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Arriving With Our Upcoming Design Updates: The Most Intuitive User Experience in Cycling

Posted by Hammerhead Team on

Arriving With Our Upcoming Design Updates: The Most Intuitive User Experience in Cycling

We believe that, above all, the Karoo must be the most reliable and easy to use cycling computer in order for its powerful features to enhance your rides effectively. We’re committed to this vision, and the software updates that will be arriving on your Karoo over the course of the next two months are a major step forward in delivering the kind of ease of use that we believe cyclists need in 2020. It’s about giving you effortless, fast control over the complex systems working beneath the hood. 

This major improvement is coming to your Karoo in several incremental updates over the coming months. Delivering frequent updates allows us to get powerful changes onto Karoo users’ handlebars faster, and this release cadence also allows us to effectively gather user feedback. We iterate based on this feedback, rapidly adapting our development to ensure it’s always meeting the needs of our users, while also quickly removing any bugs. The end result is a more reliable and seamless experience built on direct communication with our users. It’s a level of customer interaction and iteration never before seen in the head unit space, and it’s what sets the Karoo apart from its rivals.

We’ve pushed forward with the Karoo’s redesigned new look using this method, rather than holding everything back and making one huge software release. The first pieces of this process are already on your Karoo but there’s a lot more to come, and a user-friendly, efficient, and beautiful interface will be the end result.

Our development speed and incremental delivery have meant that we haven’t yet communicated the bigger purpose behind these changes as they’ve begun to land on your device. We’ve detailed what we’re working towards below, and our overall vision for a bike computer that’s designed to be a reliable, seamless copilot every time you step onto your bike.

What to Expect From These Changes

Our long-term aim is for the Karoo to be more than a bike computer - we want it to be the trusted partner that helps you unlock the perfect ride every time. Our upcoming changes are in service of this vision.

We had three key focuses in this process, taking us all the way from purchase to post-ride experience. As you’ve already seen in recent updates, the below is not a comprehensive list of everything that’s changing on your Karoo, but it encapsulates the big picture of what we’re aiming to achieve and how we’re addressing it.

Simpler Path to Your Ride

With precious little time to spend on a passion that requires a lot of time in the saddle, we believe a head unit should get you out on the bike quicker, rather than being something you have to toy with for several minutes before each ride.

To start, we’re moving the initial onboarding process away from the Karoo itself and onto the Dashboard, and then making the first-time on-device setup faster. We know the first thing you want to do when you get a new head unit is ride with it, and new Karoo users will be able to personalize their Karoo with all their information before it even arrives at their home.

(Dashboard onboarding experience)

It’s not just about new users though. The Karoo will get you into your ride in just two taps, with no protracted pre-ride menus or confirmations. It’s about putting your ride first, and ensuring your Karoo never gets in the way of you hitting the road.

In aid of this, we’re making the pre-ride process more seamless with simplified profile selection based on core use cases. For example, selecting an indoor ride will take care of the key settings like disabling GPS and enabling WiFi for you, leaving you more able to press on with what matters most: your ride.

(Streamlined pre-ride process on the Karoo 2)

(Streamlined pre-ride process on the Karoo)

We’re also making it easier to personalize your profiles on the fly, and putting those options closer to the places you actually use them. Instead of dropping back through a menu system, the data and features you need for your ride (data screens, workout, and route) can be modified directly from the point at which you want to change them. This makes any last-minute changes to your ride planning painless rather than a chore.

(Add a workout right before you ride on the Karoo 2)

(Add a workout right before you ride on the Karoo)

Focus on the Ride, Not the Computer

The best tools are the ones you don’t notice. The Karoo is no exception. We want it to be a seamless copilot on your ride, rather than something you have to spend time looking at or interacting with when you want your focus on the road.

This means making data more visible. We’re putting emphasis on the data you care about and need to see at a glance, while also using the Karoo’s screen space better. The Karoo has always been a visual device, and these new changes will let you spend less time looking away from the road to see the data you need.

(In-ride data screens on the Karoo 2)

(In-ride data screens on the Karoo)

It’s easier to see your data at a glance when everything is consistent, and means the entire device is intuitive to operate even in the deepest menu settings. All your interactions with your Karoo will be consistent, with data, menus, and third-party integrations looking and functioning the same way.

(Consistency across our workout selection, detail and analysis experience on the Karoo 2)

(Consistency across our workout selection, detail and analysis experience on the Karoo)

Another area we’re focusing on is showing you the right data at the right time. This includes how the navigation bar functions, the way your Karoo presents upcoming turns, and making important notifications less easy to miss. This is all in service of ensuring that you see what you need, when you need it. Nothing more, nothing less.

(Upcoming turn on your Karoo 2)

(Upcoming turn on your Karoo)

Finally, the key interactions with your Karoo are going to become more intuitive and accessible. We’re adding functions like contextual on-screen icons, which turns functions normally only accessible through hardware keys into tappable actions. When you need to interact with the device, we want to make it as easy as possible to do so without losing focus on your ride.

(Actionable on-screen button indicators for your Karoo 2)

(Actionable on-screen button indicators for your Karoo)

Celebrate your Accomplishments, Don’t Just Save Your Ride

Your cycling experience doesn’t stop when you step off the bike. We want to ensure the Karoo is your partner for every part of your ride, and that includes the analysis you do once you arrive home.

We’re adding features like data visualization to the post-ride screen, and the ability to review your performance using the data that you deemed important to track during your ride.

(Post-ride analysis screens for your Karoo 2)

(Post-ride analysis screens for your Karoo)

We also believe strongly that cycling is a social activity, and in 2020 that no longer means only group rides. We’re adding easier access to upload to the third-party services you want to use for sharing with friends and/or conducting deeper analysis of your ride data.

Building For the Future

Brick by brick, we’re building a platform that’s going to revolutionize the sport. We want to thank you for being a part of this movement, and we hope you enjoy seeing these incredible changes take place over the coming updates.

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