This is an independent UX expert review based on my proprietary UX checklist for digital health apps. The checklist is based on findings from user testing of 20 health and wellbeing apps. The apps are reviewed against 70 guidelines in 5 categories:
Onboarding and homepage - checkpoints related to first-time user experience (from sign up flow to reaching the home screen of the app)
Tracking - tracking of users' health data and/or symptoms
Data visualisation - how well the app uses data from tracking to display and visualise insights, progress and patterns
Content - findability and presentation of content
Support and education - how well the app uses both data and content to guide and educate users
UX Score in %
7.5 17 44%
Tracking * 12 15 80%
Data visualisation 5 7 71%
Content 7 13 54%
Support and education
17 19 89%
Overall 48.5 71 68%
iOS, May 2020
* Scored based on activity and food tracking
** Scored based on free guided programmes
Onboarding and homepage | Guideline #1
Consider delaying account creation until
user has tried the app.
Fitbit doesn’t allow users to use the app as a
The goal of onboarding ﬂow should be to allow
users to experience the beneﬁts of the app as
soon as possible. Requesting people to create
accounts upfront adds unnecessary steps to the
The app should provide value to the user ﬁrst,
before asking for something in return. Users
who tried the app and experienced some
beneﬁts will be more comfortable providing
Onboarding and homepage | Guideline #4
Make sure there is a clear and explicit
opt-in to terms and conditions.
Fibit requires users to provide explicit opt-in
and the checkbox isn’t pre-selected.
The app also provides a summarised
explanation of key points so that the user
doesn’t have to read the full legal text.
Onboarding and homepage | Guideline #5
Keep the sign-up ﬂow short and allow
people to skip unnecessary steps.
Fitbit onboarding ﬂow includes several
steps that could be removed to
streamline the ﬂow e.g. account creation
and up-selling the trackers.
They also force the user to allow motion
tracking before they can proceed with the
sign up ﬂow. This is a signiﬁcant friction
point as the user is forced to leave the
app amid the sign up ﬂow.
Onboarding and homepage | Guideline #6
Allow the user to step back in the
onboarding process and show how many
steps are left.
Fitbit provides a ‘back’ button to return to
previous steps in the onboarding ﬂow, however,
the app doesn’t show how many steps are left to
complete the ﬂow.
Displaying the number of steps left in the sign
up ﬂow sets the right expectations which
encourages the user to progress through steps.
Onboarding and homepage | Guideline #7
Ask for the minimum data you need.
Fitbit asks for four pieces of personal information during
the sign up ﬂow - date of birth, sex, weight and height.
This isn’t an excessive number, but in some cases they
could improve how they ask for information. For example,
they don’t need the full date of birth to calculate BMI or
metabolic rate - they need age. To streamline the process
and minimise the amount of personal data they hold, the
app should ask for age or year of birth instead of full date
Onboarding and homepage | Guideline #8
Explain why you need the data and how
you use it.
While the app displays an introductory
statement before asking for personal
information, a more transparent approach
would be to display an explicit explanation
on each screen where the user answers
For example in this case the app could
explain why they need to know user’s sex
and how they are going to use this
Onboarding and homepage | Guideline #10
Allow users to pick their goal or area of
interest and tailor the experience to
Users can customise their nutrition and
activity goals in the settings area but the
app doesn’t guide them to do that during
the ﬁrst interaction.
When people download a new app to try
they typically have a speciﬁc goal in mind. If
the app can tailor the ﬁrst-time experience
towards that goal, the user gains trust that
the app can help them achieve their goals
and are more likely to stick to using the
Onboarding and homepage | Guideline #18
Design the home screen around the main
function of the app and the most important
The home screen is designed around most
important tasks and information - current stats
If the user has a challenge or a guided
programme that is in-progress, those will also
These are the things people are most likely to
want to access every time they log in to the app.
Tracking | Guideline #25
Streamline the process of adding entries as
far as possible.
Fitbit makes it easier for the user to track both
activity and nutrition through trackers and bar
Tracking | Guideline #27
Provide shortcuts based on previous
When tracking food, users can choose
form a list or recently or frequently
The app also provides suggestions for
items that are frequently added
Tracking | Guideline #26
If your app provides content that can also be
tracked, allow it to quickly add those entries.
After watching a workout video the user is
prompted to automatically add duration and
burnt calories to their exercise tracker.
However, some of the guided programmes
include suggested recipes which can’t be
automatically added to food tracker.
Content | Guideline #38
Allow bookmarking / adding to favourites.
Apps that include large libraries of content
should allow users to ‘bookmark’ or ‘add to
favourites’ individual pieces of content so that
they can easily return to them later.
Content | Guideline #40
To support browsing, organise content
by problem area not by content type.
In Fitbit users can browse content primarily
by content type (e.g. stats, guided
Additionally, health apps should allow users
to browse by goal or problem area (e.g.
sleep, weight loss). When people start
using a health or wellbeing app, they likely
have a goal in mind or an area they want to
Browsing by problem area will help them
ﬁnd relevant solutions more easily (they
want to ﬁnd a solution to a problem
regardless if it’s a tracker, guided
programme or a video).
Content | Guideline #41
Provide useful ﬁltering options.
When searching for content, people typically choose a high-
level category (e.g. sleep) and then use ﬁlters to narrow
down the list.
Providing useful ﬁltering options helps them ﬁnd suitable
content more easily.
Content | Guideline #42
Use a label instead of an icon for ﬁlters.
Signiﬁcant proportion of users in user testing sessions don’t
recognise ‘ﬁler’ icons. To make sure people can easily ﬁnd
this function, use a label instead of an icon.
Content | Guideline #49
Present content in a way that is easy to scan
Articles in guided programmes are written as step-
by-step instructions and the text is broken up with
headings, bullet points and images.
Presenting the content in a digestible way will
allow users to engage with it more easily.
Support and education | Guideline #51
Include ‘duty of care’ information.
Before starting a guided programme, Fitbit users are
advised that the information is presented for
informational purposes and that they should consult
a healthcare professional if they have a speciﬁc health
This approach increases app’s transparency and
encourages users to make informed decisions about
Support and education | Guideline #52
Provide practical tips related to
Fitbit app provides mindfulness exercises
related to mindful eating and body
By addressing speciﬁc topics that their
user base is likely to be interested in, they
are making the experience more relevant
Support and education | Guideline #53
Tailor to a speciﬁc audience.
Content that is relevant to a speciﬁc
audience and addresses the topics
this audience is likely to be interested
in is more engaging than generic
Fitbit provides audience-speciﬁc
content e.g. by providing exercise
videos for kids and community groups
for speciﬁc user segments.
Support and education | Guideline #56
Guide and recommend but don’t force
the user to follow the path you have
designed for them.
Health apps can guide users toward better
choices more successfully if they balance
guidance and user autonomy. That means
users need to be given a freedom to choose
their own goals and adjust recommended
In Fitbit some of the guided programmes
provide a sense of autonomy (e.g. in ‘Habits
for Restful Sleep’ users can choose their own
goals and habits) while others don’t (e.g. in
‘Intro to Healthy Habits’ users can’t change
recommended workouts or recipes).
Support and education | Guideline #59
Create an easy to follow content path.
As part of guided programme ‘Habits for Restful
Sleep’ Fitbit app recommends most suitable
This way the app provides personalised
recommendations and surfaces the right content
at the right time.
Support and education | Guideline #65
Help people create a routine that
works for their lifestyle.
In the ‘Habits for Restful Sleep’ guided
programme the app prompts the user to
enter their bedtime. This way the app
can tailor the recommendations to their
daily routine, making it more relevant
Support and education | Guideline #66
Make the reminders customisable, granular and
an explicit opt in.
In Fitbit app users can selectively opt-in to speciﬁc
Allowing users to choose what they want to be notiﬁed
about increases the chances that they will pay
attention to the reminders (in comparison to generic