The Strava Live UI requires too much concentration while biking

I like the visual design of the new recording screen. The numbers are very clear. However, the actual use of the recording screen while biking is far more difficult than it used to be. Some changes are downright dangerous.

First of all, the buttons are too close to each other. My thumb is about 1x2 inches. That's enough to cover any three buttons in Paused mode. More importantly, while I'm actually recording, the Map button is too close to the Stop button. I must use my eye to guide my thumb. That is not something I like to do while biking! Previously, I could find the edge of the screen by feel and then slide the map into view. Only then I had to take off my eyes off the road and look at the phone. Not so with the new UI!

Rule of thumb: Just one button per side. Maybe two per long side. A bike computer has the advantage here, because the buttons there are typically physical and can tell them apart with your fingers.

Second, the map is very frustrating. First, the autopause: Here's a common usecase: I stop at the lights, look at the map, zoom out a bit to get an idea of the next steps... and then the autopause kicks in, and takes me to the Pause screen! If I go back to the map, I lose any panning and zooming I've done. That is very very annoying.

There's two things here. The autopause shouldn't take me away from the map view. The map shouldn't lose it's position or zoom when I flick it on and off.

In addition to the autopause, I'd like the "locate me" button to not zoom at all. It should just center me on the screen. Instead, I'd prefer a set of 2-4 well chosen zoom levels available via buttons. The minimal set probably is "help me navigate this complex maze of a city", "help me figure out how many kilometers until I have to get off this road" and "let me see my whole route. One or two intermediates might be useful too.

The route options button also drives me nuts. I click something at the top of the screen ... and the options appear at the bottom of the screen. That's just not cool.

Then there's a list of smaller annoyances:

The "current speed" is just too damn inaccurate. On a level road, without any chance in cadence, it displayed 18 km/h, 23 km/h and finally 26 km/h. I suspect it was due to the forest near the road which obscured the GPS signal. If that's the case, it's pretty much useless everywhere else except in Danish countryside. Not informative in the city or anywhere with woods nearby.

The record screen is no longer the first thing I see when I open the app. It really should be. The biggest reason I chose Strava in the first place was because it put recording your rides the #1 thing. That's how it should be. Adding an extra tap there really hurts.



  • We appreciate the feedback Antti!

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  • It seems that all the problems could be fixed by just going back to the old interface.  Virtually everything that has been changed is a significant downgrade for me:

    Including.....current speed instead of average while recording, no way to access explorer while recording, confusing buttons for record and pause, confusing buttons to access settings while riding, no easy access to view a list of completed segments while riding.  It's really a mess.  I do pay for premium, but I'm tempted to stop out of principle - it seems that a lot of people share this view.

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  • Scott, in fact I downgraded my version of Strava just yesterday. It is fantastic. The chief reason being that the recording screen is again the first thing I see when I open the app. I really began to hate that extra tap necessary to get recording going on.

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  • You can change back to the old version?  If so, how do you do that.  That would solve all of my issues with the "upgrade"

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  • You can do a downgrade in some cases. Depends on your phone and how you use it.

    I sync my iPhone with my Mac with a good-old USB cable. Because of that, all the old versions of my apps are in the Trash. Here's how it worked for me:

    1. Delete Strava off both phone and iTunes on the computer.
    2. Go to the Trash, find the Strava 4.4 file and restore it on the Desktop.
    3. Drag the restored file into iTunes. Now iTunes has 4.4, the phone has no Strava.
    4. Sync phone with iTunes. Now both iTunes and the phone have the 4.4 version.

    These may not work for you, but perhaps there are instructions on the net that would work for your situation.

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  • I'm new to Strava so all I know is the new interface... I agree with most of the comments from Antti - and have a few new ones.

    1. In the South we often wear polarized sunglasses.  On a Samsung Galaxy S5 the route line is too faint to see.  So I have to stop, and remove my glasses, and then put my nose onto the screen.  Fix: Give an option for the route width/color/line type (all basic attributes of the API you use to draw the route line) so I can see the darn thing.

    2. Add the option of recording the temp and the clothing we are wearing.  That way we can calibrate what layers are needed by temp.  New riders would love this feature.

    3. Verbal queues for route - like you get when using basic phone navigation.


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