Hi everyone! My name is Alex, and I’m on the Product team at Zwift.
We’re actively working to bring back the Join a Zwifter feature to the new home screen, and I’d love your feedback on our direction.
Our primary focus right now is to bring this feature back as quickly as possible, though we are planning to work in small tweaks to improve the feature based on community feedback. At the highest level, our planned first pass is:
Add a “Join a Zwifter” card to the “Just Ride” carousel on the home screen
Display a list of pros, verified accounts, and Zwifters you follow who are riding now.
Let you join a Zwifter from the list.
Planned changes vs the old functionality
These are the changes we’re hoping to make with launch. Our priority is bringing this feature back, so we may not make all of the changes by the time this is live.
List Zwifters regardless of world.
Display elapsed time, which is the amount of time the Zwifter has been riding. The list will be sorted by elapsed time.
Only Pros, Verified Accounts, and Zwifters you follow will be listed, as opposed to the additional list of random Zwifters the old home screen shows.
Only list users you can actually join. The old functionality lists Zwifters in events, meaning you can’t actually join them.
It would be helpful to highlight Zwifters I follow who are favorites. When people follow many riders (some approaching 5000!) they might have a smaller list of favorites that they’re more likely to ride with. Find a way to surface those.
As such the list looks awfully airy, a single line with name, flag and rider type as icons and elapsed time would be a more efficient. But adding the profile picture would indeed at least make some better use of all that space.
My guess (which might be incorrect) is that most, if not all, pros get a free Zwift subscription, and that part of the agreement is 'you must show in the ‘Ride With’ list if you are online. At the same time, though, I wonder if many of the pros we see now might ‘disappear’ under the new parameters, as my guess would be that they are often in an ‘event’ of some sort (like a Meet Up or a Workout).
I’ve personally never used “Ride With” so I’m not the correct person to ask about this, but I would imagine Zwift has the telemetry to know whether or not people tend to select a pro vs. someone on their friends list more often. I would suspect it’s someone on their friends list, but I don’t have that data. If the data shows it’s most likely someone on their friends list I would suggest putting those folks (and of course favorited friends) first.
Personally - I don’t think I would jump in with a random pro, if I had any friends that Zwifted I think I would be much more inclined to jump in with them.
I “think” it would be somewhat interesting to know what world and route the friend is on if there was room to put that info in the list, and if the person happens to be riding with a pace partner it would also be interesting to know which pace partner.