How might we help climbers navigate Mountain Project more easily?
Job stories and scenarios
I created job stories and scenarios to empathize with users and prepare for usability testing.
WHEN I am on a climbing trip
I WANT to easily find an area with routes in my range of difficulty
SO THAT I can be efficient and not waste my time trying to find a climbing area
You're planning a week-long climbing trip with a couple friends. You want to check which areas in Yosemite has routes grades 5.10-5.12. Find Yosemite and see if there are any ideal areas for your group.
I went to my local climbing gym, Dogpatch Boulders, and interviewed 10 people who had used or had heard of Mountain Project. They were primarily boulderers and sport climbers ages 24-36 with varying degrees of outdoor experience.
Some quotes from usability testing include:
"I only ever use search areas and routes. I never use forums, ticks, to-dos, near me, or news."
"Uhhh there’s a lot going on. How do I even find an area?"
"I just want to see where the hard sport routes are. How can I find the hard sport routes?"
Top Pain Points
By analyzing patterns in user responses, I found the areas of friction where a fix would have the most impact while being easy to implement. Unfortunately, some of the larger issues, such as mandatory downloads, were outside the scope of this project due to the magnitude of the engineering effort.
Users expressed confusion and didn't know how to proceed upon landing on a screen due to a lack of a clear CTA
Users had trouble finding relevant information such as GPS coordinates and area news
Users had difficulty finding the navigation, as well as searching for a specific sub-area upon opening the navigation.