Increasing iOS Health Daily Active Users

The iOS Heath app with an upwards trending arrow behind it.


The iOS Health app mostly aggregates data from different apps and shows the overall summary, so users check this summary from time to time.

Propose a feature and/or improvements to help this app increase its daily active users.

Daily Active Users

What's an active user?

Daily active users is a metric calculated from the total number of unique users that interact with the app on a given day. This interaction can be as simple as viewing a screen.

Source: Wikipedia

Why is Daily Active Users important?

This metric is used as a benchmark the popularity of an app, particularly in the context of technology companies. Executives, analysts, and investors find that it’s a great proxy for measuring how useful a product is and its growth potential. It answers the question, “How many people find this app useful enough to use it every day?”


It's easy to watch your numbers grow and assume success. But active users don't always equal engaged users.

We need to be careful to create an engaging experience without gaming the system with tricks or dark patterns. We want to create happy customers, not fiddle some boardroom charts.


  • Define the objectives.
  • Research the iOS Health app.
  • Prioritise learnings.
  • Ideate and design.
  • Summary.

Objectives and Key Results

Where normally we're trying to solve a problem. Our objective centres around increasing the daily active users count.

Increase the number of daily active users

Research the iOS Health app

What does it do?

My first stop in discovering what the app does is the apple websites marketing material.

Here's what their website tells us the app does today:

Your health from head to toe.

Apple Product Strapline
  • Organise and access your important health information.
  • Consolidates data from your iPhone, Apple Watch and third-party apps.
    Also works with other wearables like Amazfit, Xiaomi Band, and Garmin Venu. But not Samsung and Fitbit.
  • View all your progress in one convenient place.
  • See your long-term trends, or dive into the daily details for a wide range of health metrics.
  • Uses machine learning to determine the things that matter most to you
  • You can manage your sleep schedule

The videos Apple have on YouTube are a great visual aid to help us understand the interactions and flows. Very handy.

Further details on processes and features are in the official support guide for the app. Source: Apple Support

What do users think?

We need to know what users think about the app.

Normally, I'd reach out and speak to users about using it, but as this would need incentive. So I'll ask my own friends and family for help.

Of the few people I know that are iPhone users. None use the iOS Health app, because they didn't know it existed, or use 3rd party wearables. Samsung, Fitbit synced to MyFitnessPal came up.

Name iPhone iOS
Becky 11 No None
Michelle 12 No FitBit
Chris 12 No Apple Watch
Jenny 12 No Apple Watch
Scott 8 No Samsung

So nobody I know that owns a iPhone is using the app. This pretty much ruins my idea to ask them how they use it.

So what now? When I've been in this situation before I've found that impartial reviews are a goldmine of user sentiment.

But it seems pre-installed apps don't feature in the store at all. 😥

Let's do some reading

Okay so iOS Health is on everyone's iPhone whether they like it or not. It makes sense to find articles about the app to understand what others think to help us form ideas.

Some interesting takeaways from these articles. Particularly the comment about the app lacking intentionality.

Human Psychology

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs motivational theory

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

We are humans, and all have certain needs. When our needs aren't being met it motivates us try and fulfil those needs. This five stage model was updated in the 60s and 70s, and now has eight stages.

  1. Biological and Physiological - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc.
  2. Safety - protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.
  3. Love and Belonging - friendship, intimacy, trust, and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Being part of a group.
  4. Esteem - Which Maslow classified into two categories: esteem for oneself and the desire for reputation or respect from others.
  5. Cognitive - knowledge and understanding, curiosity, exploration, need for meaning and predictability.
  6. Aesthetic - appreciation and search for beauty, balance, form, etc.
  7. Self-actualization - realising personal potential, self-fulfilment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.
  8. Transcendence - A person is motivated by values which transcend beyond the personal self.

How do we use motivational theory?

We can use the theory to help us identify where the app meets user needs today. Find any gaps, and assess where the app can help users with their needs. you can do the same process with any type of product physical or digital.

Does the app meet our biological or physiological needs?

Yes, the app can help a user to get better quality sleep, Sex, Food, and Drink.

Does the app meet our Safety needs?


Does the app meet our love and belonging needs?


Does the app meet our esteem needs?

Yes, by improving your health, you may feel a deeper sense of self esteem.

Does the app meet our cognitive needs?

No, only for specific health information.

Does the app meet our aesthetic needs?

Yes, eating well, drinking enough water, and exercise are linked to beauty.

Does the app meet our self-actualisation needs?

Yes, again if your self-actualisation is related to your health as a keen hiker or athlete.

Does the app meet our transcendence needs?

Yes, there is data tracking set up for mindfulness, and meditation.

For each of these needs there is opportunity to add features that would help the app to meet the needs of users.


If we increase the needs the app can meet, we can increase the number of daily active users.

Opportunity Solution Tree

So how do we go about increasing the number of needs the app can meet?

We need to generate some ideas, and an opportunity solution tree is one way of doing that. For every potential opportunity we identify we add to the tree and add potential solutions and experiments.

How to prioritise our solutions?

We can use a priority matrix to help us assess what's possible and what will add value for users.

Narrowing it down

Once we've narrow down the list of candidates we can decide if we want to work on many work streams. Or focus on one for smaller teams or those working in squad models.

The first two solutions we've identified allow data from Fitbit and Samsung devices. I'd think that doing so would allow users who don't have an apple watch to use the app. Data from 2019 suggests that apple could unlock users from the 68.3% of the market they don't control. Source

And while this would be pretty simple for apple to do, it goes against Apples approach to their closed eco system and exclusive apps. So it'd be an unlikely step for the company to make. It also doesn't lend itself well to this particular task, as there'd be nothing to design.

The next two solutions focus on tracking goals for the user. While this is available to some degree, my solution would need complete customisation options and a much deeper understanding of the users context. For example right now getting to the gym for me is impossible because we're in lockdown and they're all closed. So my goals to increase bench press reps pretty much goes out the window.

The last two options are far more useful, and would be relevant even during a pandemic. After all it looks like we're going to have to live with these conditions for the long term. So the solutions around contacting your doctor and sharing your health information feel the most useful to users right now.



While we've identified many suitable candidates. I'm going to propose an experience for making appointments with health practitioners.

I'll be using a shorthand UI flow, a technique that comes from Shape-Up methodology. Instead of a more traditional wireframe, as we already have a design framework in place.

Shorthand UI Flow

Below I've mapped out what the users sees and does. Without dictating screens / modals etc gives us scope to use the best UI elements we see fit.

High Fidelity Wireframe

Here are the screens I've put together to articulate our shorthand UI flow.

High Fidelity Prototype

And here's the clickable prototype to give you a feel for the process. It's best viewed in full screen mode - or within Figma.


Now users have another reason to use the app.

Making appointments in the app could mean a more efficient rollout of the COVID-19 Vaccines and other priority healthcare.

And because we're solving a real need, we could expect to see daily active users increase. Especially given the current context of a pandemic.

Let's not kid ourselves here, there's a lot of scope for this task and this solution would be one of many we've identified.

Would this be the most lucrative? We've no way of knowing without any data to guide us.

Now all that's left is to keep ideating, building and testing our solutions.

What could we improve?

  • We would spend time gathering and analysing our data.
  • We would include customers in the design process and get feedback as early as possible.
  • Ideation would include the team, benefiting from existing domain and customer knowledge.

Source File