Spartan Race Survey results

Even though I make hats, I'm also trying to study user design and interaction. This post is about my Coursera UX class assignment on physical fitness, where I turned to a specific form of exercise that I know and love- Spartan Races. I did not have race this week prior to the assignment deadline, so I could not interview people in person. Coming up with the questions was easy, as was creating a quick sub-five minute quiz.

My first assignment task was to create a Stakeholder map:

The bulk of people involved in Spartan racers are the racers themselves, who can be broken into a number of demographics. Other people who might provide valuable insight into Spartan Races are the staff- the founders, course staff, and administrative staff. Volunteers and spectators might also provide an outsider/spectator perspective of the race.

In summary, Spartan racers are a diverse group. I turned to the Spartans of the Northeast Facebook group to collect my data. By collecting from this group rather than using random sampling, I acknowledged that the group is limited to a certain geographical region, and may be more technologically savvy, team oriented, and outgoing than the average Spartan racer. Racers range in age, but are 14 or older if they compete in non-kids Spartan races and are allowed to be on Facebook.

In my five minute survey, I asked seven questions that more or less pertained to the main question, “Why do people Spartan race?” The average respondent completes more than one race, suggesting that racers continue on after they are introduced to the race. Furthermore, most respondents do not race alone and are primarily internally motivated by health reasons, although bragging rights, and team membership contribute as well. Multiple factors may be involved in an individual’s reasons to exercise and obstacle course race, including the difficulty range of obstacles and freebies. There is a wide range of favorite obstacles (some people like to challenge themselves, while some prefer easy obstacles) but similarity in disliked obstacles, which require more stamina and burpee penalties. Finally most people dislike/do not prefer Coors light and also prefer freebies that they can keep e.g. t-shirts and medals.

It was useful to examine the different question formats.

  • Multiple-choice questions provided an at-a-glance interpretation of multiple user data.

  • Short responses allowed for unique responses and explanations.

  • Checkboxes allowed for multiple responses.

Overall I learned a lot in the process of creating the survey and collecting as well as analyzing the results. Results of this study and interpretation may not be completely accurate as people are still taking the survey.

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