Project Summary

Tough Mudder (TM) is a 10-12 mile noncompetitive obstacle course designed to test physical strength and mental grit.

Our Challenge

As part of a team of three in a two week design sprint, our challenge was to create an app that would encourage repeat participation, thereby increasing Tough Mudder revenue. What would make someone want to get electrocuted, run through fire or get an ice water enema AGAIN? 

My Role: User Interviews | Competitor Analysis | Ideation | Sitemap | User Flow | Wireframe Iterations | Usability Testing | Co-presentation



We interviewed six users who had done Tough Mudder, or an event like it, to discover their pain points. We discovered two things:

"I love my team, but I prefer to train solo. That way I can really focus."
- Hailey O.

Unexpectedly, people loved the team bonding experience of the event, but still wanted to train individually. 

Their other major pain point was not feeling prepared for the specific Tough Mudder course they ran.

“Every obstacle course presents different challenges and it’s hard to know how to prepare.”
- Dan Z.

We had to create an app that would give them the freedom to train for specific course workouts on their own. 

Competitor Analysis

We reviewed other training apps. 

Key Features

  • Tracking progress
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Easy to use
  • Video workouts
  • Specialized workouts
  • Sharing


User Problem

As a one time Tough Mudder veteran, I need an easy way to train appropriately for the course, while getting pumped up with my teammates, so we can crush the course.


The Tough Mudder Crush It! app easily allows you to train for your course and share your individual progress with teammates.


User Persona


Story Board

Teammate Macy Lawrence drew a storyboard that follows Troy's journey from pre-app to post-race.


The main ideas that came through the ideation process were:

  • We needed two flows: building the team and training.
  • Video workouts should be based on specific Tough Mudder obstacle courses. 
  • A visual representation of the user's chosen event course could be delightful and useful.

The two flows we created were:

  • Team building
  • Training and Community

Prototype & Test

Wireframe Iterations

We did two rounds of usability tests with seven users total.

Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 10.28.17 PM.png


Team Building Flow:

  • We removed the "people you may know" autofill field; users found it confusing and unnecessary. 
  • An optional "add a photo field" was removed; the users felt it complicated the process.

Team Training Flow

  • To foster team spirit, teammates had to follow event workouts in the same order; users actually felt this was too restrictive so we gave full access to all workouts from the beginning.
  • The introduction felt abrupt. We added a welcome message and instructions.
  • We wanted to grow team cohesion so we added icons to team members when they completed a workout to show participation and progress.


1) We learned we had to give users total control over their workouts and encourage team camaraderie in other ways like media sharing.

2) Delight with depth: The visual of the obstacle course in the training flow was the most liked feature because it was easy to use, visually attractive, and useful.  

Next Steps

If we had more time, these steps would be a natural progression of this MVP:  

  • Event registration fee payment through the app
  • Developing the app from the perspective of a user invited to join a team
  • Further research of the Tough Mudder business model
  • Developing the training statistics feature
  • A link to the Tough Mudder Store
  • Selling the specialized workouts to the general fitness consumer