Setup Score: 7 out of 10

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Overall setting up the Nike+ Fuelband was a combination of being pretty straight forward along with a couple of really quirky elements that made it confusing at times. There is room for improvement, but it was pretty good overall.

Biggest plusses:
  • Easy software installation.
  • Easy Bluetooth connection.
  • It has a watch (and it's a cool one!).

Biggest minuses:
  • Lack of integration between Nike+ Fuelband app and the Nike+ GPS app.
  • Nike+ Fuelband Points: As a first time user, "What are they and why do I care about them?"
  • Lack of weight tracking: It has to be one of the top use cases for this app/device combination and it is completely ignored.
  • Disjointed registration process between software install (computer), registration, and iPhone app install.

The Details:

Software Download
I downloaded the software from the website before I plugged in the Fuelband and then when I plugged in the device (after I had installed the software), it said it had to download a newer version (not just the firmware), even though I had just downloaded it. That was weird, but it downloaded the software and installed without a hitch (twice) and then updated the firmware on the Fuelband itself.

Redundant, but painless: 9 out of 10.  

Set Up & Registration
When you set up the software for the first time, it has a "multi-channel" registration process. Some of it happens as you set up the software for the Fuelband and then some of it happens when you register for the website/app. This isn't that uncommon as everyone is trying not to scare off fickle consumers with a long registration process, but how it was broken up was confusing. 

During the set up of the Fuelband software on the computer, it asks for height, weight, and goals. It asks for a goal out of nowhere and only gives you goal levels of 2K, 3K and 5K to start. Easy, but those goals are pretty far apart and it seems like you will need more granularity than that. I found out later, I didn't even understand the goals. I thought they were calories per day, but it turns out they are NikeFuel. Huh? NikeFuel hasn't even been explained at this point and I have no idea how hard 2K, 3K or 5K is. 

On the website I was also able to put in any number I want between  I 250 and 55,000 for the goal. Pretty odd endpoints and a really broad range, but I suppose someone, somewhere has a reason for them. When I first started this I was really confused about the goal, because I thought it was counting calories. Like most consumers, I was not about to read the fine print on the website to find out! I assumed the goal was the calories you burn and the recommended goals it would make would change based on BMI, but as I later learned NikeFuel is supposed to account for the differences in people and be one metric that can compare everyone.  Overall it was a pretty odd first time user experience.

The email for registration took about 5 minutes to get to my inbox, not instantaneous, but not terrible. 

Room for improvement: 6 out of 10. 

Nike+ GPS Confusion
I had Nike+ on my phone already. At first, I did not realize Nike+ Fuelband app was a different app. I  logged in and realized it wasn't connected to Nike+ Fuelband at all, because even though I had the same email login and password, the weight was different and other setting were different and they did not update between the apps. I finally realized I needed to delete (or ignore) the Nike+ GPS app and put in the Nike+ Fuelband app. Many people will want the functionality of both in the same app and at a minimum the two apps should have the same back end in terms of user id, synching settings, goals, etc. 

User confusion: 4 out of 10.

Nike+ Fuelband App Quick Overview
Synching Issues: Synching was pretty easy and well explained if you are used to connecting bluetooth devices to you phone.  In the iPhone app, the graphing and activity capabilities lag what it says on the front page. It would say I had points on the front page but when I went to look at the graph it would say there was no data. 

Easy and painless: 8 out of 10.

Nike+ Fuelband Points: As a first time user experience, I I had no idea what a Nike+ Fuelband Point is or why I need it. This was really a lost opportunity to explain a core data point (it's in a big circle right on the front page of the app!)! Just a little explanation here would go a long way.

User Confusion: 5 out of 10.

More Goal Confusion: In the app (as well as on the web) you can update the goal to whatever you want on the band. On the website, it gives you pre-populated choices of 3K, 5K, 7K or 9K per week (this is where I realized it wasn't calories per day - thank goodness!). It also says 3K is recommended as that is the average amount Nike+ Fuelband members burn. Hmmm... If everyone sets their goal as 3K and then achieves it, then the average won't be 3K. A couple of questions about how active someone is versus what they would like to be and then helping them set a realistic goal that they could achieve and then having a process for moving them up might be a good idea. Just a thought.  I set mine at 3K.

Room for improvement: 5 out of 10. 

Mood: Does take mood, which is interesting, but only once a day. Guess it is the average. What if the mood changes throughout the day? It would be much more interesting to correlate changes in mood with changes in activity on an intraday basis?

Room for improvement: 5 out of 10.

Social/Friends: Friends is all through traditional social networks. Not sure that is the right model, but it is the model everyone that doesn't understand the intersection of social and health is using. More on that in some other post. 

It's what everyone is doing: 6 out of 10.

Weight: Weight is a point measurement in settings. What? I would assume that half the market for this device would be people trying to change their weight and the app doesn't track it over time. What a missed opportunity! Guess their target market is just people that like to exercise a lot that are at their ideal weight. I don't know very many of those people. 

Missed opportunity: 4 out of 10.

The Watch: So, at first, I couldn't figure out how to make it into a watch and when I pressed the button, it just said 45. What the f*$! does that mean (sorry for the swearing, but this will be an R-rated blog - those that know me are surprised it has taken this long)? I found settings on steps and calories, but none for the watch. Ok, so after a few frustrating minutes of searching though settings, I figured it out. I have to push the button multiple times to have it scroll through all the different numbers. After I scrolled through them all, time came up first instead of fuel, which is what I want it to do. Time is set by the synch to your computer, which is smart. 

User error: 8 out of 10. 

Notification that Fuelband is Synching: If your synch is in progress (with the iPhone app) and you close the app, it sends you a notice that you can tap and it reopens the app and takes you back to the app finish the sync. This is a nice feature. 

Nice Feature: 9 out of 10.