GainsBuddy — Utilizing mutual gain to help hold you accountable to your fitness goals.


Role: Product Designer

Tools: Sketch, InVision Studio, Zeplin

Duration: Aug - present

Team: Sidd Tingare—Developer

Those who work out, or have ever attempted to work out, understand how difficult it is to go to the gym consistently without anyone's support.


I've quit working out at least four times due to reasons such as illness, injury, or just pure laziness. Having no one to encourage me, some days it's a struggle just to get out of the bed.


Everyone knows that working out with a partner comes with a tremendous benefit. There will be a healthy competition that can boost your confidence and encourage you to keep going. But what happens if you don't have one? Sure, it's not too difficult to find a partner, but it's also not easy.

Design Challenge

How might we help those who are struggling to stay committed to working out?

The Solution

Introducing GainsBuddy, a React web app that helps users find online gym buddies and share their workout routines, weight and lifting progress, and gym attendance. This allows users to motivate each other and achieve consistent progress together. GainsBuddy also helps users find the most effective workout routines.


Stemming from my own experience, I started asking my friends about their experiences. From then on, I conducted a qualitative user survey using fitness subreddit's userbase. Some main points I learned during this period include: 

  • Once they lose the momentum, it's very difficult to start again 
  • Beginners who lift without a specific goal will lose interest much quicker than those who follow a workout routine.
  • They don't know where to find gym buddy

From this research, I then created user personas and started to ideate on what I wanted my product to improve upon.

persona 1
persona 2

From this ideation phase, I developed a flowchart for the onboarding. However, this involved way too many steps just to create a profile. Rather than finding workout routine and the buddy during onboarding phase, I decided to move that to the dashboard. 

Hi-Fi Mockups

With finding routines and buddy feature implemented, next steps were to design the progress graph and messaging feature. And with that, the MVP would have been ready to launch.... until we realized we totally overlooked one usability issue.

The Issue #1

We realized that having a web app is not the most convenient method of logging user's workout progress. It is highly unlikely that a user would finish their work out, come home, turn on the computer, sign in, then log their progress. Having an app that's always on your phone would be a better way to use GainsBuddy.


The Solution #1

We decided to scrap the React app idea and move on to developing a native mobile application.

The Issue #2

A team consisting of one developer and one designer, there was no way we could develop both a native iOS app and an Android app. Doing so will take way too much time and require much resource. But our goal was to at least launch an MVP that could be used for user testing. 

The Solution #2

We decided to use Flutter.io, a Google's toolkit for developing both iOS and Android from a single codebase. This meant that we had to learn Dart Language, but it would still take significantly less time to learn to use Flutter than to develop individual apps.


When I was designing the previous web app, I intentionally made it look plain and simple so that it's easy to develop and I can spend less time on the visual side, allowing me to focus on the IA. However, since I have basic IA already developed, I could focus more on the visual side. 



The whole progress so far has been very enjoyable and I'm satisfied with what we have at the moment. We still have a lot of things to do and it will take many months to even finish the MVP, but I enjoy the process of getting there by learning from my mistakes!