How we used Design Sprints to deliver an early installment of Fitcentives (a business-class software solution for the fitness market in the US) and how we continue to build product strategy, define and design functionalities for web and mobile apps.


  • There is no tool in the marketplace which would support all aspects of fitness studio management. Gym owners use various incompatible software packages.
  • Available tools are expensive and obsolete. Fitness studios spend a good portion of their revenue on them, while their needs are only partially met.
  • Lead creation, management and follow-up is done manually. Gym owners spend considerable amount of time on administrative tasks.
  • Gym owners seek clarity with their business and lead management. They end up tabulating all necessary information in various excel sheets on their own, which is highly inefficient and prone to errors.
Fitcentives is a mobile app addressed to fitness related industries that allows customers to automate the lead generation and follow up process.


Design an all-in-one fitness studio software which will:

  • help gym owners streamline communication and follow-up with their leads,
  • make lead management clear and easy for all members of the team,
  • enable users to set and automate processes for both - their team and the leads,
  • support ongoing marketing activities of the fitness studio.

Hammad Akbar,
Product Owner


Start with the Sprint to validate the direction. Continue with UX/UI in the iterative approach.

Fitcentives started off with the goal of building an all-in-one web based software for managing various aspects of a fitness studio. From the get-go it’s been marketed to small and medium size studios in the US, specifically Cross-Fit of various flavors. Such precise market targeting was a result of months-long research by our client and gathering of insights about fitness industry, gym owners, their needs, pain-points and expectations. Before kicking-off with the Sprint, we’re provided with the impressive body of research to get a better feel for the problem and the market segment.

Having gone through the research materials we were beyond ready to embrace the challenge. We started off with a 5 day-long Design Sprint to break problems apart, deliver an early prototype and verify assumptions.

Initially the idea appeared to be straightforward - a web-based CRM platform to enable sophisticated lead management & automation of communication.

When it comes to closing the deal with new studio members, we knew that quick response to new leads is everything. As soon as the lead comes in, you need to act right away, otherwise you lose a prospective customer. Either via a phone-call, a text message, an email, or a voicemail, the follow up process had to be instantaneous to maximise the conversion rate. Not more than 15 mins from the point of lead appearance in the funnel, a contact had to be made.

Getting initially stuck on the map exercise and having redrawn it couple of times we finally spotted the biggest opportunity - the context of use. Gym owners are no office animals. Doing a class, a personal consultation or running errands, they are always out and about.

“These people are rushed off their feet trying to juggle multiple roles at their work.” - Hammad said.

(HMW) How might we streamline the follow-up process, so that the gym owners don’t have to be constantly tied to their desks and laptops.

How can they follow-up with new leads, no matter where they are and what they are doing. We couldn’t imagine our customers sitting in front of their laptops around the clock and waiting for new leads to come in.

Then it dawned on us - we should change our focus to mobile. All puzzles fell into place. Although risky and more expensive on the development side, we knew that embracing mobile as a primary platform would be a game changer for our customers.

So, we gave it a shot. Over the course next 4 days we harnessed our creativity, prototyped and tested our “silver bullet” solution. We followed the mobile first approach and focused on the very first steps drawn on our sprint map - the seamless integration with Clickfunnels and instantaneous follow-up process.


Based on the interviews with gym owners we have confirmed our assumptions. The mobile first approach was a good choice. Our participants enthusiastically received the mobile app design reporting it as more intuitive and friendly compared to the standard desktop solutions they had been accustomed to.

Beyond the Sprint

Having tested the early model with users we could safely continue with more detailed designs. After a few weeks of work other key features have been incorporated:

  • Marketing automation and smart stages functionality,
  • Plan & calendar component,
  • Detailed lead’s view & activity history,
  • Notes,
  • Lead’s plan.

Naturally, all tested with users (and further improved) at the end of each design iteration.
Fitcentives app is now ripe for the public launch. Although still in an MVP the mobile app is ready for gym owners and staffers to take it for a spin and our dev & design teams are shifting their attention to web.

Find out how we run Design Sprints at Ultimo.