1. Add a summary tab to the list of the tab interface
RidewithGPS’s tabs are awesome, but I’d like to see a summary tab that incorporates information like the screenshot above. I appreciate the weekly, monthly, and yearly totals on the summary page. I can honestly do without the table that Bicycling has, but others might find it useful.
2. Mileage and Mapping of routes is optional
Some routes, such as bike paths, are really hard to map out on a website. Also, I’m likely to ride on our bike path a certain amount of time, then turn around and go back. Bicycling’s Training Log allows me to enter a route without requiring a map (or GPS) and without requiring mileage. This allows me to enter the mileage separately when I log an activity. Currently, with RideWithGPS, I would have to map out the 33 mile bike path ride I did yesterday before I entered it on my log. My understanding is that the developers are working on ways to enter activities without requiring a map. I will definitely appreciate this feature.
3. Script for embedding stats
4. Import/Export of stats
Since Bicycling lets you export stats from your training log, one way that RideWithGPS could acquire some users is to allow an easy import feature from Bicycling. The import of routes from MapMyRide works flawlessly. Since Bicycling allows you to export data as an Excel file, it RideWithGPS should be able to import this data. This seems like this would mostly be a matter of deciding which fields mapped where, then scripting the import of the data.
5. Make the search interface more intutive
Searching for routes in RideWithGPS is very easy. There are multiple ways you can search. The only thing holding the route search back right now is the lack of content there to search.
It appears that currently the only user information that is searchable is the zipcode and the username. A search for Athens or OH does not find me as a user. You can only currently find me by typing my zipcode or my name. It took me a few minutes to figure this out, and as a librarian, I’m trained to figure out how to search things. A little bit of text telling user what to search (name, zip, etc) would make it easier for users to connect with others. I’d also like to see the state and city fields searchable here as well. Finally, I’d also like to be able to search for users in a mileage radius as well. I don’t know all the surrounding zip codes in a 50 mile radius, so the system ought to be able to help me find others nearby. I think the community aspect of RideWithGPS has a great deal of potential, but users need to be able to find each other in order to maximize the potential.
These are just a few suggestions that I have with how to improve RideWithGPS. I’m not an expert programmer by any means, so I don’t know how easy it would be to implement my recommendations. I do see that RideWithGPS is already one of the better mapping and log tools available to cyclists, and I am excited about what the site creators will bring to the site. The developers seem genuinely interested in developing a tool that others will use, so the end product, with user imput, can potentially be the best service available. I’m looking forward to where they will take the site.