We knew we needed an App for the OMATA One — although the idea seemed counter-intuitive at first. It felt a bit like having an App for your handlebars or pedals. But, in a world where speakers and toothbrushes have their own App, I suppose it's not all that peculiar. We just wanted to make the OMATA Utility App more of an accessory to the OMATA One, rather than something you had to use in order to get the full OMATA One riding experience.
Eventually we came around to the idea and set about the job of designing and coding the OMATA Utility App.
We knew that an instrument as sophisticated as the OMATA One would need some sort of tool. We imagined that our App would a bit like a pump for a tire. Something purposeful, direct, efficient and simple that did what it did and allowed you to get on with other things besides swiping at a digital screen.
How Does The OMATA Utility App Work?
It’s simple. There are three views: OMATA, Rides and Settings.
The OMATA View is an overall view for your OMATA One.
It shows you how far you’ve ridden, how high you’ve climbed, how many cumulative days you’ve ridden and your average and max speed. When we turn on ANT+/BLE sensor pairing with a forthcoming firmware update, you’ll have data from your Power, Heart Rate and Cadence sensors there as well.
RIDES View shows you each of your individual rides and their summary. This is where you can rename your rides and share them directly to Strava. There’s also the ability to share your rides by sending the FIT data file to yourself, or elsewhere. We use the FIT file format, a standard for sports instrumentation. The data files are compact, making their transfer very efficient and allowing your OMATA One to store 70 years of rides — if you ride 10 hours per week for 70 years. Get after it!
SETTINGS View is where you set things. Here you can see the vital statistics of your OMATA One, current firmware version, update the GPS Aiding Data, connect the OMATA One Utility App to your Strava account, and Calibrate the hands, which is a terribly habit forming procedure where you get to make the hands on your OMATA One magically whiz around the dial faces.
We collaborated with former colleagues of ours, Pascal Weaver, from are Nokia days to design the UI and UX.
From the beginning we made it clear to ourselves that we wanted a simple UX. We definitely didn't want our App to feel like you were playing with an excited puppy. The whole point of the App is to manage your OMATA One. That's it.
The purpose of the exploration was to "go wide" and figure out amongst ourselves what kind of App User Experience we wanted. These concepts were deliberately rich and varied — some almost baroque in their adornments. Through this we were able to come to a conclusion that we wanted a clean, refined and visually simple design, very much like the face of the OMATA One.
We explored two Design Directions after we defined the base interactions necessary for managing your OMATA One: Login, Reviewing Overall Vital Analytics, Managing Rides (Download, Sharing, Etc.), Pairing to Your OMATA One and Calibrating The OMATA One's Mechanicals.
One Design Direction Was "Light", the other was "Dark".
We settled on the Dark Design Direction. It feel more aviation-inspired, instrument-like, and tested well for strong daylight readability. We wanted a visual design that reflected the sensibilities of OMATA and something that felt like it belonged together with the overall visual language of the OMATA One.
Each individual View had its own explorations. Especially important is the OVERVIEW View. Our goal was to present you with a simple odometer-like representation of the overall analytics of your OMATA One. A visual snapshot of the accumulated total distance, ascent, and time you've ridden, as well as your average and max speed. Along with this, we wanted to show current battery level and the time your OMATA One was last synced.
In the design process, we went through over a dozen different visual layouts of the OMATA View alone to find the best way to show your OMATA One's overall analytics.
The RIDES View is the one place you will spend the most time. It is where you view all of your synchronized rides, download them to the OMATA Utility App, and upload them to Strava — or other services.
But we don't want you to spend lots of time in our App — we want you to spend lots of time riding. So we kept things simple so that the interaction would be brief. Your OMATA One will automatically synchronize a simple summary of each ride. You can rename your ride, of course. And after you've downloaded the complete ride, it's a simple matter to share it to Strava.
Simple. Efficient. Easy-in, easy-out. These were our goals for the User Experience.
In fact, unlike other Apps, we're proud of how little time people spend in our App.
In the language of the App trade, we call that ‘bounce time’ — the amount of time someone spends between entering a UI flow and leaving it. We want your bounce time to be as *low as possible*. That’s right — we don’t want your eyeballs on our App.
That’s something that would get us a punch in the eye from digital advertisers if we were any other company that saw you as their product and built an App to sell you to advertisers.
We are not the kind of people interested in building an App to sell you to advertisers.
So far other OMATA One cyclists spend a bit less than 4 minutes per day in the App, total. That’s about 1.2 miles of riding at 18mph/30kph, which means you are spending less time swiping about in App Land and more time riding around in Human Land.
We want to help you get your data, record it, and get it all ready to be analyzed up the wazoo — just later. Definitely after you’ve told each other again the ride’s war stories, had your cake, sipped your espresso — or maybe something a bit stiffer..🍹🥃🍺
It's worth mentioning that all of the actual coding and testing of the OMATA Utility App was done in-house by Founder and CTO Julian Bleecker, along with an incredible, volunteered commitment of time and effort from one of our dedicated customers — a passionate, genius software engineer out of Belgium. Over 100 of our volunteer customers actively participate in our Test Team to evaluate and test the App. It's been a true collaboration of cyclists