Synapse Studios
Synapse Studios — Creating Delightful Experiences
— Product Design
— UI / UX Design
— Front-End Development (React)
Synapse Studios is a web and mobile app development company that enjoys working with a variety of clients in different industries and with different problems on the spectrum. From healthcare contracts to automated smart apartments, Synapse Studios strives to take the dull moments of a person’s day and make it both efficient and enjoyable experience.
Project Summary
The Mission
In coordination with project managers and developers, we work as a team alongside the client to create wireframes, prototypes, and eventually full-fledged web and mobile apps catered towards the client’s business goals and optimized for their users.

Because I’ve had the privilege to work on a variety of projects at Synapse Studios, I will specifically highlight SilverSneakersGO and the process I went through in this case study. We use similar processes and even evolved it over time for existing and future projects.
Many of our apps created at Synapse Studios are published and displayed in both Apple and Google Play stores. Specifically to this

SilverSneakersGO App (iOS)SilverSneakersGO App (Android)
As a Product Designer at Synapse Studios, I’m in charge of handling UX, UI, interaction design, front-end development, design systems, and sometimes hints of documenting and extending the brand’s visual identity system. Along with my other co-workers on the design team, we are often shuffled around helping each other and picking up where the other left off.
Love Life Longer™
SilverSneakers is a brand within TivityHealth that focuses on senior fitness and health. As a part of Medicare and other health insurance plans, they are poised with the task of making their program benefits known to seniors as well as encouraging seniors to workout at gyms and capture that data.

SilverSneakers’ main mission is to encourage seniors to workout and check in to classes and gyms which would inspire a healthier and longer lifestyle.
Achieving the MVP
In collaboration with the team at TivityHealth, the Synapse team all started out the process with a quick sprint to start listing out features, technical concerns, goals, ideas, and so on. The goal of this sprint was to define the MVP since we wanted to release an app on the store before a certain deadline. Having an MVP also helps us lock us down to features we know we need to meet business goals, and wait for market and user feedback to determine which other features we need to add on later.

Once we defined the minimal features we were starting with, we kicked off the product cycle with a design sprint creating simple wireframes. I opted to do super basic grayscale wireframes at first and prototype them to quickly establish some common UX interactions when it comes to flows such as onboarding and registration. Spending more time on interactions and flow here rather than aesthetics helped the team stay focused on who our target audience is and optimizing their path of success.

Since a lot of our features were “common” features of existing apps, the teams used that to our advantage by researching popular fitness apps to see where the trend lies and come up with the pros and cons of each interaction. We later tested our assumptions using UserTesting to help us pinpoint a direction to land on.
Stress Testing Designs
While designing the app and fleshing out features such as maps and list views, it was very important for us to always think about our audience. Because our audience are seniors that are 65+, there’s a lot to take into consideration when it comes to design and interactions. Certain behaviors such as swiping gestures and colors had to be revised and tweaked to make sure everything is usable and legible.

One of the bigger challenges that came into play was the fact that our users heavily used the font-scaling or font changes on their phones. This resulted in a lot of mixed experiences and views for different people. We handled this by stress testing certain components to accommodate such changes and ensured that the components were designed to be more flexible.
Continuous Improvement
Once the MVP product was developed and finished, it launched to the app store (SilverSneakersGO) and was downloaded thousands of times reaching an average of 4.0-4.5 star reviews on the Apple/Google Play stores. The greatest part of launching a product quickly is all the feedback we gained from real users. Because we started out with a limited set features, we were able to collect a lot of information about what the users wanted. Some features we thought the user would enjoy were actually lower on the priority list and vice versa.

Over time, Tivity Health continues to work with Synapse Studios to continually improve the application and also advance our efforts to user test using methods like A/B testing and testing prototypes with live users.
Silver Sneakers - Synapse Studios