As a class project, Fit Savannah was devised to conduct extensive ethnographic research to better understand the culture of fitness among SCAD students in Savannah, Georgia. The project involved applying varying research methodologies to collect data that can help in generating concepts which would help students achieve fitness related goals.
Shadowing, Observation, Ethnographic Interviews, Design Research, Research Planning, Data Collection and Analyzing, Affinity Mapping, Idea Visualization, Conceptualization, Prototyping.
Scope of Work
For Fit Savannah, extensive contextual research was conducted across the city of Savannah to generate multiple data points which can help in understanding the culture of fitness in Savannah. The aim was to use varying tools and primary research methods that can be applied to better understand the culture at Universities, fitness centers, gyms, and community parks. By collecting a variety of data through primary and secondary research, observations, and interviews, the aim was to apply the insights to redefine and create new services, products, and experiences.
This part of the research process involved collecting data points available through existing research. Scanning varying books and publications written about the fitness industry in general and how it affects the culture among students in Savannah. We also focused our efforts on getting key facts about the fitness industry that can help our research. We also created maps and diagrams that can help us expand our research efforts and explore previously hidden possibilities.
With the help of Convergence Map, we wanted to broaden our understanding of what fitness means to different people of varying backgrounds. With the help of this map, we explored commonalities that attract peoples engagement with a specific activity. In this map, the fields of study are divided into Indoor Activities, Outdoor Activities, and Nutrition.
By expanding our thinking of the fitness industry to its activities and kind of culture it provides, it opens up the possibilities at the onset of the project. This method helps us to think about innovation not just as an offering with improved functions and features, but as something that connects with people, what they do, and how they live. By expanding the thinking behind offerings to activities to cultural context, it opened up the opportunity space from this initial phase of the project.
The primary aim of conducting primary research is to collect first-hand data in a contextual setting which makes the data highly reliable. Our primary research methods involved collecting data through surveys, cultural probes, observation through shadowing and user-interviews. This phase of research focuses on collecting new and direct data specific to an area, region or city. By collecting data in this manner, it helps us gain data about the participant in a contextual setting and how the environment helps the user/participant provide effective feedback.
In this activity, we identified all the places where students could possibly go to engage in physical activities. Through this activity, we tried to observe as remotely as possible without asking any questions to the subject. This exercise would help us discern the true mannerisms of the subject in the context of the environment.
This exercise of observation was conducted at popularly used locations for physical activity. The selected locations were Communal Parks, Student Residence Gymnasiums, and University Gymnasiums.
Using the shadowing method, we mapped the journey of 6 users at Club SCAD to get a better understanding of their behavioral patterns. We were interested in getting to know a typical workout schedule of a fitness enthusiast. The shadowing technique involves focusing on the motivations and drive of various users.
Entities Position Map
In this diagram, we positioned different types of users that we had determined on a 2 X 2 pre-defined Matrix. This method is an effective way to look at the placement of each entity relative to one another. It helped us gain a better understanding of the range of people we had to interview for our primary research.
In order to get a deeper understanding of the fitness culture in Savannah amongst students, we did multiple interviews. Our interview subjects ranged from industry experts to novice students focusing on indoor and outdoor activities.
Using previous models and frameworks, we narrowed down some places and people to conduct interviews. We focused on collecting relevant data in accordance with our research plan and goals. We created strategic interview tools that helped us in conducting an engaging interview.
This method helped externalize and meaningfully cluster our secondary research, observations and interview data points into singular data points. Taking a bottom-up approach, first, we analyzed and compiled into single observations. We then clustered for a deeper message rather than the keywords and then moving on to a holistic but a single key finding. We understood the culture holistically and were equipped to set on the final task of pulling insights.
This framework provides the overarching values that a Fitness Center, University Gym or City should help foster through their facilities and programs. Every student feels the need to lead a healthy and fit lifestyle but due to some inhibitions, he/she is unable to follow through on them. The meaning of fitness changes over time with respect to the change in lifestyle. Students want to feel accomplished when it comes to their fitness lifestyle, which is described as the core value of this framework. Through fitness, the students want to learn, evolve and achieve.
Healthy Food Vending Machines.
A healthy food vending machines located at different strategic locations easily accessible to students.
Challenge of the Week!
Every week a challenge is posted on the wall of the gym. Finishing the challenge you will win a reward.
University Fitness App
An application, like facebook, that get the attention of students by engaging them in achieving various goals using the social element.
Create a fitness party in which you socialize with your friends and eat and share healthy food and recipes.