Web Site Review: The New nikegolf.com
For several years running Nike Golf has had one of the most progressive web sites for a major golf equipment company. As the leader of a brand identity company that designs and builds web sites, I am constantly looking at successful sites that incorporate unique user experiences, effective visual interface design and use of progressive technologies — the goal being to achieve a similar high caliber of work for our clients. Nike Golf’s site has been of this high caliber for years, and now the bar has been raised again for other golf equipment manufacturer web sites with the launch of the new nikegolf.com.
This post is sorely overdue, because back on March 1st Nike Golf launched it’s new web site, and since then it’s truly been a pleasure to visit, see and learn about Nike’s new equipment and read information about their athletes. When the new design for nikegolf.com went live on the web, it was immediately clear that this was a leap forward for the best brand in the golf business. The new site is visually engaging, and most importantly easy to navigate. It has several features that I think put this site ahead of other golf sites, and I go into detail about those below.
Now I’ll go through the site in detail, and outline what I believe separates nikegolf.com from other golf web sites:
The previous iteration of nikegolf.com featured a white background and a somewhat minimal user interface. The new site features a dark background consisting of a very cool subtle photo of the VR driver. The top left navigation is intuitive and easy to use — it mimics the design and organization of the store.nike.com navigation, which creates a familiar experience between the two sites. My favorite feature — and perhaps my favorite feature of the entire site — is the product nav that expands horizontally to the right all the way to the product photo and detail level, allowing the user to browse the entire product line without having to leave the home page. Very nice.
The main content area consists of an experience box at the top, a product section below that and a footer nav at the bottom that includes a full site map, social media links and an email registration form. The top experience box currently has a cool overview of how Nike athletes have prepared for next week’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, but it has also included product experience boxes for the VR and SQ lines, as well as a feature about Nike Golf’s The Oven. Above the footer is a row of three smaller product boxes that feature subtle, well-designed animation events that display a second expanded view of that particular product — a nice touch that draws the user into experiencing more.
The overall interface design is feature-rich without looking cluttered or over-designed. The photography is cool and has been retouched to give it the edgy look and feel that matches the rest of Nike Golf’s current marketing campaign. The creative use of visual cues and small animation events (triggered by mouseovers) enhances the user experience and improves ease of navigation. The design is still clean, but includes more nice features and details than the previous iteration of the site. The bottom line is the new design is beautiful to look at, but more importantly it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.
The product wall is handy because you can see all products in a particular category at a glance, and products can be filtered and sorted in a variety of ways (gender, price, availability, etc.). The experience level pages have rich content for each product line including photos, videos, and an interactive product bar at the bottom featuring the full product line in that category. The product level pages feature all the information you could want about a particular product — crisp photos in multiple views including zoom and 360-degree views, performance details and complete specifications for the product. Below the product info are related videos, links to related products and a list of athletes who use that particular product. Descriptions and pricing are located at the top next to the main product photo, along with buttons linked to dealers and demo days to try a product before buying it.
All in all it is a very complete product presentation that is easy to navigate and quickly find the product information you’re looking for.
The individual athlete pages feature a box under the athlete nav bar that shows their bio, a list of their wins, and for athletes who have active Twitter accounts and/or Facebook pages, a link to their Twitter and/or Facebook feeds. To the right of that box is a box showing the Nike equipment each athlete has in his or her bag, a nice feature for those of us who are curious about what clubs and balls they play on tour. The individual athlete pages are a handy resource for learning what you want to know about each athlete’s career and equipment.
DEMO DAYS & DEALER LOCATOR
I recently had the opportunity to take a tour of The Oven. Actually it’s because there are links to several videos that give you a behind-the-scenes look at the innovation and technologies that find their way into Nike Golf equipment, all without having to travel to Fort Worth! If you want to find out what goes on in the minds of Nike Golf’s club designers, and what really makes Nike a leader in the golf equipment industry, do yourself a favor and spend some time in The Oven section, you’ll be glad you did.
ABOUT NIKE GOLF
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
The bottom three links in the left nav link directly to Nike Golf’s Facebook fan page, Twitter account page and YouTube channel. If you’re not a fan of Nike Golf ‘s Facebook page or following them on Twitter, I suggest doing so to get the latest info on Nike Golf equipment and athletes straight from the source. And don’t forget to check out their YouTube channel to see all of their latest TV commercials, behind-the-scenes videos of athletes and their full series of videos from The Oven. I’m flattered to have on occasion in the past had Nike Golf retweet some of my tweets form their Twitter account, and perhaps in the near future one of our NG Nation posts will end up on their Facebook page — who knows, maybe this one?
Nike Golf’s web team clearly spent much time designing, planning and testing the features and content for their new site, as the new nikegolf.com is not only attractive to the eye and easy to find your way around, but it includes several useful tools for finding any information about Nike equipment and athletes you might be looking for. Nike Golf’s previous web site was already a winner in my book, but this new iteration is a big leap forward both in design and functionality, and in my opinion it’s the best web site for a major golf equipment manufacturer out there. I can’t wait to see what Nike Golf has in store for the future of their web site, because whatever it is, you know it‘s definitely going to be great.