When I was in week 3 of the Ironhack Bootcamp, after two very intense days, spending almost 6 hours in zoom with 25 other people. We were assigned an individual project which I really enjoyed. Create a feature for an existing application that was well known, in my case I was assigned Strava. It was a challenge for me because the 6 kilos I have extra (let’s say a little lie), show that I’m not very fond of running. I normally enjoy a much more Friday with my friend “The Pizza” and my colleague “The Red Wine”.
Since I don’t use sports apps much, it took me a while to figure out STRAVA. So I went for a walk and counted my steps. I found it a useful tool because you can easily keep track of what you have trained. However, I noticed that the runner could only measure their run, calculate time, speed, distance and not much else.
I needed to understand the runners who used Strava and thus get to know a bit more about their needs, so I started to do “Guerrilla Research” and ask my classmates who also all seemed much more athletic than me, if they played sports and if they had used any apps to track their workouts.
Hopefully, I found two users from my own class, which made my life much easier. After starting the chat, I sensed that they were quite happy with the app as they were able to beat their own record every time they did some activity, running, walking, biking, etc. Apparently seeing their own numbers made them motivated for the next time. However, there was one user that every time he used Strava and was excited about running, he couldn’t get back to where he started and found himself lost in the city; or worse in a city that was new to him.
I decided to focus on the solution: “A live GPS function that provides route Suggestions VIA MAP during an activity”. I created my user persona Pedro.
“Pedro is a sportive musician. He’s playing the drums in a band, likes to go for a run 40 minutes a day, and he always tried to find the way back home from where he always starts. Pedro gets lost in the middle of the city most of the time, so he would like to have a feature that suggests the way back home with the help of STRAVA. He would also appreciate it if he can choose the length of his running route.”
It was very easy for me to create a feature that did not exist and that was so necessary. The truth is that I even thought that Strava had left a space in its footer for this action because there was an icon there occupying the first place that didn’t serve many purposes. So I decided to use this same icon that is also clearly identified as a route icon so that this space would be occupied by my new idea.
The truth is that it was very natural for me to do that. I focused on what I already knew, the GPS of cars. So following this MENTAL MODEL I created in a very similar way a GPS live function that would suggest you several routes. A user flow of only 8 steps where you would start by choosing your starting point. Choose a route from the 3 main suggested routes. If you didn’t like those three routes you could go to a list with more routes that were recommended by other users of the application.
It came to my mind a little book that I read during my pre-work for the Bootcamp, “Don’t make me think” by Steve Krug. And I said to myself, why do I have to make things so complicated, no… I’m going to reduce my user flow from 8 steps to 6 steps. And that’s how I did it. I went back to step 3 of the design process, removed the list of suggested routes and only the user could choose from the three routes that the application offers. And voila, when I went back to test my MID-fi corrected, the user test went smoothly.
I understood, that we must trust in the design process, that mid-fi is with little details to be able to make corrections easily, that in the design process you can ideate to test and vice versa, as many times as necessary, until you get to solve the user test problem.
I am very proud of what I learned with this project and I hope to continue learning from this and many more projects to come in my life. Greetings to all and again trust in the design process.
PROTOTYPE & TESTING
At that time I was finalizing my IDEATION process. When I created my MID-fi prototype and gave the USER-TEST the following Task: (“open the application Strava and you are going to record a walk. This time you would like to use a suggested route. Start the chosen route. After walking 35 minutes you are too tired and you are going to stop and then finish to see all the results”).
I encountered the following blockage:
-The user could open the application easily, and get to the route selection, but having so many options, i.e. not only the 3 suggested routes but a screen change that took you to many other paths.
The user could not continue with the task and was lost between the different screens.