A Student Design Project for Castle Hill Fitness

Focus on n

ew member onboarding.

Learn how new members feel about and become familiarized with the products and services offered by Castle Hill Fitness.




To build empathy to better feel what it’s like to be a new member at Castle Hill Fitness.


To observe current processes used to onboard new Castle Hill Fitness members.


To identify how members and employees feel about new member onboarding and how this relates to their overall gym experience at Castle Hill Fitness.


Jody’s Story

A new member story

Jody joined Castle Hill Fitness in her late 60’s and had only taken one class before she got sick with a respiratory illness. It left her so weak that she couldn't get up off the floor on her own.

She was going to cancel, but Castle Hill Staff stepped in…

You can’t cancel. This is when you need us the most, right? This we can do! We can’t heal you but we can help you get stronger.
— CHF Trainer
I see her twice a week for 30 minutes. We chit chat but she is working. It’s very targeted towards her being able to function better, to get up and down and move around.
— CHF Trainer
She has gone from being a very fragile, post-invalid, to being an activist in her community. And she is changing the world, man, she’s out there fighting and moving and going.
— CHF Trainer
The scariest thing with this woman was that she had fallen a couple of times and she couldn’t get up off the floor.
— CHF Trainer
My really victorious moment was when she sat down on a Bosu to put her shoes on and got up without using her hands.
— CHF Trainer


Themes are made from inferring what the underlying meaning or behavior is behind each utterance and creating groupings based on these.

Theme 1

People are drawn to Castle Hill Fitness because it is doing its part to keep Austin weird.

Theme 2

Castle Hill Fitness places an emphasis on providing a personalized experience for their members.

Theme 3

Employees have a complicated relationship with new members.

Theme 4

Employees have different interpretations of what their role is at Castle Hill Fitness.

Service Slices

Service slices isolate specific aspects of an experience, so we can better make sense of complexity.


inferred provocative statements of truth about human behavior.

Insight 1

Friends are a key motivator to working out because they are a safety net of trust and emotional support.

Castle Hill Fitness should encourage more gym visits with friends (accountabilibuddies).

Insight 2

The issue of onboarding (what is it? how long does it take?) is a result of a lack of leadership and a product of staff turnover.

Castle Hill Fitness should define what it means, create a process and train the sales team to get to that goal.

Insight 3

Some employees’ work flows have made them into silos and they have to work extra hard to achieve transparency.

Castle Hill Fitness should find a way to build this into the infrastructure.


Problem Statement


Onboarding at Castle Hill Fitness has no set goal. Members must do the work to create meaningful connections on their own.

Design Criteria

The explicit goals that a project must achieve in order to be successful.

The new member onboarding process at Castle Hill Fitness should…


be clearly defined in order to lead members to make meaningful connections.

Design Criteria 1

Onboarding means different things to different people at Castle Hill Fitness. We need to create a clear goal for onboarding that everyone can work towards, rather than employees working towards their own version of onboarding individually.


create a standardized experience for members and reduce inefficiencies for employees.

Design Criteria 2

Without a clear, actionable, and documented process, employees must react to things on a case by case basis. By reducing inefficiencies employees can focus on providing personalized attention and tailored services for members.


provide cross-training across departments and locations for employees.

Design Criteria 3

Due to silo’ed workflows and responsibilities employees don’t fully understand the whole new member experience. Cross training employees will increase transparency and understanding of the responsibilities and services across departments and locations and reduce turnover.