Progressing, reflecting, and learning


Focusing on simplicity: getting to the core of a product


Quick Product Overview: A Refresher.

Name: Calibrate

Who: Female performance athletes - those training for specific sports and goals instead of just general fitness

Why: Most fitness trackers and training apps are for the general population - thus performance athletes are edge cases making these other trackers essentially useless for their training and fitness needs. Women performance athletes are especially unique - they have a menstruation cycle. Menstruation greatly impacts training, racing, and recovery both physically and mentally. 



Practicing Simplification 

One of my strengths is the excitement and energy I bring to work, and life in general. However, this strength sometimes leads to consequences. One is that I get overly excited, and try to do more than what's truly feasible or reasonable for a project. 

A reminder I've learned to tell myself, is to simplify. Simplicity can breed strong solutions. With too many moving parts, the focus can become scattered and the product or service becomes diluted.

Lucky for me, I'm motivated by the task of simplifying and finding the core of whatever I'm working on. Whether it's a writing piece or application design, I get gratification through the process of distillation. 

This applies directly to Calibrate. My initial design concept is pretty simple: measure heart rate variability to encourage recovery, reduce injury, and reach optimal performance. As I've been building this product out further, I got overexcited by the many "shiny" functions I could add. Nutrition support! Sleep suggestions! Cycle specific workout plans! A period calendar!

You get the point. 

After presenting to my peer group, they helped me realize I need to focus on the MVP. What function can I really make shine? What's the key selling point I can, well, sell? 

Recognizing that the goal of this product is optimizing athletic performance by using the metrics of heart rate variability, resting heart rate, and sleep, I set out to eliminate the features that were superfluous to reaching this outcome. 

I said goodbye to recovery support through yoga, stretching, + meditation videos. I hesitantly scratched out the cycle specific dietary support. I decided not to build out the process of adding activities, opting instead to focus on an integration with existing services many athletes already use like Strava and Garmin. 

I honed in on the core objective, which would be straight up data and feedback utilizing sleep, RHR, and HRV to inform female, performance athletes on their recovery state. With this data, they can tweak their behaviors to optimize their athletic capacities. 

After this exercise in refinement, I was reminded, it's a lot easier to work within simplified boundaries! 

The initial scribbled out version of my "one too many" ideas for functionality.

Megan MelackComment