As part of a class project, my team and I worked with the UX team of MyFitnessPal to evaluate its paid version, MyFitnessPal Premium. Our goal was to understand the needs and wants of Premium users, and to provide recommendations to the MyFitnessPal team about how they can better recruit, serve, and retain Premium members.


Interaction Map, Comparative Analysis, Interviews, Surveys, Personas, Heuristic Evaluation and Usability Testing




Team of 4 & UX researcher


Jan 2018 - May 2018


Evaluating MyFitnessPal (MFP) Premium user experience 

We started the project by setting up stakeholder interviews with the UX team of MyFitnessPal to understand the scope of the project. The goal of the project was decided as : 

Evaluate the paid version of MyFitnessPal which is MyFitnessPal premium and understand how MyFitnessPal can better recruit, serve and retain Premium members.

With this goal in mind, we defined sub questions and conducted multiple research studies to answer them.


Interaction Map

We started our analysis by exploring system, including the regular and premium parts of MyFitnessPal. We mapped out all possible paths a user could take within the current system and the interactions that take place between them.





























We wanted to uncover the needs, behaviors, motivations and pain-points of Premium users. We also wanted to understand the awareness of Premium version among Non-premium users and their willingness to join Premium. So, we conducted interviews with 3 Premium users and 2 non-premium users. 


After our interviews, we created an affinity wall that helped to identify key needs and user behavior patterns of Premium and Non Premium users w.r.t the Premium experience.
















Comparative Analysis

Comparative analysis was a valuable tool to see how competitors offered similar services in different ways. We analyzed direct, indirect, partial, parallel and analogous competitors of MyFitnessPal. 









Next, we wanted to understand the grievances and the limitations of the application, so we prepared and deployed a 12 question survey aimed at MFP Premium users who quit Premium. 




Heuristic Evaluation

Next, using Nielsen’s 10 Heuristics, we conducted a heuristic evaluation on MFP, focussing on heuristics we deemed to be most relevant.

Usability Tests

Finally, we conducted 5 usability tests and observed how users interacted with the MFP Premium application. 













#1 :Hard to distinguish Premium and Non Premium features

From our interviews and survey, we found that a large amount of users could not differentiate between premium and non premium version of the app.


Non-premium users were unsure of what features the premium version included.


Premium users did not think that the “ad free” version was totally different  and were also unaware of features such as priority customer service that comes with premium.














While conducting heuristic evaluation, we found that as the user navigates through the app, there isn’t any visual distinction that is indicative of whether the feature that is being used is part of the Premium or non-Premium version.


Moreover, the descriptions and settings of premium features are contained within “My Premium Features” in the “More” tab of the application, that is difficult for the user to find.



  • We first recommend renaming the ‘More’ tab and group existing content under logical headings.

  • Providing more visible tools to help users navigate the app such as tooltips, instructional overlays, coach marks and the option to repeat on-boarding will help the user navigation through the app easier

  • Introducing style changes to make it more obvious to the user that they are using the Premium service.

    • This can be done by marking premium specific features with icons or other small signifiers

    • There is also an opportunity to remind the user of their premium subscription on launch























#2 : There are problems with Navigation 

From interaction map and heuristic evaluation, we found that there were  multiple different path to accomplish the same task. This caused users in the usability test to be overwhelmed and confused while navigating the app.











From interaction map and usability tests, we also noticed that many features are buried deep within the app, making it difficult to access them. For example, a user can add food to their diary by navigating to the diary tab or choosing ‘quick add’. However, we discovered that using ‘quick add’ took more clicks than navigating to the diary.

The search function of the app proved to be a major pain point.​ When users navigate to the ‘add food’ or add ‘exercise screen’, the ‘recent’ tab is preselected. This means they will see any foods or exercise that they recently added. But a new user who has yet to add anything will see nothing. Some of the users in our usability tests believed this meant they had to manually create each food and exercise they wanted to add.






















Additionally, when typing in search terms, the message “no results found” appears until a user clicks “enter”. This was identified as a major issue because it leads users to believe that the food or exercise they want is not there and fuels the assumption that they will have to manually create what they want to track.


  • Simplify the ways users can access features and reduce redundancy. The simpler, the better!

  • The default tab for exercise and food from ‘Recent’ to a pre-populated list.

  • Improve the search experience by auto-completing searches and placing the search bar in more visible places within the app so that users know that the app has fully functional search capabilities. 


#3 : Users want more personalization

Through interviews and surveys, we found that users wanted a higher level of personalization throughout the app. Users mentioned that they have varied fitness goals and diets, and would want the application to be customized to help

them achieve these fitness goals.







There are some features in the app that exist to support these goals but users were not able to locate them or had no idea that they could accomplish what they were talking about within the current application.


Expanding the dashboard feature to be more inclusive to other diets.This can include creating preset ways for users to customize their goals based on their dietary needs or preferences, such as allowing users to identify themselves as keto dieters, vegetarian/vegan, diabetic, those who have had gastric bypasses, etc, and see goals which automatically account for this.



















This may be developed through consultation with registered dietitians or sports nutrition experts, with the understanding that even these pre-set diets should be customizable. Users may be able to pick a pre set diet or exercise plan during the onboarding experience.

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