Moon Climbing
Mobile app redesign
Lead Product Designer
Designing a new feature on the #1 most popular climbing app to enhance solo and group training sessions.
Personal project
1 week
The MoonBoard app is the most used climbing app worldwide
The MoonBoard is a standardized interactive training wall that connects a global community of climbers through shared problems and competitive performance rankings. The Board is accompanied by a companion app through which climbers browse, filter, select and illuminate problems on the MoonBoard. With over 70,000 global users, the MoonBoard app is the most widely used climbing training app.
The MoonBoard app is the companion app to the training board, allowing users to light up problems from their phone.
Unintuitive and convoluted interface
Despite the massive user base, the app has a considerable amount of usability issues. Many users cite that the UI navigation is unintuitive and glitchy. The app is currently rated 2.3 stars out of 5 on the Apple App Store. I looked through the user reviews on the Apple App Store and Google Play and found that most users complained about the unnecessarily long sign-up process and app crashes. Other user pain points include difficult navigation (e.g. no back button) and convoluted process to find climbs.
Reviews of the MoonBoard app are generally negative, with the pain points being an unintuitive interface and app crashes.
Adding a “queue” feature to support easy access to climbs
One of the most complained-about aspects of the app is the bluetooth connectivity is slow and only supports one user.  I interviewed an avid climber and user of the MoonBoard app. The biggest insight from this interview is that the app does not well support training sessions with multiple users. Due to slow or poor bluetooth connectivity, only one user has control of the board via the app.

In parallel with my lightweight research, I brainstormed a queue feature. The queue would be the primary list the user can easily add, delete, and re-order climbs in during a training session. This would eliminate the existing convoluted process of creating, searching for, and adding climbs to a list. The queue feature would also enhance group training sessions. Climbers who are training on the same board can add their problems to the collective queue, allowing quick and easy switching of problems.
app audit
Creating a list of climbs is unnecessarily complicated
As part of the design process, I performed a task analysis using the existing MoonBoard app and identified the user pain points. The task was to create a list that I could add problems to. The primary issue was that the hierarchy and flow of sub-tasks were un-intuitive and involved too many steps. For example, it is unclear what the function of the “add” button on the list view is. When adding a climb to a specific list, there is no feedback that clearly indicates to the user the climb has been successfully added.
Screenshots of what the current MoonBoard app looks like.
Mid-fidelity wireframes of the queue feature
I created mid-fidelity wireframes to think through the user flow of a user adding a climb to the “queue”. Other tasks I had in mind when wireframing this flow were deleting climbs from the queue, clearing the queue, and intuitively scrolling through the queue.
Wireframing the screens for the adding a climb to the queue user flow.
Final Design
Add a climb to the queue
From the homepage list view of all the climbs, the user can press the meatballs menu for that climb. This then pops up a list of tasks that the user may want to execute, one of which is to add the climb to the queue. Users can easily access this queue in the navigation bar.
High-fidelity prototype of the screens showing how users can add a climb to the queue.
Switch between list and gallery view
Users can switch between gallery and list view of the queue. In list view, the user can re-order, add, and delete climbs. The gallery view allows users to swipe through climbs in the queue, giving them a quick visual preview of the climb, as well as the previous and upcoming climb.
High-fidelity prototype of the screens where users can switch between gallery and list view to navigate the queue.
Next Steps
Conduct usability and evaluative research on users
The next steps for this project would be to find users to test the usability of the feature and solicit general feedback on the prototype. It may be beneficial to test the prototype on both solo and group settings. Testing on multiple climbers using the MoonBoard app together during a training session would evaluate whether the feature enhances group sessions.
What I Learned
This was my first solo project...I had a lot to learn
  • Real user feedback is invaluable throughout the entire process, but take what they say with a grain of salt! Implementing their exact feedback into the product may not always be the best course of action
  • Only include elements on the screen if they serve a purpose
  • Providing the user with too much redundancy or options to execute a task can lead to confusion
  • Never make assumptions about what your user may or may not understand
© 2023 Emily Shu