Better customization = better experience

First, customize courses. Why limit courses to particular days? I don’t care about France, Paris, London, Yorkshire, Inssbruck, Richmond, and especially the visually repugnant New York courses. Why can’t Zwift have an on-screen option selection to reject those?

Second, customize the ride screen. I don’t want a list of riders nearby – ever! Nor their convos. And I don’t want to see a separate list of times. Together that takes up about one third of the display. Jeez. Might as well throw in commercials for dog food and toilet bowl cleaner.

I know. I know. I can turn all that off by pressing H (hide?). But that also hides the one gauge that I do want, which is my speed and distance.

So, overall, too many crappy routes and not enough screen customizability.

That’s my .02

and that’s why things like sauce have neem ,made to fill that gap but i agree more customisation built into zwift would be great.

There are workarounds to ride in any world whenever you want. What device are you running Zwift on?

Also the group chat you see can be turned off in settings.

That leave Watopia and Makuri Islands. Watopia is always available.

Vote for this one:

Yes, I know you can drop a world setting into the prefs file and that chat can be turned off in the settings. Those are two small steps that make a slight improvement.

Voting for it is a bit of a waste. Surely if the game engine was capable of having a customisable UI then it would have been implemented a long time ago.

Part of the answer might just be that maybe you don’t like Zwift–meaning you don’t like what Zwift wants to be. It’s not just a workout platform, it’s purposefully created and sold as being significantly social. And there are going to be limits to how much any piece of software will be customizable. Not saying there can’t be improvements, but what you’re saying sounds a bit like someone saying they want a MMORPG, except without all the other players :slight_smile:

On the case of courses, and why not have them all available all the time, I suspect it’s because they want a certain density of users on any course. Part of what people don’t seem to like about Rouvy or RGT is that they are ghost towns. Limiting the number of courses available on any day maximizes the number of users on those limited courses. Which again is what most people seem to want, and what Zwift markets itself as.

I don’t see why there would be any UX limitation for adding customization. Zwift has a lot of competing priorities, they don’t seem to do a ton of UX work every release, so they are selective on what they do. They might have deeper customization on the radar, or they might have decided that other priorities are more important, but I don’t see any “game engine” reason they can’t add customization.

1 Like

I can’t think of another feature I’d rather have with the possible exception of improving the speed of the loader.

Perhaps you’re right, Tom. I’m not impressed with the sophomoric gamification portion of this software.

That’s fair enough, I have friends who prefer Rouvy because they don’t like the gamification of Zwift.

What makes it ‘sophomoric’ in your opinion?

They said they couldn’t make a bike red because it may break the game. Who knows what the limitations of this software are.

Thanks for the tip. I’ll check out Rouvy.

Why do I say the gamification feels sophomoric? Because it’s so contrived. And by that I do not mean the other-world scenery, which varies from entertaining to downright depressing (I’m thinking of you, New York). Rather it’s the underlying idea that riding virtually with others is the motivation we riders need to keep at it (i.e. continue paying for monthly access). Thus, there are levels to reach for and items to unlock. Meanwhile, each route shows a map of anonymous riders who (gasp) may be overtaking you or falling behind, timed segments, personal records, segment records, encouragements (Close the gap), and even a ghost rider.

Zwift’s gamification has shrunk the main screen by a third by cluttering it with a hodge-podge of different sized flanking data boxes – all for our infotainment. If we were presented with a mess like that on our Hammerhead Karoo or Garmin, we’d not put up with it.

Don’t pay if it’s that bad. I don’t get what you want to do with Zwift (or anything similar) if that’s how you feel. I’ve said before, back to when Zwift reps kept insisting that “racing is a minority of our users” - yes, but that’s the only reason I’m still here. Other than the racing, I’d just ride outside on the fatbike for z2 and use my trainer with my Garmin for structured training. Riding around the worlds aimlessly doesn’t come close to the value of the monthly subscription fee.

You do know you can turn off all the numbers with the key?

I will say I don’t like the ghost rider - I argued that it should be turned off by default, I find that to be a very intrusive feature. But it can be turned off.

I liked Rouvy too–the real world video part was pretty attractive. Didn’t ride it enough to get a feel for drafting or anything, but it was cool riding through actual Spain :slight_smile:

I get your point about the gamification. I just never saw it as immature to be motivated by these things. I train a lot, and historically I’ve been able to force myself to train indoors when the weather isn’t conducive to outdoor training (I’m in the US midwest–winter riding is one thing, winter training is another). But I also do find those elements you mentioned motivating to varying degrees, and I don’t see that as problematic. I’ve already used PRs on various roads or segments IRL as motivation, so seeing if I can do better on a segment seems natural to me. And I also use other riders IRL as motivation. Not in a ‘competitive jerk’ way :slight_smile: But if I’m going hard, and someone passes me going significantly faster, I’ll try to see how long I can keep them in sight. Using people as ‘rabbits’ IRL has also just always been a thing for me.

As far as the items and such to unlock–yeah, it’s contrived, but it’s not like it’s a secret or hidden or sneaky attempt to motivate. Some people are motivated by achieving goals, regardless of the goals. In fact, I’d argue that most people are motivated in that way. Just look at how ‘getting likes’ on an Instagram post motivates people, right? I know cyclists who count the number of centuries they’ve ridden, or the number of tires they go through in a season, or the number of meters they climb, simply because people tend to be motivated by checking items off lists. (I tell my students that all the time when they have motivational problems with getting their work done–make simple lists of the stuff you have to do each day, and check it off as you do it. It’s motivating for most people.)

I don’t say any of that to say that you have to like or appreciate any of it, of course :slight_smile: I just don’t see any of it as particularly immature, so it was ‘sophomoric’ that made me curious. If someone gets motivated by unlocking new kit, and that helps them keep a regular schedule of training, I don’t see why it’s not a thing for normal adults to do. For me, I’ll say this–in the past, using TrainerRoad for example, I would force myself to workout. I’d tell myself “I have to train, get up there in the pain cave”, and I’d grit my teeth through an hour. Since starting Zwift, I find myself saying “Okay, I have 45 minutes”, and then 90 minutes later I’m saying “I really need to stop now, I’m going to be dead tomorrow”. And my FTP is 20 watts higher than it’s ever been as well. So it’s not only getting me benefits, but it’s faaaaaar more enjoyable–for me, not for everyone–than other indoor training I’ve done before.

All of that said, I get where you’re coming from. If you don’t like those elements, then the screen putting them up in your face would be annoying. It would be cool if Zwift’s UI was super customizable, but I think they have bigger fish to fry than that. Or, they just have their own preferences about what it should look like.