Manual as marketing tool

I just got a Polar USA heartrate watch. This thing is supposed to let me track my heart as I exercise. It’s clearly a remarkable product in that it changes the way you think about something you do for half an hour a day. But, alas, it’s having a lot of trouble getting out of a small subset of the world of people who actually exercise. Why?

Well, maybe this quotation from the astonishingly poor manual gives you a clue, “While using an exercise set, you can see all the same information as in the BasicUse mode.” Or how about, “Exe. Time->RecoHR/Reco Time->Tot. Time->Limits1->InZone/Above/Below 1…” (all punctuation is recorded as written).

I’m ashamed that I can’t understand how to use this product. So ashamed, I won’t mention it to my friends, nor will I evangelize it to others.

What could Polar do? How about a totally obvious quick start mode that turns off 90% of the features and just makes it work!