We like the graphic style and sense of humor in this App. We also felt it had a kind of democracy to it by creating enjoyable conditions – helping you to exercise with friends without the need to join a gym.
Teemo's goal is to bring "fitness fun with friends" to the large, stressed-out and underserved portion of the population who want to exercise, but don't. Conceived, funded, designed, developed and launched by our team in partnership with Bonnier R&D, Teemo is a fun and quirky fitness adventure game that combines proven training techniques, social connection and entertaining adventures to help small groups of friends get and stay moving.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The idea for Teemo started with some research done around the ‘quantified self’ movement. We identified self-tracking behavior and the digital health market as a really interesting area where we, as a design company, might be able to have a positive impact. But came to the conclusion that most quantified self technologies out there are more appropriate for avid exercisers or people with a medical need, rather than the average person who just needs to improve their health by moving more. Together, with Bonnier R&D, we decided to design a new product that uses the device people are already carrying around (the iPhone) and prioritizes game play and social interaction, with behavior tracking in the background. This exploration turned into Teemo, a sleek interactive game for the iPhone that combines proven training techniques, social motivation, and exciting adventures to help people get moving.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
While most start-ups adhere to the "minimum viable product" credo, we knew that the game experience of Teemo would have to be rich, so the challenge was to take a more of a "maximal viable product" approach in terms of craft. Teemo players can invite Facebook friends to join virtual adventures that will transport them around the globe, like catching a jewel thief, performing in a traveling circus, or sailing the Caribbean. In real life, players will be doing fitness-boosting activities like squats, lunges, jumping jacks and bear crawls—from the comfort of home or any location with a few square feet of empty space. With engaging adventure narratives, short-and-sweet workouts and a beautiful user interface, Teemo makes exercise simple and fun. Each of the challenge narratives was richly written and illustrated by our team to engage users into fun and entertaining virtual adventures around the globe.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
Research shows that people stick to a workout program better if they have friends to help motivate them, but there’s also data that suggests social comparison can be discouraging. We wanted Teemo to be encouraging, relying on cooperation with friends rather than competition. We liked the idea of tracking time spent exercising because it levels the playing field and makes it possible for possible at very different levels of fitness to play together.Teemo's exercises were selected by certified trainers with expertise in functional movement, strength, flexibility, balance and cardiovascular fitness. The program is based on a high-intensity interval training protocol, which has been scientifically proven to be one of the most safe and efficient ways to increase fitness and improve overall health across diverse populations of exercisers. In contrast with programs that focus on running or lifting weights, Teemo mixes things up with a variety of movements that engage your whole body and require no equipment. And rather than make you count "reps," Teemo uses an interval timer with rest periods built in, so you just need to work as hard as you're comfortable with for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds. From an interaction design perspective, Teemo is above all an experiment in moving beyond conventional approaches to gamification and social computing. Groups of friends can find value in working together to better their fitness capacities. The app has made fitness coaching tips accessible and simple, so that those who don’t usually exercise can be invited into the experience without feeling overwhelmed. From the start, the project team set its sights on providing a fitness program that is more than points schemes, peer pressure, life logging, and self-quantification. Ultimately, the product takes inspiration from the notion that the greatest source of happiness and motivation is connections to family and friends.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
Our goal for Teemo is a tad audacious: We want to help people live healthier, happier lives. Research shows that even small amounts of exercise lead to better overall health, that interval training is one of the most effective ways to gain fitness quickly, and that social motivation is the glue that makes good habits stick. With Teemo, we're bringing these ideas together into one fun and quirky little game you can carry with you everywhere and play anytime. Out of approximately 50,000 total downloads, Teemo currently has an average of 10,000 active daily users. 25,000 users are active monthly. Of the 10,000 most active users, the average person plays Teemo twice each day! Getting 10,000 people to exercise twice a day is exactly the sort of metric we were hoping for.