Sunding Speedometer

Product Analysis of Sunding Speedometer

Product Analysis
User Experience Research
Product Analysis
User Experience Research

Motivation


I recently bought a bicycle and needed a speedometer in order to track my progress like the no. of kms I cycled, my average speed etc. Upon browsing the web for such devices, I finally decided on a device based on cost and the functionality it provided. I have decided to analyze this device because once installed, the device functions well and works smoothly but the installation process is frustrating. I believe that there is a scope of improvement for this device and if done right, would provide a better experience to the user. The device is manufactured by company Sunding SD-548D.

Analysis


Let’s start with what the device offers. It comes with 13 main functions and a nice crisp display to show the current speed as well as as a bottom display showing the values depending on the mode selected (Figure 1).

Figure 1 : Display and Controller
Figure 2 : Magnet and Sensor

The hardware installation part was easy and the functioning, straightforward. The product consisted of a magnetic hook to be attached to the wheel (Figure 2) and a sensor which would read and add the circumference of the tyre every time the magnet crossed the sensor. The sensor would then transmit the data to the display attached to the bar of the cycle.

As a gizmo user, more than perusing the user guide, I spend time with the device and try to learn its features by playing around with it. But the Speedometer acted like a mystery box whose secrets are hard to unveil. I had a hard time forming any sort of conceptual model in my head.

Once I put the battery in, the screen started blinking with some random numbers with no indication of its meaning. That’s when I realized that the key to understanding this new tech-toy was its manual and the device lacked any sort of signifiers. I feel, this is the biggest setback for any product in today’s technological age. Things were not easy even after reading the manual. I had to keep referring the book at every step. I even had to watch a few videos on youtube to learn how to work with the display.

In order for this device to work correctly, the user needs to enter the circumference of the wheel of the cycle and this can only happen at the time you insert the battery. This implies that there is no way of changing the value unless one reinstalls the battery. The device provides just two buttons to operate more than ten operations. The device also fails to follow a set pattern of changing and entering mode using the left and right buttons. Some modes are accessible by pressing left key whereas others by pressing right key. Each mode has a different permutation and combination to edit or view details. A detailed analysis of each mode and the resolution is provided in Table 1.


Table 1 : Detailed analysis of various modes provided by the device
Mode
Problem with Mode
How to resolve
Wheel size input
Most important part and the only way to enter the value is to re-install the battery.
Provide a dedicated mode which can be accessed and can be edited as required.
Setting km/h or m/h
This can also be set only once and there is no way of changing the value.
Provide a dedicated mode which can be accessed and can be edited as required.
CLK Mode
Does not follow the same rule as the other modes for entering. We need to press left to enter this mode whereas other modes require a right press.
Streamline interaction to edit and visit a particular mode
Setting the last value of odometer
Odometer value needs to be set to the previous value once the battery is reinstalled.
Must make the device capable of remembering the last value of odometer
Reset of Mileage Parameter
Provides no useful function as one needs to reinstall the battery in order to enter the wheel size as well as provide km/h or m/h preference.
This functionality should be removed.
Speedometer
No Issues
Speed Comparator
No Issues
Odometer
No Issues
Trip Distance, DST
Press the left button for 5 seconds to clear records of DST,MXS,AVG and TM
Since the edit functionality is used once the trip is over, a dedicated button to clear the record must be provided
MXS, Maximum Speed
Average Speed, AVG
Trip Time, TM
Scan
No Issues
Sleep Mode
If no signal has been received for 300 seconds, the computer will go to sleep and CLK value will be displayed. on signal receiving it will go back to the previous mode and all the data will be restored
Freezy Frame Mode
Again does not follow any strict convention of changing mode.
Streamline interaction to edit and visit a particular mode

Analysis shows that there are 9 read only fields. Hence, in order to improve the user experience these fields must be easily accessible without much input from the user. The interaction can be improved by providing
    1) A dedicated button to reset mode 9,10,11 and 12.
    2) A new single hand input wheel (Figure 3) to move from one mode to another as well as edit a particular mode

The device does a good job of indicating which mode is being used currently. Another good thing that the device has is the auto on/off feature which makes the device go into sleep mode when not in use and only shows time, increasing the battery life. The display looks good as there is no information clutter.

With practice, I remember the steps to operate the most essential functionality of the device. Yet the device does a miserable job at providing a good interface and experience to the user who is interested in all the functionalities of the device.

Figure 3 : Sketch of proposed device