Health And Wellness Apps: Why The Future Of Fitness Is In Mobile Platforms
There’s no doubt that the health and wellness industry is booming. After all, the entire United States market value is expected to surpass $171 billion in 2018. But this surge in mindful living extends beyond gym memberships and athleisure sportswear – the future of health and wellness lies in mobile apps.
How Mobile Apps Are Expanding The Health And Wellness Industry
Simply put, mobile apps make it easier than ever for users to get real-time data and analytics on their overall health. These insights can encompass ideal caloric intake, body fat percentage, fitness goal tracking, heart rate, sleep patterns and more. And these applications are in demand. In fact, in 2015 alone, over half of U.S. mobile phone owners had downloaded at least one wellness-related app – and that number has increased since then.
Perhaps the most useful aspect of mobile apps is their ability to sync with wearable technology and real-world items. This allows the app to more accurately measure your fitness level and general health, and therefore provide better recommendations.
Smartwatches in particular are the most common form of fitness-related wearable technology. Many of these devices, such as the well-known Apple Watch, sync information with other traditional mobile applications while hosting their own Internet of Things-specific app within the device as well. This empowers users to access information across many platforms, and ultimately creates a strong user experience that encourages usage.
Well-designed mobile apps also create personalized experiences for users that are, ultimately, just as effective and more cost-efficient than pricey personal trainers and state-of-the-art gyms. People looking to achieve fitness objectives are no longer required to shell out money for a real-world coach or luxury equipment. They can feasibly achieve the same desired results on their own time, with their own devices, and without the middleman by simply downloading an app and creating a profile.
The ever-improving technology and transportable platforms enable mindfulness to be a lifestyle as opposed to an activity, which fits the narrative of the health & wellness industry as a whole and shows why these mobile apps resonate with users.
What Does The Health & Wellness Industry Encompass?
The health and wellness industry unsurprisingly plays host to fitness. Mobile apps that fall under this category include boutique fitness studio and gym apps that allow users to book classes and check schedules (think Equinox and MINDBODY), as well as platforms that host fitness classes and workouts themselves, negating the need for a gym (such as Beachbody).
However, the health and wellness industry also includes categories that span far beyond breaking a sweat. Certain skincare and beauty companies – particularly those that emphasize overall wellness, mindfulness and clean living – may fall under the health and wellness industry. Culinary brands aimed at improving overall health, such as Sunbasket, also lend themselves to the wellness industry. In fact, even fashion sportswear brands such as The North Face and lululemon constitute a health and wellness brand.
Ultimately, the health and wellness industry can encompass any brand or business hoping to empower consumers to improve their overall well-being, whether through nutrition, fitness, skincare, or a similar avenue.
The Top Features Of The Best Wellness Apps
The best health and wellness mobile apps create an enjoyable user experience that envelopes consumers in excitement and positive attributions, as opposed to the often self-conscious or negative emotions people can sometimes experience in real-life fitness institutions. And it turns out that the best health and wellness apps have many qualities and functionalities in place to ensure success.
1. User Generated Content
Great health and wellness apps create a community by enabling users to post photos, share progress, and engage in encouraging dialogue with other users. By incorporating an element of user generated content (UGC) brands can collect media for their social media channels that is proven to resonate with their users while simultaneously promoting their brand identity through core values and missions.
2. Strong Branding
Speaking of brand identity, the best health and fitness brands create mobile apps that completely reflect their overarching brand through aesthetics, tone, messaging, and overall goal.
Many companies, such as Nike, have several mobile apps that all serve different purposes, from e-commerce shopping to running to cross-training. However, they know that a consistent brand identity eliminates marketing confusion and increases awareness and conversions. Therefore, each unique subset of Nike both showcases a unique identity while incorporating the overarching Nike brand seamlessly.
3. Intuitive Navigation
Perhaps most importantly, the best health and wellness apps have an easy-to-navigate interface that allows users to find content quickly. One of the best ways to create a trusting relationship with consumers – which ultimately grows modern businesses – is to create a product or service that works well, then develop and environment that empowers users to actually use the resource you created.
This strong user experience is the key to captivating new users and transforming them into returning customers. Top wellness brands have mastered the art of great user experience design, particularly in mobile applications.
The Top 5 Health & Wellness Mobile App Examples Of 2018
1. Sweat: Kayla Itsines Fitness App
Kayla Itsines’ signature app showcases tons of “do anywhere” exercises against a clean backdrop. The mobile app caters to a mostly Millennial female audience well, and drives home the brand identity through encouraging copy and bright accent colors. In addition, Sweat smartly incorporates user generated content throughout the entire app and its corresponding social media channels.
2. Nike+ Run Club
Nike+ Run Club showcases Nike’s recognizable swoosh logo design and overarching minimalism throughout the entire app – a visual element that is seen across all of Nike’s digital platforms. However, this mobile app takes on a personality of its own. Neon accent colors and goal-reaching badges encourage users to run harder and faster in their workouts. Meanwhile, social media integrations make creating an account simple and allow users to communicate with other runners in the app or share their achievements on their own outside social channels.
3. ASICS Studio
n what appears to be an answer to Nike’s many mobile apps, sportswear brand ASICS released their own digital platform that places fitness in the palm of users’ hands. This app pairs negative space with bright, bold hues, creating a distinct personality that differentiates itself from other competitors while also mirroring their signature colorful running shoes. The fitness app features highlighted workouts, personal recommendations, and easy-to-follow videos.
Peloton was one of the first major wellness brands that capitalized on technology to enable users to work out at home without losing the feel of a fitness class. Peloton’s app design empowers users to book workouts, stream classes, track their progress and more in a surprisingly simple interface. In addition, the app has the potential to pair with their high-tech bike, which helps users reach their fitness goals faster.
Athletic clothing company lululemon is the perfect example of how traditional e-commerce platforms can converge with health and wellness. lululemon’s brand promotes a healthy lifestyle, hosting fitness classes in their brick and mortar stores, partnering with real-life Olympians on their social media channels, and investing in various digital marketing strategies to ingratiate the idea that their high-quality clothing correlates with success.
While their mobile app doesn’t directly play into their content, the consistent brand identity and simple organization reflects the brand and makes it easy to shop for the clothing they covet with the touch of a button.
At the end of the day, any business, regardless of their industry, can learn a thing or two from the way the health and wellness industry has capitalized on the growing popularity of mobile devices. By investing in a recognizable brand identity that fosters trust, a seamless user experience, and creating a community that users enjoy engaging with, brands can ensure that their mobile app is a digital destination their customers will want to visit over and over again.
Ready to create your own mobile app? DesignRush has a list of the top app design and development companies who can create a platform that converts.
Plus, if you aren’t sure where to start, explore the Best App Designs to discover inspiration and find the features that will help your mobile app flourish in the marketplace.