Designing Fitt Insider for purpose of clarity

Anthony and Joe started Fitt Insider in 2018 as a newsletter for fitness & wellness industry operators and investors. They pulled together insightful trends and industry going-on's, from new ventures to massive acquisitions, and used their perspective to put curated narratives on current topics that industry players held top of mind.

Since then, they've grown the Fitt Insider into the authoritative source for the fitness and wellness industry. They run a weekly newsletter that's read by top executives, operators, and investors in the fitness & wellness space. They host a weekly podcast interviewing top insiders, from vets like Rick Stollmeyer (CEO, Mindbody) and Sadie Kurzban (CEO, 305 Fitness) to upstarts like Andrew Dudum (CEO, hims & hers) and Rishi Mandal (CEO, Future.)

The Brief

Anthony approached me in April of 2020 to help them level up Fitt Insider.

They're laser-focused on building an incredible audience of deeply engaged operators, execs, and investors in the fitness & wellness industry. We hypothesized that their current site lacked clarity of purpose (visitors weren't sure what they were signing up for), and  that visitors weren't converting as well as they could.

Our goal was to make it crystal clear to visitors that the weekly newsletter was a wealth of curated insight that's well worth subscribing too. Our most important metric was improving newsletter subscriber conversion from their site.

We identified other goals:

  • We wanted ┬áto break the Fitt Insider brand away from their consumer startup, and they felt the current brand was too fitness-y and masculine, they wanted a more neutral feel.
  • We wanted to establish Fitt Insider as the authority of the fitness & wellness industry. Their focus was content-first; everything defers to the content.
  • We wanted the site to act as an anchor for all their media properties, so they could build community where it's at (eg. social networks), and be able to direct everyone to one source (their site) to own their audience independent of the distribution networks.

The Process

We spent roughly 10 weeks together.

The first few weeks were spent crafting an early transition towards an independent brand, mapping out information architecture, and iterating on interface + interactive concepts for a responsive reading experience.

A major goal for this project was deferring all to content, so we spent quality time exploring and nailing down exactly the right typographic choices. You'll find small details throughout the site, like metadata + timestamps using a sibling mono font family to the main content.

Dozens of style tiles and application previews helped us hone-in on the perfect type: Maison Neue.

The second half of our time was spent implementing designs and iterating on live functionality to achieve to a top-notch reading and sharing experience for visitors. Our biggest challenge was working with the huge content library they already built through Wordpress.

After exploring a few technical options, we decided our best move was staying on Wordpress, and building a custom theme that we could easily modify to handle multiple content types. This gave us a nice, controlled way to transition content from an older format to newer formats we had designed.

Mapping out SOPs for content creation.

After launch, we dedicated time to listen to early visitors for little nags, then we quickly sketched, prototyped, built, and changed parts of the site for a smoother experience. Most changes were tiny (eg. a menu nav interaction), some were massive: eg. moving newsletter content directly onto the site, from the Mailchimp archive, with an in-between state for issues that hadn't been pulled over yet.


The result was a streamlined, elegant, and content-driven site that centralizes all of Fitt Insider's most important content: their newsletter, their podcast, and their venture studio. We achieved all of the goals we set up in the brief, including a significant increase (~200% MoM) in newsletter subscribers from the site. We shipped the site in June 2020.

Check out the live site here.

Before + After.