Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: Endurance Tracker

Site: EnduranceTracker

Score: 97/100

 Summary: An excellent tool, and a lot of thought and execution has gone into it.  The main hits against it are styling issues, all of which could be easily addressed, but the main functionalities are all there.

Layout (25)
  • Logical Flow: All the navigation is achieved from a fixed menu on the left side, with the selected option in a giant pane. 
  • Feature Location: Very logical, nothing is more than a click or two away, if that. There's a LOT of information on the account settings section, to the point where I would rather see it as one of the buttons to the left, as opposed to its top-right hand corner location.
  • Feel: Laid out logically, resizes well, and has no obvious flaws. I took a peek under the covers, and it's a very standard Microsoft implementation, which explains the layout choices. They work, don't bother reinventing the wheel. However, it looks about 10 years behind the times. 
  • Performance\responsiveness: Page performance is solid. However, there were a couple of times where I had to reload the page completely when buttons stop responding.
  • Mobile conversion: The site renders on a mobile device, but not specifically. There is some right hand spillover, but it's more than acceptable - just scroll a little to the right and it's there. Menus collapse and buttons are resized and replaced, but it's easy to tell it's all out of the box stuff, and not directly adapted for a mobile phone. 
  • Creating a plan: You can create a planned workout, and copy it. You can also (through the account settings) create periods such as Base, Build, etc, that show up on your calendar to the right side of a week view as colorings. It took a little banging around, but I was able to figure out how to create and access a library of planned workouts, which then drag onto the calendar. The only thing I found myself wanting was the ability to copy entire weeks worth of activities. I made a feature request rather than deduct a point, because it's not a standard feature across different platforms.
  • Creating a workout: Pretty simple.You can add different settings, such as distance, speed, pace, etc, then give a broad 'Workout Description' containing the information about intervals, however there's no way to specifically design intervals. Customized to the type of workout, so for instance power is available for Bike, but not Swim or Run. 
Score:19 : What it lacks in glitz and slickness, it makes up for in functionality. There was so much available that I found myself thinking of features I wanted that weren't there, which is both good and bad. For instance, I gave myself decent notes for a pool workout, but couldn't find a way to print it out so I could bring it with me on deck. However there had to be points taken away for mobile adaptation and the old feel of it.

Analysis Tools (20)
  • Charts are time variable: Yep
  • Heart Rate: yes
  • Fatigue vs. Freshness: yes, although it's not 100% clear how the terms are arrived at. It looks like a hijack of the Performance Manager chart on Training Peaks, but there's no formula given.
  • Duration: Yep
  • Distance: Yep
  • Zones: Yep
  • Personal best calculation:Yes. although the swim wasn't pulling in for some reason. I suspect it's because I pulled information from Strava, which has poor swim tracking capability.
  • Zone calculation: Yep
Score: 20: Nothing missing that I would reach for.

Activity Detail display (10)
  • Time analysis –  yes 
  • Maps - yes, but interestingly *not* Google Maps, it's MapQuest. 
  • Overlays – yes
Score: 10: Everything is there, including point editing.

Coaching features: (15)
  • Follow athletes – yep, I was able to create a different account as a coach, request an add, and see activity.
  • Provide feedback– I could leave notes on workouts, and was able to use the messaging interface.
  • Scheduling tie in: Nicely done, I can "emulate" the athlete, gaining control of that account and allow scheduling, analysis, etc.
Score: 15: It's all there!

Device Store Connectivity (15)
  • Garmin - yep
  • Suunto - nope
  • Strava – yep
I'm disappointed it will only sync data from the last 30 days, a couple of points off for that. *edited* I stopped doing this for other sites, unfair to do it to this one. I *could* upload past activity if I needed it, but that's unnecessarily laborious. Interestingly, TrainingPeaks is listed as a data source, as is RunKeeper, and Withings. Nothing like going at the competition with a flower!

Score: 10

Import (10)
  •  Manual entry - yes, but again without intervals.
  • .fit –yep
  •  tcx –yep
Score: 9

Help (5):
  • Well written: Solid, but I have to deduct a point for the fact that it leaves the main site to get to the help section. At least default to a new window! I shouldn't have to hit the back button to get back to the application.
  • Clear term definition: We're data driven athletes, so it's not enough to say its modeled after Banister's TRIMP. We're given that it's also not a linear scale, which is not an incorrect way to look at things, but formulas would be nicer..  
Score: 4 – I could really have taken 2 points away, but a lot of work went into it, which gets one back.

Extra features (bonus, 2 points each)
  • Email reminders – workouts: nope Actually, it is there, pointed out to me after the fact. It was tucked in the Account Settings form, and at first blush I didn't realize this is what it was for.
  • Email reminders – equipment : nope
  • Workout text messages – nope
  • Sync with online calendars : yes
  • Allow messages with other athletes: yes
  • Allow tracking of consumables – chains, shoes, etc :yes
  • Metric\imperial conversions\Time zone\Clock\Calendar: yes
Score: 10 bonus points