A Smarter Way to Create Strava Segments

Segments are a large part of what draws people to Strava. A segment is a specific stretch of road or trail that is recognized within an activity that has its own leaderboard that tracks your efforts and offers a filterable leaderboard for all athletes that have completed that segment. Segments are an excellent way to track your own specific progress on a stretch of a ride or run and lock up some local bragging rights at the same time.

Segment Overview — Your PR and top overall PRs for male and female athletes
Overview of your efforts on the segment
Filterable leaderboard for the segment

Objective

Identify an easier way to create segments within Strava.

Background

Currently, to create a segment within Strava users need to navigate to the “Create Segment” page which is pictured below.

In order to actually create a segment, you can manipulate the beginning and end of the segment by clicking the back and forward buttons as shown below. You can visually see your segment end points on the map, as well as the profile map highlighting in blue your segment’s profile.

Though the increments of distance are very small per click, it is still difficult to create the exact segment you would like. You can get very close, but it is difficult to pinpoint the exact beginning and endpoints you would like.

User Experience to Produce Desired Results

I have created a few segments on Strava with the purpose to track my personal progress on specific running stretches. I was able to get very close to the starting and end points I wanted, but it wasn’t exactly what I needed to measure my results accurately. Because I knew the actual measurement, start, and end the of segment I wanted to create, the segment’s accuracy was important to me.

A bit frustrated with the Create Segment page, one day after a workout I ended my primary activity and started a new activity where I started my watch at the exact beginning of the segment and stopped it at the exact end of the segment. I then saved that activity and saved it separately from my primary activity, which allowed to create a segment that was the entire length of the activity. I did not have to worry about clicking the back and forward buttons, as I knew I can start and end the segment at the start and end of the activity.

Product Suggestion

The above worked for me for a few reasons. The segment I wanted to create was near the end of my primary activity and the segment length was small enough where it was easy to replicate without adding significant volume to my day. This isn’t always the case. There is, however, a much easier way Strava can solve this problem.

During a run or a ride, it is common for athletes to lap their watches or cycling computers at the same spots during a specific activity to track progress. Doing a workout in a park or other place with measured mile markers, runners will often manually lap their watches at predetermined places. Cyclists will often lap their computers at the beginning and end of a climb, at the same landmarks over and over again to compare their current effort to past activities. Many athletes routinely lap their watches and computers with ease and the one button friendliness of lapping has been commonplace among endurance athletes since digital watches were introduced to sport. This practice could be the backbone of athletes creating more accurate segments and make the process much easier at the same time.

The creation of more precise segments could greatly be enhanced by implementing the option to create a segment based on a specific lap. On the “Laps” page of a specific activity, Strava can place a “Create Segment” button that appears when hovering over a specific lap as shown below.

After clicking this button, users would arrive on the “Create Segment” page just as they would have been before, but the segment based on the lap will already be built with the start and end points based on the selected lap. This will still allow users to adjust the length of the segment if they’d like, but they have the option not to manipulate the segment, knowing it is already set up the beginning and end points of their selected lap.

Conclusion

Allowing users to create segments based on laps would allow athletes to create the exact segments they desire with a much easier workflow. As a result, athletes will be more willing to create segments and engage in the segment community. Whether it is a segment created to track personal progress or compete with friends, it will drive users back to the product and increase their overall investment in Strava, creating a more rich athlete community.

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