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The Thoughts
Behind the Geeks

How one idea can turn into an exceptionally successful app

June 02, 2014
How one idea can turn into an exceptionally successful app

Stuart Cookney runs a small web company in Stoke-on-Trent, he explains how the idea for his app came into fruition and how 30 Day Fitness Challenges went from a moderately popular website to hundreds of thousands of downloads in less than 12 months.

Best Mobile App Awards - 30 Day Fitness Challenges

Stuart gained an incredible amount of traction with v1 of the app which whilst the content was fairly engaging, it contained very little interactive elements. The brand was used sparingly and the unfamiliar interface felt and acted more like something on the web. Re-envisioning the product from the ground up gave us an great advantage; we stripped away the confinements of it’s predecessor and it in turn allowed our team to concentrate on what was really important… the user.

30 Day Fitness Challenges went on to be featured in the US App Store. It’s important to mention here that getting featured by Apple isn’t easy, there’s no form to fill out, no App Store employees you can hunt down/push a brown envelope to and as such there’s no approved method (apart from the blindingly obvious… create a damn good product!). Apple tend to feature apps with outstanding design, impeccable UX and are generally already well performing.

30 Day Fitness Challenge Achievements:

  1. App of the Week – The Sun Newspaper
  2. Featured in the App Store – US
  3. Best New App – Over 10 countries
  4. What’s Hot? – Over 20 countries
  5. Achieved No.2 Fitness App – UK
  6. Achieved Top 5 Paid App – UK
  7. Nominated for Best Social / Lifestyle App in Health & Fitness

30 Day Fitness Challenges Mockup

How did you come up with the idea of 30 Day Fitness Challenges?

“My partner starting doing a squat challenge last year, the challenge was being passed around Facebook and it seemed to be the early signs of a crazy trend. I noticed that there was a few of these challenges around, however they were split over several websites and no one place to view them all – so i decided to create it!

The original version of the website simply collated all the challenges from around the web in to one place but as it grew in popularity I acquired local qualified personal trainers to create new challenges to help grow the site into a fully fledged fitness information site.”

Business idea + one motivated northerner + a website (and a bit of hard work) = Success!

What challenges did you face launching your website?

“The website was created as a side project with no real intention of earning any money from it or it being that successful but from day 1 when we hit 600 visitors from just search queries alone. I knew the site could do well. The main challenge was ensuring that all of the data and information on there was accurate and would be beneficial to the users.”

30 Day Fitness Challenges Mockup

How did you gain traction on the App Store?

“The original version of the app (v1) was created and launched when the website was getting around 800,000 visits per month so I had powerful marketing data. 30 Day Fitness Challenges slowly became a solid fitness app. Somewhere around 90% of the original sales have come from people who are already associated with the 30 Day Fitness Challenges brand.

When v2 was released it then opened up the door for more users and downloads as it was a beautifully designed, super-functional and feature packed. It seemed to appeal to almost everyone, not just fitness enthusiasts. Sales of the new version instantly doubled from v1 and within a week it had reached the top 10 paid app in the UK and in order to maintain sales we ran several high spending Facebook campaigns that help drive additional downloads.”

30 Day Fitness Challenges

30 Day Fitness Challenges iPad app featured on the US App Store

30 Day Fitness Challenges App Store

30 Day Fitness Challenges hitting top of the charts

“30 Day Fitness Challenges is in the top 10 paid apps and hovers around number 1-3 top paid fitness apps.”

Stuart Cookney – 30 Day Fitness Challenges

How well is 3DFC performing on the App Store?

“The new version of the app is currently performing very well, especially in the UK where it is in the Top 10 Paid Apps and hovers around 1-3 Top Paid fitness apps. The US has a huge market for Health and Fitness so we’re switching our efforts across the pond in hopes that the app will be as successful as it is in the UK (which it did recently).”

What feedback are you getting from new 3DFC app?

“The new version has been very well received by users. They love the new look and the new features such as social sharing, video tutorials and it’s cleaner/easier to navigate. We’re still receiving feedback on the app with users suggesting improvements and we will be looking into these for future updates but overall the new app is a great improvement on the original and also a fantastic fitness app which new and existing users love.”

What’s the plan for 3DFC going forward?

“We plan to add a new 30 day challenge each month to the website and mobile app to keep users engaged and to help them get fit and healthy and we’ll be looking to add new features to the app in the future.”


App Store, Apple, ASO, Awards, New Apps, UI, User Experience, UX
Aaron Humphreys
I'm only human!
  • 01234 834 822

I'm the lead User Experience and Interface designer for all the beautifully intuitive games and apps we produce. I'm a humble, good looking guy with a love for coffee and the odd vinyl toy or two. Talk to me for anything UX related.