A Little Inspiration

For two years, I coached the weekly track workouts at Kezar Stadium for the Golden Gate Running Club. During that time, I created a lot of different workouts to keep the runs challenging and fun!  Finding inspiration for what to do each week was sometimes difficult. "What should I run today?" I decided to play around with designing and prototyping an app to help someone like me try something new the next time they're on the track.

 

Sketching: Bring An Idea To Life

I spent the day working through the screens for my MVP to prototype (i.e., there's no finish time recording or GPS tracking on this one - but there's plenty of those apps out there already!). 

  • First, I sketched and wrote out some rough ideas. 
  • Next, I took the designs to the next level and sketched out a series of more robust screens in the flow. 
  • After working out some kinks I discovered in my initial sketches, I transitioned the designs into a clickable prototype.
 

What Are My Assumptions

I knew I had several assumptions going in: 

  • Two pace groups in the MVP: the faster Hares and less-fast Tortoises. I didn't think these were upsetting terms to describe pace, but I wasn't someone else's thoughts on that assumption.
  • Time available for workout is ~60 minutes. Due to the MVP, I made the conscious decision to limit the workout time, with plans to expand it to varied options based on the user's availability. 
  • Users are frequent runners with a range of familiarity with track workouts (novice to experienced). 
  • The app needs to be easy enough to check the workout while actually on the track (ie, don't have to memorize everything)
 

Hi There, Let's Run A Track Workout!

I asked Caryn to speak her thoughts aloud as she navigated the app while we were doing the track workout.

I asked Caryn to speak her thoughts aloud as she navigated the app while we were doing the track workout.

Using the InVision prototype on my phone, I asked a friend to test it out on the track (and yes, we actually ran the workout together!). 

  1. She's been on a track before, but it was back in high school, so she doesn't consider herself a "novice." But she found the information in the Track FAQs section to be a really helpful reminder.
  2. When viewing the Track FAQs section, she mentioned that the tortoise and hare metaphors weren't previously explained so she was a little confused by them.
  3. She had a hard time understanding what strides were. She was confused by what 75% of race pace is. Is it for a marathon? A 5K? She's never run a 5K.
  4. She didn't understand the sets described with "ON" and "OFF" language. (This was a relic from my track coaching days, and I now realized it didn't translate into the app design).
  5. She wanted a range of workout difficulties to choose from. (In this context, the workout we completed was rather difficult. She would have liked an easier one, as she had done a longer run the day before. 
  6. She mentioned she'd like to see the use of GPS for distance tracking as well as a timer for finish and lap-times that could be saved in the completed workout details. 
  7. Lastly, she found the transition from the finished screen back to home was not fluid.
 

There's More To Do! My Next Steps:

  • Update the design based on the initial feedback I received
  • Test the new prototype with more people
  • Start sketching ideas for really quick glances on an Apple Watch

More updates to come! So stay tuned...

 

Icons sourced from The Noun Project:  “Hare” by Ludovic Riffault, FR and “Turtle” by iconsmind.com, GB. Thanks!