Strava is a social network for athletes that allows users to track physical activities ranging from running to swimming to hiking. I’ve been a regular Strava user for quite a long time and there were couple of flows that irked me every time I used the app.

Instead of redesigning the entire app, I’ve tried to focus on improving couple of experiences in the current iOS app (Ver 17.0.0 8747), which are:

  • Recording an activity
  • Adding a new activity

Disclaimer: I love Strava. I use it as much as I can and this is not a redesign of my beloved app. I understand that I am in no position to criticize the design decisions taken in the current design since I don’t have access to user data and/or research about Strava’s current design. However as a user and a designer, I had an itch to improve couple of things which bugged me every time I used the app. This an attempt to scratch that itch.


Recording an activity

Current design analysis

The app comprises of four tabs: Feed (default selection), Explore, Record, Profile and More. Although the Feed is the default selection, most of the times, as soon as I open the app, all I want is to start recording the activity, i.e, running or cycling. However, in the current setup, I have to first switch to Record tab, select activity to record and then hit record.

Pain points

As you might have imagined, it’s a pain in the butt to switch tabs, select activity and then start recording. Too many taps, even in the repeated use case.

I do understand the idea behind Feed being the default tab — social motivation, but there has to be a better way.

Suggested approach

The goal was to make the recording of an activity as fast as possible and in terms of design, bring this tab in parity with the other tabs.

Since Strava only allows to record running and cycling as activities, it made sense to show them upfront. One tap to change the activity and one tap to start recording. Selecting the cycling option, changes the call to action as “Begin cycling.” The solution couldn’t have been simpler than this.

Current and suggested approach for recording an activity


Adding a new activity

Current design analysis

Another frustration while using the app is the screen that allows manual entering of the activities. There are couple of problems here: first being the unfriendliness of the the interface. I tested the existing screen of adding the new activity with bunch of my friends (some of them were not designers) and almost everyone thought Time, Distance and Pace were disabled inputs.

Secondly, the order of the information being asked to enter. Take running for example — Once I’ve finished the activity, my mental model is somewhat like — I ran — 4.5km in 30 minutes — at 6:00 AM, today. I would like to enter the information in the same order.

Suggested approach

If I consider the aforementioned mental model, the information architecture/hierarchy would be as:

Suggested IA for adding an activity

Tag, Shoes, Commute and Description are something that I input or change rarely, so I would put them in Advanced Inputs. This helps in slightly reducing the overall cognitive overload of the screen resulting in quicker completion of the task for majority of use cases.

Current and suggested approach for adding a new activity


Next steps

Make a working prototype of the aforementioned suggested approaches and test it with users. Discover and fix usability issues during the process.

I am looking forward to feedback and some help to further improve it. You can reach me at mailtokamalnayan [at] gmail.

Also published in UX Collective →