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Climbing Companion App

Most of my UX work is under NDA, so i've set myself a challenge to showcase other parts of the UX process. Currently I'm treating this page a bit like a blog, adding sections as I progress. 

The task I've set myself is to create a mobile application to log and record climbs at indoor climbing centres. 

Initial Research and Ideas

Why is this a good idea?

Indoor climbing has become increasingly popular over the last few years with new centres appearing all of the time. A recent current estimate is that there are now over 300 centres in the UK and growing.

As a keen climber myself, I've always wondered why there isn't a Strava equivalent for the climbing community. Outdoor climbing has apps such as Rockfax, but as indoor climbing has increased in popularity nothing seems to have filled this gap in the market
The main issue with logging climbs indoors is that routes are changed all of the time.  Each centre does keeps a record of what routes are set, but there is no centralised system and the cost of updating an app each time new routes are set is unfeasible. Some centres have tried to develop apps specifically for their centre, but this has a very limited set of users.
So lets try a different approach, firstly some user research .....

I've spent the past few weeks trying to talk to as many fellow climbers as I can, at various climbing centres for some initial thoughts on whether they would use an app such as this, what would they expect it to do, and any pitfalls they could see.  

Broad research

Taken from a BMC Online Climbing survey

Personas and User Stories



"I want to be add more structure to my climbing sessions to help me push my grade"

William is 34, single, works in a design company, and spends at least 3 evenings a week at the local climbing centre, . He goes there primarily to keep fit, but but would also like to be able to attempt more difficult climbs.


"I'd like to start taking climbing more seriously"

Emma , 22, is a marketing student, who lives at a student residence close to a climbing centre. She has only just starting going to the centre recently with a couple of friends from University. They are all beginners and would love to be able to log their activity and offer encouragement to each other as they progress. 


"I want to be able to keep track of my climbs easily" 

Isla is 14, and goes climbing with her dad. Part of the NICAS program, Isla has been going regularly to climbing lessons. She wants to be able to log all of her climbs for assessment and also see how her climbing level is progressing.

User Stories

“I'd like to be able to log my climb sessions as I go or later on when I get home." 

"I'd like to be able to compare sessions to see how i'm improving."

"I'd like to be able to compare the types of routes that I climb to see what areas I should focus on."

“I'd like to be able to quickly log my climbs without going into too much detail."

"I want to be able to see what my friends are up to and send them support, say if they climb a harder route or climb more routes than usual. ”

“I want to log all of the climbs I do outside of my lessons so that I can show my instructor." 

"I'd like to set myself goals (e.g. climb 10 routes at grade 5+) to help me progress.”

Some notes on App features

Log a climb by grade ( centre, line number, grade, attempts )
add details about climb ( notes, climb type )

Look at climbing history, see how many climbs per week, per session, type of climb , average difficulty
Receive notifications,set challenges etc. 
Look at what other climbers you follow are up to, give them feedback

Initial Wireframes and Layouts

Adobe XD prototype idea for design and session flow

XD prototype showing front end 

Axure prototype logging  climbs 

I've tried removing the session concept. Also explored  the differences in data between bouldering and rope climbing. 

A look at other fitness apps in the market for feature and design ideas

More to follow...