New York Sports Club

New York Sports Club

Building a stronger, leaner experience.

Role: Product Design, UX/UI • Company: Kettle


The Client

New York Sports Club is the largest owner and operator of fitness clubs in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, the third largest club operators in the United States. 

They operate under the brand names of Town Sports International (TSI, parent company), New York Sports Club (NYSC), Boston Sports Club (BSC), Washington Sports Club (WSC), and Philadelphia Sports Club (PSC). The NYSC brand has been in existence for 38 years.


The Challenge

For many years, NYSC gyms have been a great local place to work out. However, the competition has grown, and as a result NYSC is losing current members to competitors and new memberships are rapidly declining. NYSC has the equipment and the classes - but they will never be as cheap as the no-frills gym, or as niche as the boutique studios.

How can we create a more custom NYSC fitness experience that doesn’t end at the door?




Competitive Research

To get a better understanding of the current digital fitness landscape, we evaluated direct fitness competitors and their digital offerings. Surprisingly, only a small amount of competitors were taking advantage of new technology and offering digital services to make their members' lives better. The lack of best-in-class digital fitness experiences gave us room to explore new ways to bring NYSC to life.


User Research

Building off of our competitive research, we asked stakeholders and members about NYSC and fitness in general to understand what they think is missing from their NYSC experience:

  • The Business and the Brand
    • “What do you believe is the NYSC value proposition?”
  • The Customer
    • “How would you describe the prime Town Sports customer?”
    • “Who are they and what do they care about?”
  • Category and Competition
    • “What are some of fitness trends that you think are affecting the industry as a whole?”
  • The Role of Digital
    • “What are the ways digital can help the operational inefficiencies of TSI?”

Key Findings

The problem according to stakeholders:

  1. The gym isn’t a place people can be proud of like members of higher end gyms are

  2. TSI isn’t competing well with new fitness trends like SoulCycle and other boutique studios

  3. Personal Training, a large source of revenue for the company, has been dwindling down each year

  4. Memberships are typically done on paper

The problem according to members:

  1. It’s not a brand they feel proud to represent
  2. They feel very on their own with their membership, both in and out of the gym
  3. There is very little transparency with what members can and can’t do with their memberships
  4. Lack of access to knowledgable staff 
    • “The staff seems to be getting smaller and smaller. When I have a question about my membership, it’s hard to find somebody with the answer.”

Concept Testing

Based on research and our initial interviews, we created 3 different concepts to test that encompassed these 6 principles:

  1. Tailor the Experience
  2. Inspire to Explore
  3. Reward Members
  4. Make it Fun
  5. Foster Community
  6. Anticipate Needs

Testing Methodology


  • 10 Participants total
  • 5 NYSC Members, 5 Non-Members (ClassPass and Competitor Gyms)
  • Mix of age, race, and socioeconomic background

Materials we tested:

  • Concept Write-Ups
  • Landing Pages
  • Key Scenarios
  • Summary of all three concepts

Scoring System:

  • 3pts - Liked
  • 2pts - On the fence
  • 1pts - Didn’t like

Feature Score Card

  • Scores range from 10-30 points:
  • 25-30 points: Aim to Implement
  • 15-25 points: Should Improve
  • 10-15 points: Should Reconsider

Testing Results


After scoring and synthesizing our results, these were the features users deemed most beneficial to their fitness experience:

  • On-boarding Process
  • Initial goal-setting
  • Customized routine based on time
  • Step-by-step how-to for each exercise (with multimedia content)
  • Responsive, smart recommendations based on behaviors
  • Rate gym / class
  • Anticipated club crowd levels
  • Rewards
  • Responsive Ratings
  • Longer Term Fitness Plans
  • On-Demand PT Booking
  • Competition Mechanisms
  • New membership models
  • Check-ins with trainers
  • Holistic recommendations / guidance
  • Health/fitness hacks outside of the gym

Applying It All

With the user testing results in mind, we laid out flows for the two most important business objectives: becoming a member and booking classes, training, & fitness programs. To simplify the flows for the NYSC stakeholders, we separated each flow type into 3 different member types: unknown, lead, and member.


Key User Flows: Joining

Key User Flows: Booking


Wireframes & Usability Testing


Giving users what they need.

Additional to our findings from our research, we found many flaws in the current NYSC website experience. Through a taxonomy assessment, we established a new IA and site map that gives the user a continual experience without dead-ends.

Restructuring the navigation system and reducing the amount of clicks it took to join or book a class were top priorities. With usability at the forefront of our design process, we created prototype after prototype to make sure everything we designed was best in class. Interactive prototypes are an integral part of my process as I believe they are the best way to rapidly simulate and communicate true user experiences.

This is an image showcasing wireframes. maybe i show the flow then the wires that go with?

UI & Interaction Design


We reimagined their existing brand and created a product style that elevates their brand to present day.




Within the first month, the newly-designed web experience drove an immediate:

  • 137% increase in revenue

    63% increase in e-commerce conversion

    45% increase in average cart total