UX | UI | Visual Design: Marin Bikes

The goal of this project was to help Marin Bikes raise brand awareness by providing an application with real utility for the mountain biking market. Using UX methodologies, my group of four UX Designers set out to create an iPhone app that enables users who are interested in mountain biking to find a community to share those experiences with.

My Role

User Research, Market Research, User Interviews, Data Synthesis, Rapid Prototyping, Lean Product Ideation, Copywriting, User Interface Design, Visual Design


We discovered that people want be a part of a community and feel a sense of belonging when they hit the trails to go mountain biking.


We responded to extensive user interviews and surveys by creating an app that makes it easy for someone to join rides or biking groups, ultimately serving as a way to bring bikers and outdoor enthusiasts together.

Surveys, User Interviews, and What we Learned

Product direction follows the users, so to determine user needs, we conducted consumer research by surveying over 130 people who were either outdoor enthusiasts, avid bikers, or somewhere in between. We also conducted extensive user interviews with 3-4 outdoor enthusiasts and avid cyclists.

As a team, we synthesized the user data by analyzing survey results and sifting through interview results. During this process, we created an affinity map to aggregate the data and discovered the following:

  1. Strava is an incredibly popular and extensive app for those involving in the biking community.

    Strava has served every need I’ve had. Can’t think of anything else that would be valuable to me, personally." - Greg, an avid urban cyclist
    "If I were to use any app that would be related to any sort of biking experience, it would have to offer something more than Strava.” - Tom, Survey Participant

  2. People who were interested in mountain biking and wanted to get into it didn’t necessarily have people to go with. Fatigued from work and paralyzed by lack of an entry point into the sport, many don't muster up the effort to actively find people to go mountain biking with on a specific day. And so, they end up not going mountain biking at all.

  3. It is difficult to obtain knowledge on where you can go mountain biking, and there isn't a way to aggregate all the group rides and details happening on a particular day. The cognitive effort required to find out more about where and when they can go mountain biking hinders potential bikers from taking action, and they end up settling for their usual activities.

Developing Personas

Using the research we gathered from surveys, interviews, and some market research, we synthesized our data to develop the following personas:

Outdoor Enthusiast


  • Completely new to mountain biking and doesn't know where to start
  • Finding a trail appropriate for experience level
  • Finding people to go with; would rather not go alone since she's unfamiliar with mountain biking
  • Lack of motivation resulting from the extra effort required to be invested to just start mountain biking
Avid Urban Cyclist


  • Would like a group chat or messaging application within Strava
  • Would like to be able to RSVP to events and view those attending
  • There isn't a way to aggregate all the ride groups and bikes rides going on on a given day
  • Frustrated by the lack of a standard way to compare rides - i.e. multiple rides are listed to be 3 hours long, but all have varying average speeds for different levels and preferences

We focused on Ryan and Ani to guide our designs, coming back to these personas and their pain points to help spark ideas and dictate the design decisions we made.

Design Studio: Sketching and Rapid Protoyping

After synthesizing our data and determining user goals, the team used Lean UX methologies to begin sketching and rapid prototyping to brainstorm ideas for our app.

Through this process, we developed three concepts with our personas in mind: a Social Community app, Trails app, and Emergency app. After some discussions with users and fellow designers in our class, we decided to focus on the app concept encourages the social aspect of mountain biking. We developed a more comprehensive user flow to guide our design of the interface of the app, as seen below.

(Click on the image above to open up a larger version.)

User Testing & Iterations

Based off the sketches we came up with in Design Studio, see below for my intial wireframes for the user flow of finding and RSVP-ing to a bike ride.

After receiving feedback on user testing, we iterated on components of the user interface to help the user flow through the process of searching and RSVPing for a group ride more easily. Some of what we learned from our user testing included:

  • The wording we used on the main menu was somewhat confusing for users.

  • A major concern our team had was the lack of a sort and/or filter function within the “Find a Ride” tab. We discovered it to not be an issue amongst users, as users just wanted to find a bike ride to go on on a particular day.

  • Create a ride or group does not need to be on every screen; leaving it on the main menu was sufficient.

The Solution

Find and Join a Ride

Users are able to scroll through a horizontal menu of dates and select a date on which they would like to view a list planned bike rides.

Each list of rides is sorted by time, and the number of people who are going to a particular ride is shown.

RSVP & Invite Friends

After choosing a ride, users are able to view more information on the particular ride they have chosen, such as the trail map (if that information is available), who is going, and more information on the trail ride itself.

They will also be able to RSVP to the ride and invite friends.

Join or Create Social Groups

Users are able to create a ride for others to join, as well as start a social group of their own. This allows riders to have flexibilty, if they would like, to create a community for themselves rather than join in on a pre-existing group.

Next Steps

  • More User Testing: We'd like to explore user testing for app as it is currently to improve interface elements and create a more seamless flow for the user.

  • Badges and Rewards: As part of the brand awareness strategy, we would like to see if implementing a rewards function using badges within the app would promote the Marin Bikes brand.

    Class Project for General Assembly     Date: April 2015
    Software used: Sketch, Invision     Service: User Experience, User Interface, Visual Design