Nike’s Run Club app (NRC) is a platform for runners who want to start running, keep running, and enjoy running more. Training Plans and Audio Guided Runs (AGRs) are two unique features within the app that support runners at all stages of their practice.
Developed by the Nike Run Club coaching team, Audio Guided Runs provide runners with motivation and guidance from coaches and guest speakers during a run, while training plans offer a collection of different run types organized accordingly to your specific goals.
As the AGR and Training Plan library expanded, Nike identified two key challenges: many users didn’t realize the depth of coaching expertise available, and those that did struggled to find or identify the type of run they wanted.
Collins was invited to help define a new, extendable design system for Audio Guided Runs and Training Plans that would help users navigate the app while creating a compelling and cohesive experience for NRC.
Working closely with Nike’s digital design team, we developed several options for an AGR content structure, each with its own strategy. After agreeing on a simplified framework for run types—Everyday, Speed, and Long—we developed unique approaches to all three that leverages Nike’s original design language.
Everyday runs take a pattern-approach inspired by iconic Nike running shoe soles. Speed runs use expressive typography to reflect the experience of Tempo, Interval, Hill, and Fartlek runs. And Long runs capture the trance-like state of endurance running by repeating and layering dynamic silhouettes.
Extrapolating from the AGR design system, we then worked with Nike to develop a unique, but connected language for Training Plans. First, we created a flexible system that works with our AGR color codes to distinguish between the types of workouts in each Training Plan. Then we developed an underlying architecture for current and future plans: numerals for distance-based plans, illustration for introductory plans, and controlled flexibility for stand-alone plans.
For the launch of NRC Training Plans, we designed cover cards and a collection of assets for an introductory “Get Started” and Half-Marathon plan.
After exploring a variety of illustration styles, we developed a series of illustrated runners for the “Get Started” plan that aligned with the core system. Much like the system in place for AGRs, each illustrated runner takes on unique characteristics based on the run type.
Taken together, the system is flexible enough to account for ever evolving-content and efficient enough to be reproduced around the world, all while maintaining a unique, easily navigable expression for NRC.
Collins team: Michael Di Leo, Louis Mikolay, Michael Taylor, Mackenzie Pringle, Victoria Thomas, Dev Valladares
Nike team: Coach Chris Bennett, Mike Wood, Joshua Moore, Chun Kong, Nancy Ward, Jon Harvell, Jon Larama, Ruben Barton, Chul Lee