Among the different educational and lifestyle apps available in the market, only a few are able to implement proper learning approaches that contribute to the growth of the whole person. This can be attributed to the problem of popular ineffective methods people use for personal development misunderstanding the person in their entirety. We discovered the need for a new learning approach that holistically considers the plethora of varying personal needs..
What it does
Trains gets you back on track as a multi-faceted educational and lifestyle mobile application that trains the body, mind, and heart in holistic physical, intellectual, and emotional development.
How we built it
We started off by conducting UX research to dictate our app’s human-centered design direction. After that, we delved into the ideation process to conceptualize our app solution to inefficient and ineffective learning approaches. Finally, we utilized a multidisciplinary approach to mobile development prototyping with graphic design and UX design.
Trains contains three main features — home, tracks, and stations.
The Home page monitors the users’ progress and activity according to their various facets of personal development. It comprises three views: one that plots activities out in a calendar layout, one that displays them in daily schedule, and one that tracks users’ progress relative to their set end goals.
Tracks consists of three subfeatures or tracks that pertain to the intellectual (mind), physical (body), and emotional (heart) aspects of personal growth. It offers activities for each track intended to holistically develop the users’ personal functions by instilling habitual learning.
In training one’s mind, Trains trains the user in their academic and mental capacities by connecting its users to different learning platforms like YouTube educators, TedX, Crash Course, CourseHero, Khan Academy, and so much more! It optimizes user-preference and recommendation algorithms to cater to your educational needs by procuring videos, articles, podcasts, research, and other materials from multiple sources. It allows the user to build their own track which is sorted based on their profile, history, recommendations, and other preferences.
In training one’s body, Trains offers a training plan and schedule that organizes the user’s fitness experience and guides their journey. Trains also offers a nutrition scanner that makes labels more understandable that conjoins with a diet planner catered to the user’s fitness journey. Scan or search foods to get nutrition & protein information and get recommendations on where to buy your next meal of the day while monitoring your daily calorie intake.
In training one’s heart, Trains has a mood log that enables users to express themselves more openly. Along with the mood tracker comes mood notes, a journal that allows them to look back and reflect. While there are existing mood tracker and hobby tracker apps in the market, the app’s technology uses data analytics in processing the mood tracker with your app usage, screen time, interests & hobbies, and diary entries to help you learn more about how your daily activities impact your mood and what you can do the next time you feel down.
Users may also access the Trains community through Stations. Stations connects users to other like-minded users on the same journey to personal growth to share in their lifestyles. This feature allows users to access stations or lists containing mutually performed personal development activities similar to the Blends feature on Spotify for music.
Challenges we ran into
The primary problem that we aimed to address was identifying the key performance issues found in products in the oversaturated lifestyle market — in particular, the fact that lifestyle applications that are centered on learning and growth tend to cater to a particular area of learning only, lacking in other areas of learning.
Another challenge we came across is addressing the lack of tools that consider the person's different modes of learning (i.e. intellectual, emotional, and physical to name a few) within applications. Our application had to tackle learning and development in a more holistic sense.
The team also needed to create the most user-friendly interface in designing the wireframes and prototype as the application had to run seamlessly all throughout, especially considering the multiple features it had.
Trains makes use of features that are already widely used today with different applications. Given this, Trains could look to introducing integrations with other complementary personal development and productivity software like Notion for wider market reach.
To capitalize on the social aspect of Trains, it could expand the scope of Stations or implement more community features like it. This would effectively widen the network of users within Trains and streamline personal networking.
Given the reliance on educational tools, Trains should look to partner with existing applications that serve as modes of education such as Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Khan Academy, Course Hero, and the like.