My fitness friend

by Tom Albrighton 4 October 2018 Copywriting, Copywriting reviews

While ad copy talks about the experience of a product, UX copy forms part of that experience itself.

These motivational messages from the Fitbit app, which pop up when you finish an exercise, are a great example.

Fitness app post-workout messages read: ‘Great work’, ‘ ‘Work it, work it out’, On fire’, ‘Big time’, ‘Aww snap!’, ‘Time to stretch’, ‘Great exercise’, ‘Rockin’ it’, ‘You owned that’, ‘Booyah’, ‘[smiley emoji]’, ‘5 and done’ (on completing a five-mile run), ‘Nice 10k’ (on completing a 10k run).

Technologically, they’re trivial. But emotionally, they’re vital, turning the app from an inert repository of data into a gung-ho personal trainer or enthusiastic workout buddy.

Laid out like this, they probably look rather silly. But when you’ve just ground out a sub-50 on your 10k, capping months of training, you’ll happily believe that *anybody* cares about your time. Even if it’s only your phone.

The messages for particular distances are a genius touch, giving a real sense that the app is watching and appreciating your progress. (For all I know, there are others for the half and full marathon – I’ve never gone that far.)

Some may find it sad that we have to quantify, or gamify, every aspect of our lives. Personally, I’m pragmatic. The phones exist, and they’re not going away. If they can motivate us to do something healthy, that has to be better than trivial, time-wasting distractions. But as with sex robots (I imagine), it’s strange to feel befriended when you’re actually alone.

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