Climbing gyms have not fully embraced technology. It is a very dated sport that just now has seen a surge in popularity and are being built faster than anyone can keep track of, with this we saw an opportunity to connect climbers, it is a high entry level type of sport and with it comes intimidation, self doubt and the endless search for a climbing partner.
Creating an app that takes away the stress about meeting new people for such a high entry-level sport, We are creating a way for climbers of all skill levels to meet one another. Schedules, skill level and lifestyle are the core.
We created a landing page at findclimbers.com along with type form surveys and interviewed climbers within the community, and gyms both from newbies to veterans. We asked what some of the their pain points in finding new partners were. We created some user stories and then validated them against the community.
Questionnaires and surveys were sent out to potential users who were willing and wanting to meet new climbers, the response was more than we anticipated. There was huge interest in meeting new like-minded people. By filling out this questionnaire we would get a better sense of who they were and what style of climbing they liked amongst many other aspects.
We reached out to gyms within California to try and get some insights from either staff members or gym owners. This did prove to be a bit more difficult but was valuable data, we got to learn what type of climbers the gyms see and overall challenges a gym can face.
25 million gym climbers worldwide and 39% are under the age of 18.
The U.S. has over five million indoor climbers and nearly three million of those climbers are ages 6 to 24.*
By 2020, and competition climbing’s debut at the Olympics, gym climbing is projected to be a $1 billion business in the U.S. alone.**
Based off some of the data we received we came up with 3 general type of climbers who frequent climbing gyms, personas were created to help us further establish the type of users that would be using the platform.
After ideation and going over all of the data we gathered we came up with a v1 for the sitemap, there was a lot to fit into this app. Ultimately, we wanted to focus on the concept of meeting in person, we tried not to lose sight of that.
We broke down some journeys based off flexibility of schedule and gym preference, users who went to multiple gyms added a level of complexity to matching. Within this, we found that an immediate Climb Now feature would be beneficial.
User flows were explored on any primary way a user could find a partner, which were by skill level, availability, climbing type and the Climb Now feature.
From sign up flow wires to full app v1 breakdown.
Approaching this as climbers ourselves, we had an idea on what some of the pain points were when it came to finding partners.
But while gathering research, interviewing members, gym owners and veterans in the space it really made us look at this with a different lens, thus approaching this differently had we gone into this without any data.