A Heuristic Review of WHOOP.com

Speero Experimentation Strategist Emma Travis has launched the first episode of her new YouTube series, The Heuristic Show. In each episode, Emma will conduct a heuristic evaluation of a different website with a range of guests. 

This week Emma is joined by fellow Speero colleagues, Kristel Ots and Paul Randall, as they review WHOOP.com. WHOOP is a fitness tracking watch and membership company that helps users optimize physical performance and overall health. 

As is usual for any Speero heuristic review, the team tracked their insights visually in a Miro board. Handy color-coding makes it easy to label insights pertaining to different heuristics around motivation, relevance, clarity, value, friction, distraction, and trust. Once coding is complete, the key themes or problem areas are easier to summarize by looking at the overall color mix on the board. 

Here’s a summary of the team’s top findings from the heuristic review of WHOOP. If you’d like to watch the full episode you can view it below. Remember to subscribe to the channel to be kept up to date on the next episode. 

Top heuristic findings for WHOOP.com 

1. Clarity and relevance issues caused by a homepage takeover

The first clarity roadblock happened as soon as the team landed on the homepage where a special event, “WHOOP Unlocked 2021,” took over the entire above-the-fold screen as well as a banner above the main navigation.  

Clicking the event CTA button resulted in limited additional information, with no explanation of who would be speaking at the event or why the event might be relevant to a visitor.   

Only by looking at the analytics data would the team be able to see the true impact of this homepage takeover, but they speculated that it might harm engagement and bounce rate. If a first-time visitor is expecting to see a page for a fitness watch but instead is greeted with an event, they might believe they have landed on the wrong page or site.  

It’s important to be mindful of the journey different types of users need. For first-time visitors who know nothing about your product, an event homepage takeover can alienate them if there isn’t a clear journey that they can continue to use to find the information they are seeking. 

2. Clarity issues caused by menu taxonomy 

There were further clarity issues around the main website navigation. When a user is looking to find out more, the navigation doesn’t do a great job of helping them find where to go.

Customers already familiar with WHOOP will know that the company does not sell physical products (as most companies do in this marketplace), it instead sells memberships. For new visitors, an explanation of this unique selling point right upfront would be helpful, making the navigation taxonomy much better understood–as the product information is listed under “membership.” The same too is true for the menu CTA “Join Now,” which is again potentially unclear to new users who might not be familiar with the membership vs. product differentiation of WHOOP. 

The team also uncovered consistency issues with three different menus appearing on different pages across the site (e.g shop which is on a subdomain). Everything changes; the logo moves, the “Join Now” call to action changes in design, as well as the overall menu look and feel. As a user, finding your way back and forth between different areas of the site immediately becomes more tricky.

3. Distraction caused by unexpected functionality on the mobile menu

When the hamburger menu is pressed, a plus icon appears next to two of the menu labels. Traditionally, the menu label along with the plus sign would signal that an accordion menu would appear. However, the accordion interaction only happens when pressing the plus icon. If the user presses the label, they are taken to the top-level landing page. 

The hamburger menu is forcing people to decide whether to click on “membership” the word, or the plus icon, which is probably going to be dictated by where their thumb happens to land on the screen, rather than users understanding that functionality. It might also drive users to top-level landing pages when they are seeking more granular product information on the subpages.  


4. Price presentation friction 

Before clicking the “Join Now” button, WHOOP states users can join for as little as £30 per month.

However, once you land on the pricing page itself, different membership options are listed ranging from £18-£30.

What they're not doing a great job of communicating is that the two annual memberships are an upfront cost, and the monthly membership is pay-as-you-go. Users might be left wondering, “Do I have to pay that amount every single month or all upfront?” Currently, this page offers no clear answer.

To improve this page, WHOOP could consider addressing common FAQs such as;

  • Which membership pricing tier holds the most value to any given customer. 
  • When a user has to pay e.g upfront costs or charged monthly? 
  • When and how can you cancel?
  • Can you change between membership options? 

5. Trust issues caused by the fine print

One of the biggest points of friction and disappointment came when Emma tested the signup process in full with the promise of a free watch strap.

WHOOP messaging states clearly that if you sign up for a membership, the watch strap is included free of charge.


When she came to the watch strap selection page, there were four color options available. She clicked on a turquoise color and added it to her cart. All of a sudden, her shopping cart price increased by a mysterious £35.

This was a real-life friction point. She had repeatedly seen throughout the journey that the membership fee is £30 a month, and that the strap is free. The mysterious additional £35 was an unpleasant shock that took her straight out of the purchase flow. 

The answer to the mystery lies in the small light gray fine print on the watch strap selection page. Only the black watch strap is included free of charge, with a £35 fee for the three other colors.


As a user, your eye is drawn past the fine print to the attractive color options. From a trust perspective, clarity is essential. The lack of clarity here felt like both a letdown and can cause a user to question their level of trust around signing up to a subscription where other unclear fees might be deducted from their bank. 

6. Motivation and trust: information lacking 

The trust issues on WHOOP.com go deeper than the “free” strap confusion. There are bigger questions users will likely want answered before making a large investment, such as; 

  • Who are the inventors behind the product?
  • What is the science behind the product?
  • Does the product really work? How do we know?
  • Why is the product better than an Apple Watch?

For instance, a user could pay 300 euros for an Apple Watch just as easily as they could pay 300 euros for a yearly WHOOP subscription. But an Apple Watch can be used for years, whereas a WHOOP subscription is continually renewed. What makes WHOOP a better option? Currently, the website doesn’t do a great job of answering such questions with fairly shallow content around their USPs. 

The value propositions could also be repeated at points of friction e.g as you move through the checkout journey. Currently, affirmative content such as social proof, product statistics, and professional testimonials are absent.  

You don’t want visitors reaching the pricing page feeling that they’re not quite convinced. Content needs to be present throughout that helps to push and persuade, so that the decision to initiate a WHOOP membership is not a huge hurdle. 

A page that relies on simplicity, like their current pricing page, is only effective if you are certain that all of a potential customer’s questions and concerns have been answered elsewhere.

Summary 

This quick Heuristic review uncovered some big areas the team would choose to tackle. Overall, the team agreed that the WHOOP website would benefit from increased clarity on all fronts, from the home page to the navigation to the pricing presentation. 

If you’re interested in the team conducting a full heuristic evaluation of your website we offer heuristic reivews as a service

Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel to catch the next episode of The Heuristic Show. 


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