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CreakyCrank
Kilimanjaro
Status: Gathering Kudos

There are nearly 50 types of activities to choose from in Strava, and from looking at the ideas here, requests to add many more. (I admit, I'm guilty of this - as I asked for Football(soccer) to be added).  I'm starting to think this isn't sustainable, and is starting to make it too cumbersome to record activities that are 'outside the norm'.  [hub members: please read the entire idea before you lose your sh*t about this 😀]

Proposal:

Instead of adding activities, what if Strava actually simplified and removed activities... condense into a set of core activities, based around the specificity of data required.

  • Cycling (has Heart Rate, Cadence, Power, GPS data, etc.)
  • Running (has Heart Rate, GPS, steps, etc.)
  • Swimming (has stroke, GPS, HR, etc.)
  • Rowing (has stroke, HR, GPS, etc)
  • Cardio (activities with HR only - focused on aerobic activity)
  • Strength (activities with HR only - focused mainly on strength/lifting)
  • HIIT (activities with HR only - combination of strength/lifting)
  • Field Sports (cardio focused activity, with HR data, potentially GPS with heatmaps - soccer, tennis, basketball outdoors, etc)
  • Indoor Sports (similar to field sports, without GPS - basketball, badminton, indoor soccer, volleyball, etc.)
  • Water Sports (may have HR and GPS - windsurfing, surfing, sailing, paddleboard, kayak, canoe, etc)
  • Winter Sports (may have HR and GPS - downhill skiing, snowboarding, nordic skiing, skate skiing, outdoor skating, outdoor hockey)
  • ... (very limited others)

Everything that then is unique to the activity can become a tag on the activity.

Format would be [Activity > Tag > Tag >...]

  • Cycling > Indoor (Peloton, Soul Cycle, trainer, etc.)
  • Cycling > Indoor > Virtual (Zwift, Ruby, etc.) [note: this tag could auto apply from upload]
  • Cycling > MTB 
  • Cycling > Road
  • Cycling > Unicycle
  • Cycling ...
  • Field Sports > Football(soccer)
  • Field Sports > Baseball
  • Field Sports ...
  • Running > Trail
  • Running > Road
  • Running > Indoor > Track
  • Running > Indoor > Treadmill
  • Indoor Sports > Roller Derby
  • etc.

Then, update the reporting capabilities (My Activities, etc) such that you can filter/search/aggregate based on the combination of activity and tags, and also base the leaderboards around the combinations of activity/tag.

While this would be a large change, and likely very difficult to implement - the end result would be a much cleaner interface for the athletes.  The tagging could be done in a multi-tiered approach, where there are 'core tags' provided by Strava (would be used for leaderboards), but also, the ability for each user to have their own custom tags (which would save to the user profile, and be used for filtering activity/reports).

Maybe this is too complex, and maybe the majority of Strava Athletes would rather have an endless list of activities, and I'm out to lunch... if you have read this far, now I invite you to comment and/or lose your sh*t! 😀

Closing notes:

Really, I'm just trying to come up with some way to simplify the activities and reporting... there could be other ways, I'm certainly not the holder of the best/only way to do this... would love to hear the thoughts of others on here (well - read, not hear - unless I'm using a screen reader... I digress).

signed.... 

C. Crank.

 

18 Comments
chabanr
Mt. Kenya

I love this idea of categorizations. My request is to combine this with "adding custom activity types": https://communityhub.strava.com/t5/ideas/custom-activity-types/idi-p/13625

For me personally, I am a referee for Lacrosse and umpire for Field Hockey. I would love to have Strava track the same things for a run but categorize is separately from my actual runs. It'd also be separate from when I play Lacrosse or Field Hockey. Something like:

Field Sport -> Lacrosse -> Officiating

Field Sport -> Lacrosse -> Player

I think the top level categories should be fixed so that Strava knows what to record and display and the lowest level is a tag that I can apply. I'd really like custom tags because I like to compare the exertion of the games that I officiate over the course of the season for fun little data analytics projects and I currently need to be very specific with my naming conventions. 

random_user
Shkhara

I love this!  I agree that the list is both long, and yet still not inclusive of everything I participate in regularly (e.g. volleyball, ultimate...and I'm sure others have similar complaints).  It seems some of this has been improved already with categories of "Foot Sports", "Cycle Sports", "Water Sports", "Winter Sports", and "Other Sports".

I sometimes look for data on specific activities, and sometimes cumulative.  e.g. how many miles have I run this year?  The app is great for quickly showing the runs to date, but if I wanted to see how many miles, including various other sports, it's cumbersome.  Categorizing the activities could make this filtering easy...e.g. either filter for all cycle sports, or for just mountain bike ride.  Alternatively, maybe it would be easier to just change the Sport filter under My Activities to allow selecting more than one option?  That could still be cumbersome for someone who gets their running in under dozens of different activities, but it could work well enough and let people customize their data as much as possible.

gcastle
Shkhara

I don't think we need tags, or a hierarchy, or anything else. Strava has the top 50 activities in a big list. The ones you have used are always at the top of the list. I use <10 activity types, and I bet most people are the same. No-one needs to look at the big list except the very first time you do the activity. It looks like this is basically how it works today with "your top sports". If we expand that list by 10-20 more based on community demand we can probably satisfy ~everyone without making the UX much worse.