Keep Athletes Going Strong with the Curae App

My Role
UX Research + UX Design
Jan 2020 - Apr 2020
Pencil + Paper + Trello + Adobe XD

Project Overview

Amplio, a health tech start up based in Washington, D.C., is developing a suite of apps for athletes and sports teams in the U.S. Amplio wanted us to design a prototype

The challenge was to create a prototype of the Curae app that would present assessments based on thermal imaging and A.I. readings to determine potential soft tissue injuries for athletes. Our goal was to ensure that the app would present that data in an easy, understandable way to athletes and recommend potential treatment before injuries occurred.

The outcome of the project was a prototype that Amplio could launch for further testing in late 2020/early 2021.

My Role

I was one of two UX designers in a four person team. My contributions were:

  • User Research (Research planning, 1 user interview and conducting usability testing)
  • UX Design (Persona, User flows, User Journey/Scenario, Sitemap, Designed Mobility Assessment Flow and Layout of Home Dashboard)
  • Low to Mid-fi Mock-ups
  • Prototyping (basic flows and interactions)
  • Usability Testing + Data Synthesis + Revisions

The Challenge

After speaking to athletes about their personal experiences with past injuries and recovery, the challenge changed from how might we help athletes minimize their risk of injury so they can stay in the game? to how do you help athletes build trust the app to avoid injury?

Solution + Features

Create an iOS tablet app prototype that address and monitors potential soft tissue injuries to athletes using data gathered by thermal cameras and A.I. software.

5 Minute Mobility Assessment

Streamline the mobility assessment which consisted of athletes learning and performing 10 pre-selected exercises by 2 cameras (one thermal imaging + one motion capture with A.I.).

Specified Points of Inflammation

Potential soft tissue injuries would be indicated by points of inflammation on the digital twin and could be expanded upon for more information.

Process + Design


User Research

We wanted to ensure that the Curae app would help athletes reach new levels and be able to shoot for the gold as they trained. Our goal with our interviews was to learn:

  • Previous injury history of our athletes
  • Medical Treatment and Recovery process of injuries including interactions with doctors, trainers, etc.
  • Their usual training routines and the frequencies

After synthesizing our data from our 4 user interviews we learned that athletes trusted themselves more than anyone else due to negative medical and training experiences when they were younger. This created an unhealthy injury/recovery cycle came from:

  • Misdiagnosis of injuries by medical professionals
  • Distrust of Medical and Training support teams
  • Lead to athletes self managing their injuries

A Shift in Perspective

Initially, I thought the problem would only be about presenting data when in actuality the problem was in building trust. The idea became now to create an app that builds a relationship with the athlete through accurate data, granting them more control and taking their concerns into consideration. Using their experiences, I put together a user scenario and journey for our persona Jenny Johnson to represent the athletes and dive deeper into potential frustrations with the app.

“You want to go as high and as fast as humanly possible. Faster than you’ve ever done it before. You can’t think about getting hurt.” - Brandon Wynn, Olympic Gymnast + Interviewee


After synthesizing our findings, honing in on potential frustrations and solidifying the user flow, I did a few quick sketches of the Curae experience of the mobility assessment and dashboard. I played with the idea of a top 5 injuries chart on the dashboard in addition to the "digital twin".

Usability Testing + Feedback

I conducted usability testing remotely with users that helped us clarify features and language for the app. The primary goals of the tests were to see if:

  • users could administer the assessments without issues
  • users can navigate the dashboard and the rest of the app

In our testing with 6 users, it revealed that they:

  • constantly ran into flow issues due to excessive modals
  • didn't understand the purpose of certain deslgn elements
  • some of the wording in the navigation bar didn't resonate with them

Outcomes and Reflections

Our prototype was handed to Amplio and should be testing by end of 2020/early 2021. I suggested that the digital avatar should have the ability to rotate 360 degrees as well as increase focus on athlete mental health which plays an important role in their performance. I would have liked to have done more research to ensure that we are addressing the additional needs of the athletes.

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