Over 2 million people in the U.S. participate in spinning. Profitable companies like Soul Cycle and Flywheel have sprouted up to serve this highly-engaged, habitual, wealthy, and educated consumer segment. Concurrent to this accelerated market growth, is the generation of local-celebrity spinning instructors that build a virtually religious following. This is an attractive market yet, according to my research, still highly underserved. 76% of spinners struggle with managing their schedules and daily complexities, leading to 78% of them buying products that help them organize their daily lives. Moreover, they are 52% more likely than the general population to use mobile apps as the solution to this problem. In summary, this is a major market opportunity: a group of spinners that are loyal followers of their instructors, yet do not have time to make it to as many of their classes as they would like. They are actively looking to tech to solve this, but are not currently finding an adequate solution. This is the core problem and opportunity for which I designed Riidio.
Everything about Riidio's UI is informed by target user observation. I employed a dark palette with vibrant color accents to perform equally well in low-lit environments, conforming to the dimmed spaces of empty cycle studios that spinners prefer to spin in. This led to my design principles: transformation, humility, democracy, vigor. These form the foundations of Riidio.
The design of Riidio's UI is bifurcated to solve two distinct, yet related, user narratives: "I want to get better at spinning and, thus, more healthy and happy" and "I need fresh, invigorating audio and instruction to fuel my rides." This first set of screens is dedicated to the introspective side of the app. It visualizes your key performance metrics over time and frames it within a local context. Spinners are part of local communities with top instructors at the heart, and Riidio provides a contextual home for friendly competition and community growth.
I designed the other side of Riidio to house the class marketplace. This is an open environment where instructors could post the audio for their classes and users could purchase it. Think of it like an iTunes store for spinning, but with less hoops to jump through from the instructor's perspective. This alleviates the need, and flaw, for a single entity to create all of the class content. The marketplace follows the underlying principles of capitalism; users will buy the best classes from the best instructors, thus the overall quality of class content will increase according to the needs of the users. This solves two distinct needs: instructors want to grow their following and better monetize their IP, and users want to be able to take classes on-demand at their convenience.
I used familiar audio interface patterns that users will recognize from apps like Spotify and Apple Music. And I found that, once listening, spinners prefer to close their eyes to attempt to reach a trance-like state, so I allowed the UI to fade into simple, familiar player controls once a class is started. Spinning is all about personal improvement and achieving a particular, almost meditative, mental state. These users do not want to stare back at a video feed of an instructor balking commands back through a screen. It's all about retreat, introspection, and personal growth.