I have always wanted to be a better writer. For an Interaction Designer its an extremely useful skill to have. We have to be good at story telling, because we are the voice of the user. To practice being a better writer, I started critiquing apps. What I say here is solely my opinion (and yes, I might be wrong at sometimes) and no I am not an expert on things. Bear with me, this is just for practice, in my quest to become a better interaction designer and writer.
I became a runner in 2012 and have never looked back. In recent months, I became a work out geek and started exploring the world of HIIT (High-intensity interval training). The New York Times debuted an article on the 7 minute workout, and then HIIT apps started to appear. I heard about the #BBG movement by Kayla Itsines, which has become a very popular exercise for women. Now when you go to the app store, you see maaannnny work out apps. I have downloaded a few and coughed out money for the subscriptions. One of the apps that I recently downloaded is called, Centr and I have been using it since its launch.
Centr is created by Thor (aka God of Thunder, aka Chris Hemsworth) and his team of trainers. This app has many things that other apps are lacking, which I talk through below.
Centr is a holistic app for any user who wants to live a healthy lifestyle. They have workouts to build strength, yoga for flexibility, meals for a healthy eating and blog posts for lifestyle tips. It makes sense to have all these in one app. Being healthy is never just about working out or eating well. It is also about the lifestyle choices you make day to day. As they say abs are built in the kitchen. I haven’t come across anything similar. At least, not yet.
After you sign up for the subscription process and log in to the app, it will take you to the settings page to include your weight, height, etc. The purpose of the app is not clearly shown. I came across it by accident. The ‘About’ section was hidden under the Planner, which does not make sense to me. All the bios of the trainers are hidden under the Planner. Why the Planner? Knowing who the trainers are is important and should not be hidden. Some of my favorite trainers are Luke Zocchi, Da Rulk, and Tiffiny Hall.
The main navigation is at the bottom, which is ok. The order of the nav elements is a bit confusing. They have included Settings as the first element on the navigation. Settings are not something the user will visit often and yet in this app it has a prime spot on the navigation.
The Explore section has 4 categories; Train, Eat, Live and Features. All these sections take you to different pages, which looks more or less the same. I am a bit confused about what Features is on this app and how it is different from the Blog.
The user is able to Filter within each section. For example in Train, I can filter by the trainer and/or the body part I want to work on. The same filter pattern is applied in the other categories. I can also search for ‘abs’ and get the relevant ab workouts.
The planner is a great feature in the app. It creates a weekly calendar of your workouts and meal plans. Each day offers something different and allows me to try out a different work out and meals.
The Planner allows me to go back in time weekly, but not monthly. A thing that bugs me a lot, is that you cannot favorite a work out or recipe. If I did a favorite workout and wanted to repeat it, I need to look for it. I need to visit Train and then filter or search for it. Why Centr? Why??? Centr recently updated and they added a new feature. It allows me to mark the workout as done or swap in for another workout.
Each workout is organized with warm up, workout, and cool down. I have the option to follow along using guided or work on my own with self-guided. Each work out has a description, which body part it targets and equipment needed before I get started. Rather than watching the full video work out, each movement has a preview, so I can get an idea of how it needs to be done.
These workouts are absolutely intense and they definitely break a sweat. I absolutely love the fact that some workouts do not require equipment. While you workout you can connect with your Apple music to listen to some jams, but there isn't an option to connect with Spotify. However, you can open up Spotify separately and listen to music, while training.
**They started to create a special work out series for the next 4 weeks with a special guest instructor Gunnar Peterson. It is good for beginners and the work out seems to advance each day. I think this is a smart idea to keep the work out fresh.
A thing that confuses me in the Planner is that there is an apple icon on the top of the calendar. When I click on it it takes me to the Snacks section of Eat. I am not sure why that has a prime spot on the screen. Maybe Snacking is a popular section?
The Eat section is good too. It has some very interesting recipes to try and they all look delicious and healthy. I have tried to follow recipes in the snacks categories, the smoothies are a must try!
Overall, this is a great app to use to stay in shape and eating healthy. The design is easy enough to use and you can easily get the hang of it. I do recommend giving it a try.