Improving by Removing

June 21, 2017
Improving by Removing

[caption id="attachment_2195" align="alignleft" width="300"]

v2 of the PushPress Check-In App is out now![/caption]Our new Check-In App packs some new and exciting things. After thousands of hours of the first version live on gym floors - we observed many ways to improve the app. Every change we made, except one, was "improvement via addition". We beefed up the user experience, streamlined processes, and provide end users with timely information to help them get checked-in faster.However, one of them was a feature removal - and we'd like to use this opportunity to discuss that.[caption id="attachment_2193" align="alignright" width="300"]

Allow your customers to quickly check-in and get into class[/caption]

"Coaches View" Removed

When the original version of the Check-in app was released, we needed a way for a coach on the floor to verify everyone in front of them had checked in. To accomplish this, we added the 'checked in' list to the phone version of the app. Phones are portable and almost all coaches have them. Thus, is was a simple solution to provide a coach the information needed to verify their class attendance.

What Was Wrong With The Coaches View

While this feature was absolutely needed, we noticed a few things that we felt we less than ideal:

  1. It is "slow" information. There was a time cost to requiring a coach to use their phone to check the class attendance list. At best this might take 3 seconds, but at worst, it might take up to 20 seconds. During a class settings, every second matters. Even 3 seconds of divided coach attention was too much for us.
  2. It was stale information and required interaction. The old app was a "pull to refresh" app. This meant that the coach would need to reload the data each time they needed the information. This required repeated coach interaction with the app, which was less ideal.
  3. It distracted coaches. One thing I make sure every coach understands at my gym: We are not on our phones while we are coaching. Checking attendance, switching music, or text messaging your significant other - it's all the same in your client's eyes. They don't know what you're doing on your personal device. Should you continue to check it, they will only assume your attention is not on them.
  4. Not every coach knew about the Check-In app (or wanted to use it). While we, as owners, understand the utmost importance of knowing which of your members are showing up to which classes, coaches often do not understand this benefit. As a result, we saw many coaches could not be bothered to install the app on their phone or use it to ensure class attendance is properly recorded. It was one more step that we could cut out while still moving towards our goal of having everyone checked in for class.

If your current solution violates any of these principals - we feel the solution has been designed incorrectly for the needs of a boutique fitness facility. In our fitness model, clients demand attention and coaches time and resources are spread desperately thin. You simply cannot afford to have your coaches doing any additional work that can be alleviated via technology.

Screens - The Appropriate Solution

In response to the above shortcomings and issues, we designed and released the PushPress Screens System. This system works in tandem with the Dashboard and the Check-In App to display which customers are checked into class.

  1. It is real time information. Need to see who's checked in? Just look up. The data on the screen is up to date, in real time. That means as a customer checks into class from the front desk, their name is added to the class roster immediately.
  2. It requires zero interaction. Because the screens are powered by real time data technology - there's never a need to "refresh" the data. Also, we've baked intelligent logic into the screens to automatically scroll to the next class as needed, and automatically flip days when we hit midnight. Literally just turn them on and let them go.
  3. It attracts members. One of the biggest benefits we witnessed from the screens were purely unintentional. Customers would notice that their check-ins (or lack thereof) were up on a screen for the entire class to see, and we recorded an immediate 32% increase in check-ins recorded per class. As customers understood they would be accountable for not checking in, they immediately began to check-in organically.
  4. You massively limit your fail points. A coach not installing the Check-In app was the glaring fail point of version 1. With every coach you have on the staff, you increase your fail point by one. With one TV Screen solution, you remove the burden and potential failure from something you have less control over (your coaches) and place it onto one thing you have absolute power over.

The End Results

Those of you who have grown accustomed to using your phone based Check-In app to check the class attendance, you will need to get used to using the Screens (or install some screens, if needed). Once you are up and running with the screens, you should experience the following benefits:

  • More accurate check-in counts.
  • More focused coaches.
  • Less clients assuming your coaches are on their phones for personal reasons.
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