Andrea Marcellus has been an LA-based fitness expert and personal trainer for 25 years. She’s helped as many executives and celebrities retake control of their health as she has overworked, overstressed Moms.
As a Mom herself, she was living a hectic lifestyle — squeezing in client appointments while trying to balance her family and her fitness.
Intent on solving this pain for herself and other Moms, she launched a fitness and lifestyle company called And/Life Inc. And following the company’s book launch and a Series A investment, it was time to transform Andrea’s charm, know-how, and fitness programs into a technology-enabled platform.
And/Life selected New Haircut to help them plot their product transformation — from developing a product vision, to making sure they didn’t launch just another fitness app.
In order to understand where we would begin, we started at the end. We worked with the And/Life executive team to understand their hopes and fears of taking this plunge into tech. We got intimately familiar with their anticipated business model, customer segments, partners, and go-to-market strategy, along with the research and analysis they had collected so far.
This helped us form some hypotheses around who our primary users are and the problems we suspected they were facing. Next up was a series of rapid (3 days) qualitative research to validate our hypotheses and form the basis of our design challenge.
With our initial research completed and our problem well-framed, we launched a series of 3-day design sprints to create hi-fidelity prototypes that we could quickly concept and test.
Because this was a new business and therefore new problems the team was experimenting with, we allowed for a steep learning curve by budgeting 3 sequential design sprints with our product discovery. Each sprint would build upon the previous sprint’s insights until we received enough user validation of our solutions.
Within 2 weeks from the day we kicked off our partnership with And/Life, we had a refined product vision that had been ideated, prototyped, and tested repeatedly with target users. Now it was a matter of mapping those insights into a launch plan — enter roadmapping.
Product roadmaps are the messy middle, where product research, strategy, insights, and user test results go to die. But that’s only if your roadmaps are built around features.
To ensure And/Life remained committed to the business objectives established early on, while also incorporating all of the insights gathered since, we led And/Life through a 2-day roadmapping process that centered around the outcomes we wanted to achieve.
By staying centered on outcomes, we kept the focus on the goals of the product instead, of what should be built and how it would work. Not only are those discussions that executives should not be expected to answer during product discovery, but they’re also ones a product team can’t answer until they begin to design & build — learning and iterating until our fixed launch date.
Everyone claims to be a problem solver. But nothing quite demonstrates your ability to solve hard problems than turning a PowerPoint deck and blue sky ideas into a real digital enterprise.
Our product innovation program enabled the And/Life team to successfully design, build, and launch their technology platform just 3 months after engaging us. More importantly, this was not your typical Agile / lean startup approach where the learning began after the launch of their MVP. Our design thinking process fostered learning from day one, incorporating insights all throughout product discovery and through product launch.