SITUATION

Les Mills Fitness+ launched in December 2019, providing users a flexible fitness platform to workout anywhere, anytime. The journey to launch began in 2016 with the release of Les Mills On Demand giving subscribers access to thousands of Les Mills workouts through a digital streaming library. Since then, fitness applications have radically evolved the way people think about, and tackle ‘home workouts’.

To cut through in this hyper-competitive market, Les Mills needed to develop a deeper understanding of their users and the highs and lows of an ‘On-Demand’ fitness journey.

APPROACH

Partnering with Assurity, Les Mills co-created a design approach that combined rigorous customer empathy interviews with rapid prototyping. Over 18 months Assurity and Les Mills interviewed diverse customers across New Zealand, USA, UK and Europe. This approach helped the Les Mills team engage with people at different stages of their fitness journey, from novices to people navigating disabilities to athletes.

This empathy research was supplemented with quantitative choice-modelling, engaging 1600 respondents to substantiate insights and ensure they applied at scale. Across several sprints, the team used rapid prototyping to move from insights to customer testing at speed,
stress-testing features such as dynamic plans, wearable integration, nutrition and virtual coaching. This established a feedback loop to evolve features and objectively prioritise the development backlog using customer value – well in advance of having to invest in development.

It also highlighted three key aspects of the experience for the team to focus on. First, how working out on-demand amplified users’ thirst for personalisation and that the onboarding journey plays a pivotal role in setting the tone for the app experience. With Assurity, Les Mills redesigned onboarding, promoting a more holistic vision of fitness while capturing data specific to each user’s workout constraints. This helps fuel the app’s recommendation
engine keeping users engaged in the long term.

Establishing fitness routines and converting them to sustainable habits emerged as a universal challenge. As it transpired, workout plans are an effective antidote, except that in an ‘On Demand’ context users demand flexibility and control. Using this insight, the team evolved the workout plan feature, shifting from a prescriptive schedule to a customisable playlist, complete with suggested alternative workouts. This gave users the ability to adjust workouts and recovery days without compromising on progress.

By going into people’s homes, the team grew a deeper appreciation for the distractions and challenges that often lead to users deferring their workouts. In response, Assurity and Les Mills redesigned the search experience and overhauled the information hierarchy allowing customers to find a workout in a matter of seconds, not minutes.

RESULTS

Since launch, Les Mills had seen a rise in the diversity of their customer base across all genders, ages and fitness levels. These users have embraced a more holistic view of wellness with Stress Relief and Mental Clarity selected in the top three fitness goals.

The results they have seen are a testament to the approach, the subscriber base by 300,000 users and conversion from trial to membership sitting at 69%. Finally, 95% of their customers have said they are highly satisfied with Les Mills Fitness+ user experience.

We are delighted to see how our subscriber base has changed and that the experience we’ve created is engaging a more diverse audience. By co-designing Les Mills Fitness+ with our users, we have the confidence to push the boundaries and extend the positive impact we have on people’s lives"

Ben Jones, Product Lead, Les Mills Media