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The[Run]py

April 2021 - September 2021

​A reimagining of the running experience to focus on the runner's overall wellness rather than just the physical performance.

MY ROLE

Project Owner, UX / UI Designer & Researcher

COLLABORATORS

John Yueng, Andrea Fisic

TOOLS

InVision, Figma, Photoshop, Illustrator

Current Context

Running is one of the most popular sports in the world. Whether it is because of its simplicity (grab a pair of running shoes and go) or because of the idea that humans have evolved to run naturally, running is everywhere. Within Toronto, the Scotiabank Marathon has seen a steady increase of participants from the years 2000 to 2019. On a more general note, the United States has also seen a trend of increasing the number of runners from the years 2006 to 2017 (figure I). Not only are the numbers increasing but they are also significant numbers, being in the millions. 

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However, what are people’s motives for running? In the same study done by RunRepeat, it was found that the top 3 motivators for both Pre-pandemic and New-pandemic runners were physical health, closely followed by mental and emotional health, and then confidence and self-esteem (figure ii).

Problem Definition

Wellness is the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.. Wellness is about more than just physical health. Most models of wellness include at least six dimensions: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, environmental.

 

-  Global Wellness Institute  -

Running is a form of exercise that can have significant positive effects on physical, mental, and emotional wellness. However, traditionally running is about physical performance - the success of a run is dependent on how fast, how far, or how long you run. This is reflected in the running products that are on the current market. Apps such as Strava and Nike Run Club aid the runner in achieving specific numbers and physical goals but ignore other aspects such as mental and emotional health.

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With this under consideration, the problem is the wellness imbalance of the traditional running experience. There is an over-prioritization of the physical benefits and not enough of the mental and emotional benefits. This is detrimental because an over-prioritization on physical health can lead to poorer mental and emotional health due to lack of care and added pressures of reaching a performance goal.

Target Audience

The target audience is the casual runner who runs for fun or because it makes them feel good. Their running experience and skill is not relevant as the goal it not to improve their performance. A survey was conducted in order to gather and identify the audience's needs, motivations, goals, and pain points. The surveyees consisted of runners, cyclists, and swimmers or all levels. This was done because there is often an overlap between the three sports. Below are examples of two personas - Jaimie and James - generated through the research and survey that was conducted. 

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Concept and Theme

The[Run]py is a reimagining of the running experience to focus on the runner’s overall wellness rather than just the physical performance. This will be manifested in the form of a mobile application that facilitates Wellness Runs (audio guided runs) that will occasionally take the runner through various activities and tasks that boost their mental and emotional health. For example, the guide may ask the runner to,

Slow down to a walking pace, look around you and acknowledge your environment, what do you see?

It might then ask the runner to,

Journal your thoughts, how do you feel?

What is your mood?

The purpose of these activities would be to boost the mental and emotional health of the runner, as it takes advantage of the therapeutic benefits of running. All the activities and tasks can be completed and documented on the app via Run Logs in their Journal. This will give users opportunities to document, track, and reflect on their wellness journey of time.

slow down, smile, and enjoy the run.

App Architecture and Userflow

The architecture of The[Run]py is divided into 3 flows that all relate to each other. The first is the Online Run Catelogue (where users can download Wellness Runs to go on. The second is Your Library (where downloaded runs are stored for the user), and Your Run Journal (where past runs are stored).

 

The userflow below will show Jaimie's user journey of going on a Wellness Run and logging it in her journal.

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Wireframe and Prototype

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Online Run Catalogue

The place where runners can

find

the right Wellness Runs for them.

Your Run Journal

A personal log of all the runs you've been on, for you to

reflect

on how you're doing.

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go on a run with me!

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Select

a run from Your Library.

My Thoughts Moving Forward

Design and research into The[Run]py will continue on the background with the goal of one day developing the app. This project gave me the opportunity to combine my passion of running with design. I was able to take this project from initial idea conception to high fidelity prototype, and will eventually make this idea happen. Throughout this pursuit, I learned a lot and was able to apply many skills.

  • Brainstorm - generating many ideas and being able to refine my ideas into tangible words.

  • Presentation - presenting my ideas to project stakeholders and getting them onboard.

  • Research - conducting user, market, and context research and being able to justify my decision through it.

  • Problem Definition - identifying a major and key problem that exists in our world and responding to it.

  • Empathy - creating personas, user flows, and project themes that respond to the users' needs.

  • Wireframe and Prototype - designing low and high fidelity iterations.

  • User Testing - conducting live user testing.

If you would like to reach out to discuss The[Run]py, please feel free to contact me.