Jen Thomson :: UX Designer

Active Aberdeen App

Active Aberdeen is a mobile app which makes it easy for people to access information about sports and fitness activities in Aberdeen.


There are 6 different organisations in Aberdeen who are responsible for providing Council affiliated sports, fitness and leisure activites. This makes it difficult and confusing for locals who wish to get active to get a decent overview of what activities are available for them to try.

As part of NESTA's Code for Europe program we explored was to use open data to solve this problem and make being active accessible for people in Aberdeen.

Code for Europe

Code for Europe was a year long project run by NESTA where they placed a developer into each of four local authorities, with myself acting as supporting designer for each project. We were given the freedom to experiment and create digital services using open data sets which were available from the local authority or which we sourced and published ourselves.

User research

First we needed to understand how people felt about these services which we did by getting out and speaking to people on the streets of Aberdeen. We found that many people didn't realise that some of these services were provided by the council and that people struggled to find up to date information online - many turned to private gyms for their fitness requirements not realising there were most cost effective alternatives nearby.


We held several workshops with our stakeholders where we brainstormed ideas on how our new service could look. We were committed to providing timetables and locations of all our partners activities as open data but we wanted to explore what other value we could provide or create.

The product

We created a mobile app which on launch asks the user to pick a few activities that they like / dislike which will customise the suggestions it sends to you. Users can build their own timetable of activities which will send them reminders and rate activities by exertion level so that newcomers have a better idea of what to expect.

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