The Challenge

ViewRanger is a navigation app used by millions of people around the world to plan, navigate, record and share their outdoor adventures. The client needed to improve the user experience of the core record feature of the app and design new functionality that would give consumers a better alternative to competitor products such as Strava or Nike Run.

How do you help users record more outdoor adventures?

ViewRanger’s objective was to help users capture more route data from their activities. Research started during three weeks of travel in Sri Lanka where I kept a diary of the phases and tasks that I went through to plan and navigate my trips. I noticed situational factors that where I would want to record my journeys. I then used the app as part of my everyday planning and navigation process, relying on ViewRanger’s existing recording feature. I recorded moments of frustration and difficulty with product experience, and formed a complete usability review with recommendations.

How do you help users record their activity while navigating on the move?

Usability tests with users revealed that few could understand how to start or control trip recordings using the current app. Controls were hidden behind obscure buttons with very little affordances for discoverability.┬áThe new interface makes metrics visible, allowing users to monitor progress while navigating, and secondly, allowing control of the recording using a simple start/stop control. A new user flow was introduced to encourage users to choose an activity type before starting recordings, this choice then could inform the metrics to be displayed. Through more user testing we found that tracking could accidentally be paused while the device was in the users’ pockets, so we invented a simple confirmation mechanism to pause the recording of tracks.