Thirsty Runner - A Hydration Mapping Tool for Distance Runners
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Type of Work119 pages
DepartmentCollege of Arts and Sciences
ProgramInteraction Design and Information Architecture
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
This item may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by the University of Baltimore for non-commercial research and educational purposes.
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Millions of Americans participate in long distance running as a form of exercise and recreation each day. For these runners—and any other athletes—maintaining proper hydration is essential for one’s health in preventing cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Many cities and suburban areas across the country have publically available drinking fountains. Designing an application to provide the locations of these drinking fountains could help address the issue of improper hydration for runners. Research on a characterization of the typical runner showed that this potential user had a broad range of age, was more likely to be female, highly educated, and very dedicated to his or her sport. The distributed nature of drinking fountains means that an application can not only provide these locations but allow them to be uploaded by its users. In this paper, I present the results of the process of designing Thirsty Runner—a mapping website for runners to find and add locations of drinking fountains—through user-centered design methodologies. The design evolved from feedback provided by long-distance runners during hour-long individual interviews and guided usability test sessions. Not only did the final design allow users to accomplish primary tasks of building running routes and submitting fountain locations, but it also took steps to address issues with collecting volunteered geographic data, including data credibility and data accuracy. Beyond that, my research provides observations on runners’ mindset regarding planning a run and view of hydration. Finally, I conclude by discussing the limitations of my proposed design and the research needed to refine Thirsty Runner further.
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- Creative Commons