what community means to me
50 States Half Marathon Club is a national running community. Members enjoy a private Facebook page, race entrance fee discounts, annual meetups, and discounts to the club store.
The club had fifty separate Facebook pages, one for each state. Their goal was to transition away from Facebook and create one integrated online community located on their website.
client = 50 States Half Marathon Club
project type = conceptual
duration = 2 weeks
team = Andre Oosthuizen, Mijin Kwon, and Paul Kim
my role = UX/UI designer
For this conceptual design sprint, Andre Oosthuizen, Mijin Kwon, Paul Kim and I were challenged to redesign the 50 States Half Marathon Club website with a mobile first approach. From research to visual design, we completed the entire design process in two weeks.
First we had to understand how users defined “community.”
We talked to people who liked to exercise and were part of an online exercising community. We created a survey to narrow down our prospective interviewees. Andre and I conducted three user interviews with people who fit these specifications. We wanted to know what motivated them to exercise, what they liked and disliked about their current online exercise communities, and what their ideal community would look like.
From these interviews, we learned that everyone had a slightly different definition of community, but they all fell into two categories–people who enjoy camaraderie and accountability from their peers, and people who want access to resources and a large bank of knowledge.
To represent these two categories of people, we created two personas:
Likes to make new friends
Feels more accountable when they workout with a team or group of friends
Wishes they could join a running group based on their skill level
Researches online ways to improve their running techniques and times
Wishes they could ask other runners what shoes to buy
We researched eight online exercise communities including Strava, BodyBuilding.com, the subreddit r/bikeLA, and the app Nike Run Club. Here is what we learned from r/bikeLA and the Nike Run Club:
Reddit is an established and trusted forum
Lots of sorting options
You can read posts without an account
Nike Run Club
Nike brand name
Can compare runs with friends
No formal way to join running groups
Group is not very active
Navigation isn't intuitive
Icons are a little ambiguous
Need account to view the app
From our research we learned that if we designed our community to have a formal way of joining running groups based on ability, and a way to view post on the forum without being a member, we could capitalize on what r/bikeLA and Nike Run Club were missing.
confused and left out
Alex and Blake experienced similar problems on the current site. Disorienting navigation that prevented them from finding what they needed, and the exclusivity of the current Facebook communities. Why would they commit to becoming a member if they couldn't get a sense of what was offered?
Only paying members of the club got access to the Facebook page. This was a problem for both Alex and Blake. They wanted to see what was offered before committing to a membership.
old 50 States Half Marathon Social Corner page
Navigation on the old site was misleading and inconsistent. It was hard to tell what the title of the page was. In the example above, "Member Portal Login" looked like the title, when really it was the "50 States Half Marathon Club Social Corner."
In the example below, the calendar page redirects the user to a different website altogether, one with a new color scheme and layout. It's unclear how this website is affiliated with the 50 States Half Marathon Club.
old 50 States Half Marathon calendar page
From our personas we knew what users would be expecting from an online community:
The ability to join running groups based on skill level
A place to pose questions and do research
The ability to see what was offered in the community before committing to membership
For Alex, we created the ability to join running groups
You can filter the running groups based on location, pace, and running distance.
Non members can view running group information, but they can’t join until they have become a paid member. This allows users to see what’s available before committing.
If they decide they want to join, they can become a member.