As promised, the final big release of the week isRunkeeper’s new website, Kronos.
This project has been under development for a couple of months and has been a main focus of the RK team for several weeks.
During that time, a few hints about what to expect have emerged from the team and having seen the fruits of the Runkeeper team’s labour, it’s not a disappointment.
The main feature of the new site is the new UI design. It’s cleaner, crisper and easier to use (mostly). In places, there’s a little too much whitespace but overall, the design is fresh and well thought out.
It’s clear that Tom Boates’ (Runkeeper’s Director of User Experience) has been busy making the design look attractive.
There are a couple of benefits of the new design:
– the site renders well on the iPhone
– the site renders well on the iPad
In fact, although I’ve not seen it, I’m sure the site looks stunning when viewed with an iPad.
Another significant change is the Profile page which now presents a list of recent activities.
The page has a very Facebook/Twitter feel to it. This has received a mixed response. However, in my view what we see on the screen today will become much more exciting with the inclusion of achievement and other posts such as:
– ‘just completed a sub-30 minute 10K’
– ‘completed 4 activities this week’
– ‘lost 9 lbs this month’
I also see the profile page being used to include ‘posts’ for:
– street team invites
– challenge requests (e.g. ‘Jason has challenged you to complete 4 activities in the next 7 days’)
– encouraging messages from fellow street team members
Much of the rest of the site is simply a refresh of the old site features. This isn’t a bad thing and hopefully the infrastructure of the new site will make the evolution of the site’s features easier to implement.
The new site isn’t without a few flaws. On launch, there were a number of bugs and missing features.
These latter included:
– no distance markers on maps
– no start/end/pause/resume flags on maps
– no points shown when map editing making it difficult to edit the map
Some users are struggling to navigate the site. One key path is to be able to get back to the user’s profile page. This is done by selecting the username in the top right hand corner. Not immediately intuitive. Particularly when viewing the activities of another Street Team member.
One of the features that was expected in the Kronos release was greater control over data privacy (of activities, maps, routes etc). However, the Runkeeper team appear to have simply delivered the same level of privacy as the previous version of the website.
Also expected were more community features. Again, this doesn’t appear to have been included in the Kronos update.
It’s likely we’ll see updates in these features added sooner rather than later.
Runkeeper has introduced a new support mini-site.
This has resulted in the loss of many, many posts in the old support forums, many of which included great feature requests, non-Runkeeper advice between RK users about training, equipment and words of encouragement etc. Losing this wealth of information is a massive disappointment and, in my view, should be reconsidered.
Overall, the new Runkeeper website looks great but, in it’s first incarnation, doesn’t deliver many significant new features. This is very much like the version 2.0 version of the Runkeeper app where the focus was on improved usability rather than adding new features and the 2.1 update that focused more on improving the app’s underlying infrastructure.
It will certainly be interesting to see what new features are added in the coming weeks and months.