit. You can offer these for free, through subscription or through a user-login for members.
- Nutritional help – Most people understand that nutrition goes hand in hand with fitness so help your users meet their goals by offering nutritional guidelines, eating plans and printable recipes.
- Injury recovery advice – Injuries happen and guiding your users through their recovery can help them get back on their feet and back in the gym faster.
- Workouts/classes grouped by goal – People have different fitness goals. Some want to build muscle, some want to slim down and others may want to increase flexibility. Outlining the types of workouts or classes and what they are geared towards can help to steer users in the right direction.