Design Thinking Observations

The following observations were made with the intent of identifying any design problems in the space being observed.  With this in mind I made observations over a 45min period at my local gym Nu-Yu Health and Fitness at North Melbourne. Permission to do so was obtained by management before proceeding with this task. An image of part of the observed space is found on the Nu Yu website.

Raw observations are recorded in the following image:


Nu Yu Observations


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  1. Hi Simon,
    an interesting set of observations. From this I get:
    signage from outside to inside could be clearer.
    Weight area seems to be too small for usage patterns.
    Storage for specific items such as towel, bottle, phone could be more specific. Would it be worth adding jumpers here?
    The screen, audio, concentration pattern could be worth further consideration.
    Who is deciding the ambience levels? Is this worth a quick user survey?
    Using the method card concept: What should a gym be like? A playground? Energising? Clear floor space? Not distracting?
    Hope this helps!

  2. Simon – seems like design thinking is in order for this space. From your observations, the floor [and walls too …cords hanging loose] could be considered WHS issues? Brown [2009, p40] discusses putting people first – people are so adaptable when faced with inconvenience, they’re not conscious of it. Is this what has happened here? Perhaps a walk through with a first time visitor would be enlightening, together observing “watching what people don’t do, listening to what they don’t say.” (Brown, 2009, p. 43).

  3. I *hate* my gym, which is nonetheless spacious and ‘well designed’ (with a killer view over the Firth of Forth from the running machines). My issue is not the space design, but the fact that none of the journey through the gym has been designed for reluctant participants. It seems made for people who know what they want. It is decidedly NOT for people operating in a C space 😉 Great observations – so rich.

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