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I'm trying to figure out a good way to present 96 configurable percentage values to mobile users.

These percentages represent percents of a max lift (weightlifting), and they can be broken down by the type of lift and week. In order to not overwhelm the user with information or numbers, my first thought was to break down by week, and then show the lifts. Something like this:

Spinning slider select -> Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4
Squat
-----
Warm-up set 1: [Number input]
Warm-up set 2: [Number input]
Warm-up set 3: [Number input]
Work set 1:    [Number input]
Work set 2:    [Number input]
Work set 3:    [Number input]

Deadlift 
--------
...

Press
-----
...

Squat
-----
...

However, this a large, large scrollable area, and where do I put the "save" button? Way, way at the bottom? Or do I save immediately, and aggressively pop-up a fading notification of save? I could add another slider for Only show warm-up, Only show work-set, Show warm-up and work-set, but it still feels clunky.

In this fashion, there's no way to succinctly see all the information at once, either, which would likely be the first thing a user would do before going about changing any numbers.

How do I manage such large reems of data on limited displays? My gut reaction seems to be to cut into as many domain and user-specific selections as possible, with a summary screen, but I'm just not sure. Has anyone dealt with a similar problem? Any advice?

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

What's the purpose of the app? 90% of the time, will it be used for entering data (by the weightlifter in the gym during rest periods?), or for viewing data? I'll assume that the goal is to enter the data.

Usually people work on one muscle group at a time, so they will usually complete their squat sets, then all their deadlift sets, etc. So they only need to see one group of exercises at a time - they don't need to see presses while they're doing squats. So what I would do is this:

1st screen   2nd screen         3rd screen
------------------------------------------------
Week 1 >   |   Squats >       | Warm-up set 1  XXX
-----      |   -------------- | ------------------
Week 2 >   |   Deadlift >     > Warm-up set 2  XXX
-----      |   -------------- | ------------------
Week 3 >   >   Bench press >  | Work set 1     XXX
-----      |   -------------- | ------------------
Week 4 >   |   Pullups  >     | Work set 2     XXX
------------------------------------------------

Another good way would be to provide initial filtering by week, same as in the option above, and then provide tabs per lift type. This way the 3rd screen becomes the 2nd screen, and it changes accordingly to the selected tab.

1st screen     2nd screen         
    ------------------------------------------------
    Week 1 >   |   Warm-up set 1  XXX               
    -----      |  ------------------
    Week 2 >   |   Warm-up set 2  XXX
    -----      |   ------------------
    Week 3 >   >   Work set 1     XXX
    -----      |   ==================
    Week 4 >   |   Squats|DEADLIFT|Press|More
    ------------------------------------------------
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Most bodybuilders may work one muscle group at a time because they go for strength and muscle size. If you are doing weights to improve muscle "stamina" and/or want to add an element of cardio vascular training, you often do "circuits" of one to four muscle groups, no rest between groups, only (longer) rest between circuits. But I guess you could just replace the muscle group with a name for the circuit... –  Marjan Venema Aug 31 '11 at 6:21
    
The purpose is to set the weights to be used during the workout, and then the weights to lift are displayed in the main application. It's all hardcoded right now to a specific program, but I'm looking to remove the hardcoding and make the whole schedule configurable. I think your second diagram is pretty usable, and it would make viewing pretty easy. –  Stefan Kendall Sep 1 '11 at 5:27
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