Product Design / Web Development

Building a custom platform for the biggest online yoga studio in Poland

PortalYogi

PortalYogi is the biggest online yoga studio and the biggest online community for yoginis in Poland. They aim to help people enjoy their home sessions by providing them with an online platform to choose videos and practice at their favorite place.

Introduction
About project

When we started the project, PortalYogi was already the biggest online community for yoginis in Poland. They were big enough to feel the constraints of the available off-the-shelf solutions for fitness providers.

 

With a strong need to meet the expectations of their clients and the ambition to scale their business, they decided to build a custom yoga platform. To approach it right and make sure we focus on the right features, we decided to run a Discovery Workshop – a meeting where we analyze clients’ vision, goals, pain points, and requirements to help them create product backlog and prioritize the features. The workshop helps us align project scope with the deadlines and make sure that the product’s end-users are getting value from the very beginning.

Our tasks

Setting the scope for an MVP

Working on an MVP, we want to bring a product to the market as fast as possible. For that, we need clear priorities.

Building a long-term product strategy

It is equally important, though, to stay aware of what comes next. For that, we need a vision of what the ideal product should be.

Running user interviews & usability tests

What’s most important, however, is to make sure that the assumptions we have are correct. And who knows best what the ideal product should be? End-users.

01

Challenges

1. How to increase user retention in an online yoga studio?

The lockdown in 2020 was a huge accelerator for the digital fitness industry. Portal Yogi, being the biggest Polish yoga community, wasn’t an exception here. With many new users registering in the app, it was important to make sure that it will meet their requirements and that they will stay active.

2. How to overcome the limitations of Teachable?

When Portal Yogi was started, it was based on the off-the-shelf platform. Although it was a great solution to validate business hypotheses and to grow users’ community, at some point, it wasn’t enough. It was clear that the tool’s limitations and lack of certain features will quickly become a blocker for the company’s growth.

3. How to validate business assumptions?

When Portal Yogi’s team approached us, they had a working business model, knew their client personas, and had great ideas for the future. At this stage, it was important to confront these ideas with users. Will personalization improve user retention? Let’s design an experiment to find out.

The team is very friendly, and they always try to find the best solution for us. Our communication has always been very good, and all problems could be solved and activities improved. The new platform is easier to use and meets our functional expectations.

Source: Clutch.co

02

Solutions

1. Building Value Proposition Canvas

To ensure that the new platform responds to the pains and gains of the end-users, we’ve built a Value Proposition Canvas for two types of users: customers and admins. Thus, if any of the intended features would not be a pain reliever or a gain creator, we would know it’s not the right time to build it at the MVP stage.

2. Designing low-fi mockups

We’ve learned a lot during the first two days of the workshops. We discussed the business model, analyzed client personas, went through industry benchmarks, and brainstormed the potential features. It was high time to design some low-fidelity mockups that we could use to confront our ideas with users. At this stage, we decided to design three core screens: the homepage of the platform with a search feature and a content overview, a page with the search results and filters that can be applied, and a user panel with some practice history & statistics, favorite videos and playlists.

3. Running user interviews and usability tests

User interviews consisted of two parts: individual in-depth Interviews and moderated usability tests. In the first part, we wanted to learn why our interviewees practiced yoga, what motivated them, what helped them stick to their routines, and what stopped them from doing it. In the second part, we presented them with our prototype mockups, giving some simple tasks and asking what they saw and how they liked it. Apart from learning how the users like our prototype, we wanted to know if it’s intuitive and easy to use.

Technology we used

Google Meet

Miro

Figma

03

Project Results

Report with the MVP scope

The whole Discovery Workshop took seven days, including creating mockups and running the interviews. After that time, we summarized all the findings, conclusions, and recommendations for further development into the report. It described the scope (all the features that should be included in the MVP), the epics & views, the technologies recommended for this project, and presented time- and price estimates.

First mockups tested with users

During the Discovery Workshops, we had a chance to talk with eight users of Portal Yogi. As a result, we’ve learned their needs and expectations and gathered valuable feedback about our project. Thanks to that, we were able to align the project and further recommendations to what the users really needed.

Long-term product strategy

Even though we were focused on finding the simplest way to give Portal Yogi users the most value, we did not lose the long-term goal from sight. In order to align the product with the business strategy, we planned the platform’s architecture in a way that would allow the Client to scale it up in the future.

Conclusion

The Discovery Workshop was a great starting point for the development project. It gave us a chance to understand the client's business and objectives and learn about the end-users' needs. For the Client, it was a chance to clarify their vision and confront their ideas with users. That way, we know how to build a product aligned with the users' needs, and we can involve them in the whole process, increasing their engagement and brand loyalty.

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