My colleague Robert Lauchlan and I performed a Heuristic evaluation and redesign proposal on the Strava iOS application.
The application Strava tracks users' exercise using GPS data. After recording the activity, users post the results for their followers. Furthermore, users are able to create segments where they can compete against people in their network.
We have chosen this well-established application as a challenge because it presented a great opportunity that would allow us to do a thorough evaluation and redesign to help increase usability.
UX/UI Designer roles were divided equally among team members.
Cindy Wu, Robert Lauchlan
Figma, InVision, Google Slides
Although Strava is a great solution, it lacks ease of usability on its main feature, the creation of a post and function of recording. We utilized Jakob Nielsen’s Heuristics as a guide to evaluating one specific task flow in the application.
1. Evaluating using Nielsen Norman Group Usability Heuristics on a task flow
2. Rate interactions between 0 to 4 being a usability score
3. Provide recommendations and next steps based on research findings
4. Redesign prototype while still maintain the Strava brand.
A heuristic evaluation is a method for finding usability problems in a user interface design. After completing this evaluation, we redesigned the main feature of posting activity within Stava to improve usability.
Selected Task Flow
The Task flow that we evaluated was for users to complete an activity and share the results with their followers. We focused on this task because it’s one of the main essential functions in the application.
We used 5 of the 10 Neilson and Normans Heuristic evaluators to evaluate Strava:
A rating scale used to determined which violations should be a priority. The following 0 to 4 rating scale to rate the severity of usability problems:
There is a filter for users to see only the activities that "YOU" have posted on the screen below. On the bottom tab, the profile tab is also accessible from this screen. The profile also contains the same information so having the tab at the top seems redundant and could be eliminated.
We rated the issue with a 2 as it does not impede the users' ability to use the app. Additionally, they have promotional content on the home page front and center. We would want to see an option for users to close the promotional content if they are not interested in the paid subscription. We determined this issue to be a 3 since it does cover a substantial amount of space on the home page and is a persistent issue.
The user is prompted to change their settings to use the beacon feature and is prompted by an unnecessary error message which can be inconvenient for users. Since this is an iOS application users are accustomed to settings being saved automatically. We believe to improve the usability of this app they should conform to the practices of iOS. We rated this issue to be a 3 since it is a substantial inconvenience for users when changing their settings that could easily be avoidable.
The image displayed does not represent the current state of the screen since there are no routes yet created. The image of the monitor and phone seems misleading and irrelevant. A clear indication that the user has not created any routes would be helpful. We gave this rating a 1 but there is an opportunity to give clear instructions to the users.
Creating a route begins by pressing the pencil however for a first-time user it can be difficult to know what to do afterward. Intuitively, we expected to drag our fingers across the screen to create a route. Additional instruction would make this task easier for first-time users. Rating 2 is given to these screens.
This screen laid out in a clear intuitive way but lacks the function to discard the activity. As you will see in the next screen the user required to post the activity before they can delete it. Under the User control and freedom heuristic, we rated this issue a 3 since it is a reoccurring issue.
As a continuation from the previous screen, these images show the process of posting activity to the user's feed. In the state on the left, users are required to go into the post to delete the activity. That being said, Users are able to restrict viewing to themselves but it still does pose an inconvenience.
Evaluation of Conclusion
The app performs very well for the functions that are intended. However, there are some opportunities for improvement with regard to user control and freedom, help, and documentation, and error prevention. More specifically, once a user begins an activity they are required to carry out the activity to its completion before they are given the option to discard the post.
1. Can simplify the home screen by removing the redundant filter in the feed.
2. Allow users the ability to close a promotional modal on the home screen.
3. Ensure changes to the beacon settings page are updated automatically.
4. Provide clear visual support with text to clearly indicate system status.
5. Provide step-by-step instructions on how to create the route.
6. Create an exit route for users to discard activity from this screen.
Since users have no control over the large promotional material at all, we added a not interested button so users can exist the promotional content. We removed the "you" filter since it contains the same information as the profile screen.
We minimized steps for users' convenience. We want the changes to be saved automatically so the save button was removed.
We revised the prompt message to be more clear for the users to follow and replaced the image with a real example of what a complete route looks like from the app itself.
This is where users can create their routes. There were no clears instructions for a new user to create a route. We improved the screen with modal step-by-step instructions and created a close button for users to exit.
We created a delete button so users can now delete their activity from the screen. We replaced the hide button with a expand icon so users have the option to minimize and expand the GPS map.
We added a delete button so that users can exit before saving. Otherwise, they would have to go to the very end of their final post in order to delete their activity.
Psst down here. I'm an interactive prototype! Click on me!
Using heuristic evaluations, I learned that being more intentional and concise with the designs will enhance the app's experience. One small change would completely alter the outcome and little does go a long way.
If we could do it again, we would try a different approach. An evaluation and redesign will be done by conducting user interviews. Based on the interview findings, we would then propose potential solutions from the feedback given. Once we finish redesign, A/B testings will be conducted to make any adjustments. Using this method, we would gain a better understanding from users' points of view.