Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: Endomondo

Site: EndoMondo

Score: 55

Summary: The basic version of EndoMondo simply is not a viable training tool for triathletes - or any kind of athlete. The focus of the basic version is that of a social media site, and provides little other value.

Layout (25)
  • Logical Flow: On login, there is a nav bar for Training, Challenges, Routes, Events, Friends, and 'Add Workout', pretty self explanatory. Clicking on 'Training' brings you to a familiar calendar view, but one that has no click functionality, just a lot of eaten space. There's a new sub nav bar then for Workouts, History, Training Plan, Statistics, and Peer Benchmark. The Workouts view is the calendar, but there's another hiding behind 'History', which is really a list view with the ability to compare two workouts. Statistics is your reports window, and Training Plan and Peer Benchmark are premium features, disabled in the basic version
  • Feature Location: No trouble at all finding the complete scope of the site's offerings. Also worth mentioning that I became very aware of what the premium features were just from clicking around and seeing 'You Could Have This if you go Premium!' everywhere. That's good advertising. 
  • Feel: Endomondo feels like reading People magazine in that there are no less than five generic ads competing for your attention on every screen, In and of itself, that's fine - but it's a little strange that I got ads for Piperlime, roof shingles, Rent-A-Center, and Survey Monkey on an exercise site. Or maybe it's not an exercise site, and it's really a social site? Under 'About', EndoMondo states 'Our mission is to motivate people to get and stay active. We do this by making it more engaging, more social and more fun to exercise'. Okay, in all fairness this is a square exercise peg in a training hole. If I had to venture a guess, Endomondo's founders would rather talk to Oprah about all the connections people have made through exercise than about training. That's wonderful, don't get me wrong, but you get the strong sense that it's not for a training athlete.
  • Performance\responsiveness: Excellent, nothing to say.
  • Mobile conversion: Fair. It wasn't completely neglected, nor is it an afterthought, but it's also not great. The nav bar collapses, but the font becomes too small for normal reading. Forms don't change shape or layout.
  • Creating a plan: Well, you can't. At least not with the basic version.
  • Creating a workout: Limited to duration, distance, and heart rate. 
Score:8 I kept wanting to like EndoMondo, because I think the message behind - getting people more active - is great, however this isn't the scope of the review. The onslaught of ads and the lack of features was too much. The points are for pro work, but not for logic or flow.

Analysis Tools (20)
  • Charts are time variable: Yes, the one chart is time variable.
  • Heart Rate: premium version
  • Fatigue vs. Freshness: no
  • Duration: Yes
  • Distance: Yes
  • Zones: premium only.
  • Personal best calculation:Yes
  • Zone calculation: Can't tell if it's in the premium version, but it's not in the basic. You can enter your zones in your profile though.
Score: 15: deductions for heart rate and zones chart being premium, and the missing fatigue\freshness analysis.

Activity Detail display (10)
  • Time analysis –  yes, but splits are very basic - no detail on heart rate, power, etc, except on the chart.
  • Maps - yes
  • Overlays – yes, no power on bikes, no swim implementation 
Score: 5 Again, it's pretty, but it's not a serious tool missing so much of the data.

Coaching features: (15)
  • Follow athletes – definitely. 
  • Provide feedback– absolutely, it's all about socializing.
  • Scheduling tie in: no
Score: 10 It's unparalleled in the feedback department, but since it's missing the ability for a friend or coach to schedule workouts for you, it's missing the key bit.

Device Store Connectivity (15)
  • Garmin - yes, but only pulls moving forward. I didn't see any past history come in.
  • Suunto - nope
  • Strava – nope
Points off for importing no history from Garmin. Come on, even 30 days would be something.

Score: 2

Import (10)
  •  Manual entry - yes, but no intervals.
  • .fit –yep
  •  tcx –yep
Score: 8: Points off for the intervals missing.

Help (5):
  • Well written: There's lots of it, definitely, and it was written by people who write well.
  • Clear term definition: I feel like I ran into a lot of cop outs on this. For example, about Heart Rate Zones, you get this: "Heart rate zones are a great tool for monitoring the intensity of your workouts." Great, agreed, then this: "You have an option to enter your resting HR, Max HR and customize your zones if you know them." how about some guidance? "If you want to read and learn more about heart rate training and learn how to find your rest and maximum heart rate please visit this page at Runner's World" [link provided]. Well, sure, but really? Can't put that on your own site? Yes, I'm aware there is an internet out there where I can learn all about pretty much everything, but...harumph. Things like that make me grumpy. I keep reminding myself this is not really a training site, definitely not so in the basic version.
Score: 3 I didn't feel like the help was...well...helpful. I wouldn't go back and look anything up or seek advice from it, which is pretty important.

Extra features (bonus, 2 points each)
  • Email reminders – workouts: nope
  • Email reminders – equipment : nope
  • Workout text messages – no
  • Sync with online calendars : nope
  • Allow messages with other athletes: yes
  • Allow tracking of consumables – nope
  • Metric\imperial conversions\Time zone\Clock\Calendar: yes
Score: 4

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