A whole Research for a runners´ App

Initial Aproach

I made this work at my course for UXUI Designer at Ironhack. The breafing was clear: “Create a digital wellness tool for Wellness coaches, and update National Wellness Institute (NWI) image with an innovative and refreshed approach to wellness.”

When I finished this course I realized I still had many things to do for my on running, so I continued the work on my own. I really wanted to make a huge research on running and its meaning, not only from the UX point of view, but also from the sociological, phsicological and technical approach. So, as you read this document you will see different views, different aproachs and iterations. It was not so linear as here is described.

Also I must say I am a runner, so I felt specialy motivated for this research. I jumped from a social approach to a huge benchmark, then I defined my personas and tests. I realized the only way to innovate was with Voice User Interface.

So, this is a bit about process, iteration, tech, research, passion, and running!

People running at Boston Marathon.

Block 1: The meaning of running

My first thougths were to understand the spirit of running: Why do people run? In this first block I looked for the meaning of running along history and nowadays, I searched for it in such areas as politics, women´s rights, trends and technology

First, maybe you should watch this video from Forrest Gump:

Forrest Gump and the meaning of running.

So my first hypothesis is as described, many people run just for no reason. Here are some good videos also about te meaning of running:

Running through history

I moved also through history so as to understand when men began to run:

Painted drawings on cave walls or ceilings, mainly of prehistoric origin, dated to some 40,000 years ago (around 38,000 BCE) in Eurasia. The exact purpose of the Paleolithic cave paintings is not known. What is sure is that there were paintings of hunter men most of the times running.

The marathon is a long-distance race, completed by running, walking , or a run/walk strategy. There are also wheelchair divisions. The marathon has an official distance of 42.195 kilometres (26.219 miles, or 26 miles 385 yards), usually run as a road race. The event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens, who reported the victory.

In Ancient Greece, the history of running can be traced back to 776 BC. Running was important to members of ancient Greek society, and is consistently highlighted in documents referencing the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games hosted a large variety of running events, each with their own set of rules. The ancient Greeks developed difficult training programs with specialized trainers in preparation for the Games.

Bill Bowerman and joggin

This man really called my attention. I can say he is one of the inventors of what we understand as modern running. This is the story:

“During a trip to New Zealand in 1962, Bowerman was introduced to the concept of jogging as a fitness routine, including people of an advanced age, through a jogging club organized by his friend and coaching colleague Arthur Lydiard.

Bowerman brought this concept back to the United States, and began to write articles and books about jogging. He also created a jogging program in Eugene that became a national model for fitness programs.

A Jogger’s Manual, a three-page guide, was published shortly after Bowerman returned from New Zealand. In 1966, along with cardiologist W.E. Harris, Bowerman published a 90-page book titled Jogging.

The book sold over a million copies and was credited with igniting the jogging phenomenon in the United States. The new crop of older athletic people contributed to the evolution of the sport of track and field to create a new division for these masters athletes. Due to the popularity of Jogging, Harris and Bowerman published a 127-page book in 1967″. (See Bowerman and the men of Oregon.)

Athletes on the podium, black power.

Running and politics: The 1968 human rights salute

This was a political demonstration conducted by African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their medal ceremony on October 16, 1968, at the 1968 Summer Olympics in the Olympic Stadium in Mexico City.

After Smith and Carlos won gold and bronze medals, respectively, in the 200-meter running event, they turned on the podium to face their flags, and to hear the American national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

Each athlete raised a black-gloved fist, and kept them raised until the anthem had finished. In addition, Smith, Carlos, and Australian silver medalist Peter Norman all wore human rights badges on their jackets.

In his autobiography, Silent Gesture, Smith stated that the gesture was not a “Black Power” salute, but a “human rights salute”. The event is regarded as one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the modern Olympic Games. See more.

Women´s rights: Katrine Switzer — Boston Maraton 1967

Katrine Switzer and Jock Semple, some years after.

In 1967, she became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry. During her run, race official Jock Semple attempted to stop Switzer and grab her official bib; however, he was shoved to the ground by Switzer’s boyfriend, Thomas Miller, who was running with her, and she completed the race. It was not until 1972 that women were allowed to run the Boston Marathon officially. See more.

Running Values — Dick Beardsley and Inge Simonsen

Dick was running the very first London marathon in 1981. He and Norway’s Inge Simonsen spent the race battling for first place. In the finishing stretch, instead of trying to prove who was better than the other, the athletes clasped hands and crossed the finish line together. How awesome is that? They acknowledged they were evenly matched, and split the first place prize two ways. London Marathon 1981

Meghan Vogel helps rival runner at state

Meghan Vogel helps a runner.

Running as a trend

Professional running shoe advice: The selection of running shoes has grown enormous. Runners can lose sight of the big picture. This makes perfect advice in the stores all the more important. Which shoe fits the individual needs of the consumer? The most important thing for the customers: Fast help, clear messages and even more precise results with new digital analysis systems.

Alicia Schmidt

Influencer motivation: Running has long since arrived in the social media. Brands have discovered influencers such as bloggers and athletes. With its #runyourworld campaign, Saucony, for example, uses bloggers that bring users closer to the most beautiful corners of various metropolises in posts, pictures and blog entries and thus encourage them to jog.

Trailrunning has come to stay: For the majority of runners, the experience of nature is more important than measurable results (according to Salomon, this is the for 72 percent of runners). Away from the paved paths, Trailrunning offers just that: away from the noise of the city, nature on footpaths provides a varied and demanding ambience for a real running experience.

Target group women continues to grow: Gone are the days when the sporting goods industry primarily produced for men. Women play a particularly important role as a target group in running. This is also noticeable in influencers, where Puma, with Selena Gomez, Cara Delevingne or the New York City Ballet, for example, deliberately relies on strong women. 

Running Communities for more fun running: Whether students, young managers or sporty mothers, running is becoming more and more of a community experience, especially in big cities. More and more runners are doing their rounds together in self-organized running groups or professionally set up running communities. This is also the case with Icebug’s “Forest Femmes”, where women meet for joint trail running.;

Perfect data analysis thanks to wearables, Apps like Runtastic are now used by tens of millions of runners. The exact evaluation of distances, times, pace or calorie consumption is easily possible for everyone. With increasingly sophisticated wearables, all this becomes even more precise.

Collaboration and community culture are crucial factors in the growing trend of social sport events and activities, in many cases enabled or shared in the virtual world. For example, social running provide participants with an environment of support and encouragement, without the competitive element. It attracts a wider range of participants, who are not only looking for a sporting or fitness experiences, but also want to establish meaningful connections and friendships. Having fun is at the heart of these social and shared events, which see participants sharing stories, images and videos in social media environments. See more

Dangers and benefits from running.

Running Dangers and Benefits


  • Runners are yonkis
  • You can tease the tendons
  • You can break the ligaments
  • You can crush the lower back of the spine
  • You can have all kinds of muscle injuries
  • You can have terrible knee pain
  • You can see the stars when stepping on the ground
  • It can lead to urinary incontinence
  • You can die of sudden death
  • You can have broken bones


  • Running improves your heart condition
  • Running boosts weight loss
  • Running strengthens bone structure
  • Running stimulates the brain
  • Running enhances emotional and psychological well-being
  • Running retards ageing
Technology and running.

Running and tech

Don´t give up! Online footwear and apparel e-tailer Zappos from US oered a free 30-day program called Run On One to motivate runners in January 2018. It targeted customers shopping for running shoes with an ad, accepting one hundred people on the program. The campaign included inspiring videos with wellknown runners and trainers, motivational phone calls from the company’s customer service team, and a 30-day money back guarantee on purchases of running shoes.

Running Free. “There’s a sense that people are less satisfied with going to the gym and are happier to take a more traditional, and more afordable, route to fitness — investing in a pair of trainers and going for a run”, says Edward Price, a club runner and writer for The Guardian’s running blog. Price points to the booming popularity of events such as Parkrun, as well as the growth in sponsored runs, which is having a significant impact. Some say that due to ongoing economic conditions, people are rejecting high gym membership fees in favour of hitting the road. “You could speculate that people have shifted from the gym to running…on the grounds that it is free, available and pretty easy”.

Free and available. Adidas opened the Republic of Sports space for a month in Shanghai, offering activities such as basketball, running and soccer, with interactive areas and exhibitions showcasing its products. Visitors could also participate in a programme transforming kms run into electricity for rural villages in need. Meanwhile in London, good gyms can be costly, but Adidas has launched its women’s-only studio in Brick Lane. It’s completely free and hosts weekly running clubs and classes. You just need to sign up via Facebook Messenger and turn up for any of the sessions. The schedule is announced and unlocked on a weekly basis, and then users can reserve spaces for all fitness events.

Mind-body connection. Last July, Asics opened a wellbeing concept store in Berlin. Visitors to the Japan-based sports brand’s two-story store can attend workshops and training sessions, and receive expert advice at a Motion ID running service point when trying on footwear. Guest personal trainers, athletes and physicians are invited to lead sessions on sport-based wellbeing, focusing on connecting the mind and body during training.

Running Crews. A growing number of running collectives are emerging worldwide, an egalitarian philosophy to connect people in the physical world: Run Dem Crew is an alternative collective that welcomes all runners, matching them with others of similar ability. It has grown from a casual run around the neighbourhood with friends to a large, multifaceted organisation committed to working closely with young people across London, providing mentoring and advice along with the opportunity to explore the capital in a safe, positive and supportive environment. See more at Mindshare, “Technology and sport”.

Ian Thompson, Marathon runner.

Block 2: Running Facts

Some stats. Taken from:

Running Stats.
Running motivations in Spain.
Some fact about running (Spain).

Running Profiles in Spain

  • Beginner runner. People who start in the world of running but without a weekly assiduity.
  • Runner amateur. Those who go out to run once or twice a week with the aim of keeping fit or for health, not to run races, although they can participate in some test with friends and without objectives.
  • Advanced runner. Those who run at least a couple of times a week and participate in more than 3 tests a year.
  • Expert runner. People who run more than 3 times a week and prepare careers in order to overcome and take on challenges.
Bruce Fordyce is a South African marathon and ultramarathon athlete.

Online Forms

First form I launched, see here

Results from online form 1.
Results from online form 2.

Interview script (Spanish)

Entrevista para Runners — 


  • Estamos en una sociedad muy sedentaria donde cada vez las personas tienen menos tiempo libre para ellos. National Wellness Institute es una asociación de coachs donde se promueve una vida más sana desde distintos puntos de vista.
  • Runway App es una app para corredores principantes con un sistema de entrenamiento innovador a través de distintos challenges

Research Goals

  • Saber si se usan Apps para entrenar y cuáles
  • Saber en qué meses se entrena más
  • Saber si se utilizan coachs, entrenadores personales o similar
  • Saber si se usa el gym o el deporte al aire libre
  • Saber si se va a carreras populares

Target Users

  • Gente principiante que esté empezando a correr


  • Se usan más las Apps que los coach
  • Se prefieren los challenges antes que el deporte de forma continua
  • Los corredores
  • Las carreras populares son buenas para entrenar y motivar
  • A los usuarios les gusta la gamification
  • La gente corre más antes del verano

Brainstorm potential topic and questions


  • ¿Qué teléfono móvil tienes?
  • ¿Vas a correr con tu teléfono móvil?
  • ¿Utilizas algún fitwatch para trackear tus entrenamientos?
  • ¿Sueles escuchar música cuando corres?


  • ¿Haces algún deporte?
  • ¿Qué deportes prácticas?
  • ¿Qué piensas del deporte? ¿Crees que es bueno para tu salud? ¿Por qué?

Hábitos para correr

  • ¿Te gusta correr?
  • ¿Vas a correr de vez en cuando?
  • ¿Cuáles son tus razones para correr?
  • ¿En qué sitios sueles correr? ¿Ciudad, parque, montaña?
  • ¿En qué temporadas sueles correr más? ¿Verano/Primavera?

Running profile

  • ¿Vas a correr solo o con amigos?
  • ¿Qué opinas de las carreras populares?
  • ¿Utilizas alguna App para correr?
  • ¿Sueles compartir tus entrenamientos en redes sociales o con tus amigos?


  • ¿Qué tipo de entrenamientos haces?
  • ¿Sabes que es un HIIT?
  • ¿Has ido alguna vez a un gimnasio?
  • ¿Has tenido algún entrenador personal?
  • Si tuvieras una App con un coach, ¿cómo te gustaría que fuese?

Block 3: UX Competitive Benchmark

Benchmark Matrix

You can read more about the matrix here and more about the Running App UX Research here.

This is a UX Research I made about Running Apps. There are plenty of apps as the ones researched here, basically I just download everyone of them and made some trials. There are Apps for running, coach, workouts, games, inspiring ideas, all of them are related to running in one or other sense.

While researching I focused on three different aspects:

  • First the innovation of each App, in terms of user engagement. Focus on social, gamification, challenge and spirit.
  • Secondly, I tried to identify different mobile patterns, following pttrns, mobile-patterns, interfaces.pro and Nielsen report. Identifying UI general aspects for this kind of Apps. I also looked for the tone, the design, colors, distribution, menus, notification systems, etc.
  • Lastly, I took a look at the technology used in each of the Apps. There´s a huge tech background developing at fast speed.
Benchmark Matrix for Running Apps.

General conclussions:

  • Running Apps have a high tech component
  • (GPS, Tracking, integration with connected devices, stats display, Heart rythm, etc.)
  • Training programs are important to guide runners
  • Every runner checks his stats
  • Going social is a plus
  • Coachs are not relevant
  • Reasons for running: Get fit, weight loss, challenge
  • Gamification is a plus
  • Pro runners more likely to go Premium
  • GPS is vital
  • Voice API Implementation is a trend

UI Conclussions

  • Hamburguer Menu
  • Social Login
  • White background most common
  • Tab Bar is recommended
  • Progress Features implementation
  • Notifications as a Coach
  • While running not many details recommended
  • Clear colors, simplify
London Marathon runners.

Block 4: UX Research

How do I focus on UX? I made some ideation first, then move to canvases. After I built my user personas following my research on runners. Then I made customer journeys, user stories and user statements.

Initial MindMap and brainstorming

Mindmap and brainstorming.

Lean Survey Canvas and Lean UX Canvas

Lean Survey Canvas and Lean UX Canvas.

Affinity Diagram

Afinity Diagram.

User Persona

Running profiles in Spain

User Persona — Paula.
User Persona — Mara.
User Persona — Juan Luis.
User Persona — Guillermo.

Customer Journey Map

Paula — Customer Journey Map.
Mara — Customer Journey Map.
Juan Luis — Customer Journey Map.
Guillermo — Customer Journey Map.
User Statements.
Girls track, running in 1920s.

Block 5: UI — VUI

For this block I must say, the project is still opened as I made some iteration on the process.

The result

First Sketching version Feedback

See online: https://invis.io/XVHPKHMU98Y#/294224666_06_Login_Filled

In this prototype I test three different ideas:

Pain Points

  • 10? 10 kilometers? 10 times?
  • What is Farlek?
  • Is this a button?
  • The training slideshow is confused
  • Coach is ok
  • Too many things on the screen
  • I don´t understand stats
  • Where is the back button?
  • 41:18:23? What is this?
  • Your caligraphy is difficult
  • Train programs are not clear
  • Navigation is not clear
  • Many things are taken for granted
  • Too many items on the screen, tidy

Initial UI + InVision Prototype

Second Prototype: See online: https://projects.invisionapp.com/share/K9HPKHOYDE2#/screens

Screens for initial prototype.

In this prototype I test three different ideas:

  • Sign up
  • Select a Coach
  • Select a Train Program
  • Run!

Feedback prototype

  • Coach election is not understood
  • Scroll is bad
  • Language should be in settings
  • Miss an Splash page with a logo

Building atomic Design

Atomic design.

Second UI + InVision Prototype

For the AI, a sitemap:

Sitemap for a running App.
Screens for te third prototype.l

Iteration: Moving to VUI

So, my first approach was doing an App for beginner runners, then I checked that millennials don´t run, so I proposed a new alternative: Make an App for pro runners. What I observed is that the market is saturated with nice and good Apps. I move back to the initial idea of making an App for Coachs, but on my forms and interviews I realised that no one uses coachs. Coachs are dead. My last iteration is to make an App based on Voice User Interfacte.

Here I changed the logo to Voice User Interface

Te final logo for Runway.

The idea is to have four possible personalities according to the user persona. Here preparing a moodboard to develop four kinds of personalities for VUI App

Moodbar for VUI.

Defining the four main voice characters:

The four personalities for VUI.

There´s no more but a nice path to be done. Currently I finished some research and trials on VUI, so I think I can carry on. Anyway the project moves to a more technical area but for the interface. I will post about it once I have it ready.

Iteration Process

Here are the four steps taken on my work for the project.

Iteration process.

Here my first idea: Make and App for beginners runners. After studying running profiles and with the results of my online forms, I realized that young people do not run as much as older people.

The second chance was to make an App for runners pro. The main point here is about functionality and design. I made a big benchmark of running Apps and saw there are already really good Apps for runners pro (in example Strava, Nike, Runtastic).

Third iteration was to go back to the initial briefing and keep focus on Coachs. But nobody talks about Coachs on this kind of Apps. Coachs have been replaced by AI, BigData, training programs, etc. There was no point of making this kind of App

So lastly I saw an opportunity for a Voice User Interface App. On my research I realized some Apps have something about it, but this area is still to be developed. I think it is also a big challenge, not only in the design area, but also for the technical part.

Source link https://blog..io/runway-ux-case-study-d855fb049192?source=rss—-eb297ea1161a—4


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