What problem is this project solving?
An application (mobile or web-based) to support a novice linear progression for amateur strength or fitness training.
What is the background and context to the question above in 150 words or less?
A Novice Linear Progression is a program for training novice to begin a fitness programme safely and maximise gains. You can choose a sport or fitness exercise of your preference, and choose appropriate goals. For example, if you were to choose weightlifiting an aim could be for novice weightlifters to lift weights safely, efficiently and to maximise gains. The core concept is to teach basic barbell movements. Mark Rippetoe has published a number of books and articles on the subject. Examples of programs include Starting Strength 3×5 and Stronglifts 5×5.
List some recommended sources for students to begin their research Choose appropriate readings about the area of fitness you have chosen, for example, for weight lifting these are suitable examples:
- The Starting Strength website – https://startingstrength.com/
- The Stronglifts 5×5 program – https://stronglifts.com/5×5/
- The NLP – https://barbel-logic .com/why-novice-linear-progression/
- The Starting Strength Forums – https://startingstrength.com/resources/forum/
What would the final product look like?
The final product will be a fully functional application to support people on a training progressions in your chosen exercise. It will support novices in learning and engaging in at least the three basic components of the fitness programme, for example for barbell lifting: The deadlift, the squat and the press. Additional lifts may be included at the developer s discretion and based on research around practical aspects of programming for training volume and intensity.
It will have the following features:
- The ability to track workouts across sessions.
- The ability to access resources to support learning and improving technique.
- Advice about exercises to perform per-session, training schedules and expectations for future sessions.
- Support when warming up and calculating weight distribution for each lift up to a working set.
- Advice on what to do based on certain input values (e.g. successful lifts vs failure.)
It will have the following technical constraints:
The application should be accessible to a wide variety of users (all novices) and use-cases.
- You will have to consider input (e.g. multitouch, sensitivity, button sizes.)
The application should visualise information in a clear and succinct way
The application should be capable of tracking and retrieving data from multiple sessions.
The application should utilise a sensible technology stack that supports data collection, retrieval and visualisation over a sustained period e.g. six weeks minimum.
There are many applications that support these types of workouts and tracking activities. That not withstanding, your application should both build on the functionality of these applications while extending in some domain of your choosing. As an example you might want to encapsulate your understanding of data from strength training communities to offer alternative designs and activity tracking that is user-centric in nature.
What would a prototype look like?
A basic app that teaches a single exercise. The graphics or appearance do not need to be fleshed out at this stage.
What kinds of techniques/processes are relevant to this project?
- Iterative development
- Prototyping and user feedback
- Data structures and visualisations
What would the output of these techniques/processes look like?
- A series of incrementally improving prototypes – showing how you have tested and incorporated feedback from your own usability tests or from external resources e.g. forum posts, subreddits, and interviews.
- Convergence on designs that are supported by empirical evidence.
- A way to store and retrieve meaningful data for contextully driven activities that enables critical reflection and action paths that the user might wish to take.
How will this project be evaluated and assessed by the student (i.e. during iteration of the project)? What criteria are important?
User feedback, research and functionality testing will all play a role in supporting the development of the project. The application should support, as a bare minimum, the core facets of usability practice. Namely: effectiveness, efficiency, user-satisfaction.
For this brief, what would a minimum pass (e.g. 3″) student project look like?
- The application is able to store and retrieve data in some format.
- There is an attempt to present some visual elements on screen.
- There is some evidence of historical records of data.
- The report reflects on an iterative set of practices to design and develop the application.
For this brief, what would a good (e.g. 2:2 – 2:1) student project look like?
Application functions well with limited bugs.
- The visuals provide meaningful, useful information for reflection.
- The application provides sensible guidelines for progression in line with some novice linear progression programming.
- The application considers aspects of usability.
- The report evidences a rich, analytical process of design and development, highlighting both the technical challenges and user-centred design practices to underpin the work.
For this brief, what would an outstanding (e.g. 15) student project look like?
- Visually pleasant with a user interface that is consistent in design.
- A series of interactive possibilities to support different modalities of training, types of lifts and contextually-relevant advice in relation to the user’s state.
- Evidence that collection of data over time adds value, by providing insightful analytics and advice to support successful programming.
- Written report has excellent and concise writing style. Research and influences behind the project are clear and detailed, with extensive analysis of background works.
- The iterative design exercises utilise a range of resources to make decisions, encapsulating feedback from communities of users, user testing and scientific literature in a rigorous and considered way.
- The application is fit for purpose and extends in one area of excellence: technical merit,design, acessibility. Examples might include utilising a conversational UI, the utilisation of machine learning to provide predictions and analyses or creating rich overlays of data such as augmented or mixed reality.