Recently Dave Voyles took some time to have a conversation with me about how I use XBox Fitness and my Microsoft Band to get in shape over the past year. We relate the experience to the software development process. Dave’s podcast focuses on game development, so this was a slight deviation from his normal topics, but we kept relating my weight loss process to in game experiences.
The Microsoft Band is one of many popular wearables that offers detailed telemetry on your daily health and fitness activities. I have had a Band for almost a year now, it was worth it to track my daily calorie burn. I average two daily work outs and set daily step goals. But the Band offers much more than those basic measurements. Now it tracks your stair climbing, sleep, UV exposure and more. You can tell the band what sort of exercise you are doing or follow one of its guided workouts. Right now the Band is on sale, so if you have been holding out for a wearable this is a good time to buy a Microsoft Band.
I did not buy an XBox One until this past September, 4 months after I lost the bulk of my weight. I bought it for two reasons, cutting the chord and XBox fitness. During my weight loss effort I got hooked on high intensity interval workouts (HIIT). XBox Fitness is a free application (game really) that takes the home workout video to the next level using the Kinect.
XBox Fitness comes with many free workouts and others you can purchase to expand your library. You can find everything from 10 minute to hour long workouts. You can find workouts that range from Pilates, to yoga to my favorite, MMA.
XBox Fitness uses the Kinect to grade you as you workout, giving you feedback on how to improve. It awards points based on your movement qualities. It has built in features that allow you to compete against yourself as well as the anonymous mass in your sex and age group.
Dave and I talk about how I use the XBox fitness feedback loop and gamification to improve my fitness and effort each day. We relate this experience to how we build applications, especially from the performance perspective.
The point being you need to monitor the details around how your user experiences your application. This provides the feedback loop you need to continuously improve your application.
I hope you will take some time and add our conversation to your podcast rotation . I hope you will find some information to help you improve your personal health as well as your applications. Chances are you are like I was, overweight and out of shape and chances are your web sites are the same. I hope my personal story inspires you to get off the couch and out of the cube to get your health and fitness back. And while you are at it do the same for your web applications.