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Meet the Team Behind Tempo’s My Plan

And how they bridge design, fitness, and user experience

Date June 15, 2021
Author Patrick Wong
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In the third part of our My Plan series, we meet some of the people behind the creation and implementation of My Plan, the personal workout planner on the Tempo Studio and App. So far in the series, we’ve explored the science of My Plan, as well as how My Plan can define your Tempo experience.

However, in the months leading up to the release of My Plan, the Tempo team was hard at work, putting their heads together to not only bring My Plan to the Tempo community as we now know it, but also laying the groundwork for the evolution for what’s to come.

The Team Making Your Home Workouts More Personalized than Ever

Among those leading the charge with My Plan is someone you’ve heard from before in our previous installments (and from this blog generally): Dr. Joel French, Tempo’s Head of Exercise Science. An exercise physiologist, Dr. French has worked as a professor, researcher, and health and fitness professional for over 30 years, most recently with the Mayo Clinic and OrangeTheory.

Touched on in Part 1 of this series, Dr. French alongside the rest of Tempo’s fitness team lends his wealth of exercise knowledge to determine how My Plan recommends daily classes to you based on you and your goals. Ensuring that My Plan is using a science-backed methodology was Dr. French’s main objective to empower our members to have as personal of an at-home training experience as possible.

“The goal of every exercise physiologist is to use data and information from whoever they’re training to create a personalized, science-backed program and plan to help them reach their goals and feel successful. That’s what My Plan does.” Dr. French explained.

In developing how My Plan knows which classes are best suited for you, Dr. French says that he worked to put together the best scientific information available to create the algorithms that also generate class recommendations — and to Dr. French, the My Plan you see now can only get better.

“There is endless potential.” Dr. French explains. “In the future, My Plan may use strength and cardio assessments to make your recommendations even more individualized. We may also track how your body is responding to exercise throughout the week and alter our recommendations accordingly. We may ask you to share more information regarding your goals, what motivates you, etc. to further personalize your Tempo experience.”

The Challenging Design of My Plan

Of course, knowing how to get you closer to your goals is one thing, making that a seamless experience — for new and current Tempo athletes alike — is another.

That’s where David Mayman and Jenny Scharff of Tempo’s product team come in.

For Mayman, a product manager and the lead designer (and former graphic designer), creating My Plan came from a place of solving a problem that was known in the community.

“We’ve heard from our members that one of the most common challenges they face is quickly finding which class to take and knowing why to take it.” Mayman explains. “We wanted to make it super easy for anyone to find their next class, and feel confident it would keep them on track toward their fitness goals.”

Scharff, the product manager for My Plan, also brought a similar outlook into the motivation behind My Plan.

“Before My Plan, we learned that many of our members came to Tempo without a clear understanding of how to hit their fitness goals.” Scharff says. “We created My Plan because we wanted to offer concrete and science-backed guidance to members on what type of classes they should be taking to achieve their fitness goal.”

We’ve been looking at data and talking to our members to try to identify the biggest pain points and areas to improve My Plan.

For Scharff, My Plan also takes advantage of her past experience with habit formation and member engagement by crafting strategies and features rooted in science and behavioral psychology. This shows in My Plan’s weekly workout goal-setting feature, weekly workout schedule, and weekly class streaks (which continue to grow as you meet or exceed your weekly workout goal).

Similarly, accountability and removing the overwhelming sense of choice paralysis was key for Mayman when navigating the many class choices that are available to the Tempo community. Zeroing in on the classes that will provide the biggest impact were really important to Mayman.

Knowing how to convey these recommendations and shaping the My Plan experience for our members also presented a challenge.

“The primary design challenge was: How might we bridge the gap between a fully guided experience — our programs — and a fully unguided experience (class browsing)? What does it look like in the middle?” Mayman explains. “This was a challenging feature to design and build! We had a lofty vision and wanted to do it justice.”

So what’s in store for My Plan next? According to the team, “a ton.”

“There is so much that we want to do!” Scharff says. “Since My Plan’s initial launch, we’ve been looking at data and talking to our members to try to identify the biggest pain points and areas to improve. We’ve identified a few areas to focus on.”

Those areas fall under the umbrella of making My Plan more adaptive — as your schedule changes, your goals shift, and your life takes shape, My Plan will transform with you.

As we move forward in the rest of the series, we’ll take a deeper dive into what’s planned for My Plan and what you may be able to expect in the future.

Author Patrick Wong
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