UBC Undergraduate Research

Universal Changerooms Project : Improving Patron Experience with Universal Changerooms Blacklaws, Matt; Brozo, Quincy; Dayal, Jocelyn; Tam, Karen; Villanueva, Andrea


The purpose of this project was to explore and develop strategies to improve users’ experiences in the universal changeroom at the University of British Columbia’s new Aquatic Centre. Data was collected using a survey, which consisted of both qualitative and quantitative questions to find common inquiries and concerns of the space. The study’s survey also looked to collect individual characteristics of participants to examine if certain demographics experience the changerooms differently. Our focus population involved the patrons already visiting the Aquatic Centre. We conducted these surveys by approaching participants in the waiting areas outside the changerooms and through convenience sampling, by posting the surveys in various social media forums. Many of the survey responses revealed that of those participants who did not use the universal changerooms, the space was not a deterring factor from continuing to visit the Aquatic Centre. Therefore, physical activity behaviours were not affected by the universal changerooms for most patrons. The small percentage who indicated that their participation was effected were part of the non-cis gendered community. From these patron’s experiences and concerns, we derived perceived barriers to using the universal changeroom that fell into the general themes of safety, maintenance, accessibility, and circulation of appropriate information. In terms of concerns with safety, patron’s frequently mentioned policies, desire to change and shower openly, and visibility from the public. The limited maintenance of amenities and accessibility of the space was a primary issue for most participants. There was frequent commentary surrounding the inconsistency of the shower functions, malfunctioning of essential features, and cleanliness of the facility. In addition to issues with the physical aspects of the universal changeroom, many participants revealed confusions about the space. Issues involving these misconceptions may be caused by the methods through which patrons are receiving their information regarding the universal changerooms. After analyzing our data and discussion, we recommended making improvements in safety protocols specific to the universal changerooms. Strategies for this area of improvement include signage defined conduct, and supervision procedures of users in the space. This can ensure that each patron using the universal changerooms understands the appropriate conduct, and can answer any doubts by newcomers. Additionally, we recommended increased monitoring of the maintenance for the universal changerooms. Development of detailed maintenance protocols can help sustain a welcoming, clean aesthetic for visiting patrons. We also recommend promoting the universal changeroom to target populations of marginalized populations. The physical activity behaviours of the users of the University of British Columbia Aquatic Centre are seemingly habitual regardless of the availability of the universal changerooms. Future studies should be conducted with a more diverse population to attain further experiences of those whom the universal changerooms are designed for. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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