Fitbit Surge — UX Wins & Fails

In the game of fitness wearables, Fitbit is the name everyone knows and trusts. I had the pleasure of owning a Fitbit Surge for several weeks before swapping out for an Apple Watch (see Apple Watch — UX Wins & Fails). Notice I didn’t say “I upgraded”. That’s because the Fitbit Surge and the Apple Watch are like ‘apples’ and ‘oranges’ — they are different products with different purposes and mostly different audiences. Which is why I ended up getting an Apple Watch — I’m more of a techie than a fitness buff. Even though I no longer own one, I still have a great deal of respect for this product and I know many happy users.

Without further adieu, here is my review of the UX for the Fitbit Surge (again using the BASIC UX framework).

UX Wins & Fails (and draws)

Beautiful — The watch is good looking and modern (if you like that look). It feels pretty fashionable as well. The design is pretty straight-forward and overall it looks nice. Win

Accessible — I found all of the feature on the watch to be reasonably accessible. The buttons are easy to push and their aren’t any ‘easter egg’ features that would upset you for not finding (unlike a lot of the Apple Watch’s UI nuances); though it did take me a bit to figure out how to get to the audio player. The screen scrolls nicely and the text is clear to read with pretty good screen contrast. Win

This watch enhances the fitness experience with elegant simplicity.

Simple — This watch is definitely simplistic. It does what it does, and it does it well. All of the features add value and don’t complicate life. I definitely felt like this watch made life easier (in a 1st world sort of way). This watch enhances the fitness experience with elegant simplicity. Win

If you can’t figure out the first time how a feature works, it better be quickly learnable and then mindlessly repeatable, anything less is a UX Fail.

Intuitive — Most all of the features were super easy to find and use. As I mentioned above, the only one I had a little trouble finding was the music controls, but I wasn’t hurting too bad without those and then once I did find the controls it became second nature. If you can’t figure out the first time how a feature works, it better be quickly learnable and then mindlessly repeatable, anything less is a UX Fail. The Fitbit Surge excels in the intuitive department. Win

Consistent — The watch and fitness features all perform very consistently. The battery life was nice and long and the charging was quick as well. My only complaint here is that there were a few different menu UI’s on the device that functioned differently (dashboard, settings, function changer). It wasn’t terribly inconsistent, however this is one area the product could improve on — consistency of feature menus. draw

4.5 of 5 on the BASIC UX scale

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