5 Ways Health Clubs Can Take Advantage of ‘Experience Design’

Today’s businesses need to utilize forward-thinking design concepts to maintain a competitive advantage. Here’s what that means for clubs.

Function and form: Those are the two basic elements of successful design. Whether you’re designing a webpage or an automobile, you need to combine pleasing aesthetics with efficient engineering.

Today, that simple equation seems inadequate. Design, in today’s global consumer marketplace, has become something much more than sleek lines and practical applications.

The reason? Design has a major impact on the bottom line. According to Forrester Research, every dollar spent on user experience design brings in $100 in return. Forbes reports that Jeff Bezos invested 100 times more into customer experience design than advertising during the first year of Amazon. It’s fair to say that Bezos’s strategy paid off.

That, ultimately, is why design matters: customer experience. And it’s become more important to health clubs than ever before. A big reason for this is the stimulating environments innovated by boutique clubs. Lighting, music, color schemes, space utilization, high-tech equipment—it all plays a part in creating a health club interior that appeals to today’s consumer.

But in today’s marketplace, you need to embrace the advanced concepts of experience design, especially if you want to maintain an advantage as we move into the next decade.

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5 Key Design Concepts for 2020 and Beyond

These out-of-the-box design trends should help you prepare your facility for now and in the future, especially if you’re targeting the younger demographics you’ll need to grow in order to grow into the next decade.

1. The Tech Integrated Gym

A report by McKinsey stresses the importance of designing an environment that utilizes the broad connectivity of today’s consumer technology. “Top-quartile companies embrace the full user experience; they break down internal barriers among physical, digital, and service design. The boundaries between products and services are merging into integrated experiences.” Internet of Things, immersive virtual reality, digitally controlled lockers, charging hubs, and other elements of a “wired” club are going to become more valued in the future.

2. The Club Within a Club

An article in CBI’s November 2019 issue, “Functional Training by Design,” describes the trend of creating a “boutique within a club” dedicated to functional training. These spaces can be designed and branded separately from the host facility. Done well, this concept can increase the value of your club’s square footage while improving ROI. And it’s much less expensive than redesigning the entire club.

3. The Instagram Effect

With more than 180 million uses of #fitness on Instagram each day, many clubs are keeping social media in mind when updating their facility design. Every member is a potential influencer when it comes to posting images, and clubs have become more accommodating in allowing use of cameras in designated areas that can inspire viral-worthy moments.

4. Designing for “Values”

Sustainability and “green gyms” are important to many consumers, particularly Millennials and Generation Z. These members seek businesses that reflect their environmental concerns and other socially conscious policies. Designing your club with green policies in mind can increase brand loyalty and referrals from members who give these issues high priority.

5. Experience Designed Equipment

No forward-thinking club environment can overcome poorly designed equipment populating the cardio floor. To truly create a motivating and exciting user experience that will play well into the next decade, it’s important to choose an equipment supplier who puts a premium on design, while also delivering connectivity, entertainment options, and durability.

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Revolutionizing Equipment Aesthetics and Engineering

On the leading edge of equipment design is Intenza Fitness. The company’s visionary designers combine Zen principles with highest standards in durability and technical innovation. Their award-winning designs bring mindfulness to everyday fitness. Intenza equipment is the first choice of high-end hotels, resorts, and luxury spas in over 69 countries, but their high-performance cardio line also fits comfortably in boxing gyms and multipurpose chains.

Intenza’s achievement in revolutionary design has caught the attention of global professionals. The company’s Escalate Stairclimber 550 Series earned the Red Dot Award, an international product design prize chosen by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westallen in Essen, Germany. Intenza’s 550 Series Treadmill, Recumbent Bike 550 Series, and 550GC Series upright bike are in the same class as the award-winning Escalate.

But Intenza’s expertise goes far beyond equipment design. They’ll work closely with you to create the perfect solution for your brand and club environment, whether you operate an exclusive five-star property or a multipurpose facility. Intenza understands the need for club owners to create the highest possible standards in experience design, and they’ll be your partner in providing a competitive edge in your marketplace.

The features of Intenza’s cardio machines keep exercisers coming back for more. The elegant curve of aluminum materials masks an engineering complexity that accommodates any level of exerciser, from high-performing athlete to special populations. The Escalate is famous for its Smart Step—Height feature that offers a range of 20 different step heights, making it ideal for everyday consumers, as well as seniors and others with limited mobility.

Intenza’s units also deliver technology demanded by today’s mobile-minded consumer. Their Entertainment Series and Interactive Series consoles deliver an unpatrolled user experience in entertainment and connectivity features. And club owners will love InCare, advanced self-diagnostic software that’s embedded in every unit.

For more information on Intenza’s line of advanced products, visit their website today.

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Jim Schmaltz

Jim Schmaltz is a contributor to IHRSA.org