Along with the second phase of our “all in” campaign we just recently also launched our redesigned adidas.com. I’d like to give you a little insight into how we’ve designed the new site experience. Following our strategy to place the consumer at the heart of everything we do, we’ve introduced User-Centered Design to its development.
In my job as User Experience Designer, my main concern in general is how our consumers tick – above all, in the digital world. How do we know where they will click next? What needs do they have? What wows them? How do we achieve the ‘Apple Effect’?
The answer to these questions is found in User-Centered Design.
Following this approach allows us to create digital solutions which are perfectly tailored to the needs of our consumers. We begin User-Centered Design by analyzing the user in detail, for instance, through contextual inquiries or focus groups. The insights gained supply us with a list of requirements for the app or website – which is based on actual user needs. This list enables us to develop a prototype at an early stage, which is then tested with real users to obtain valuable insights about the actual needs of our consumers. Such a usability test has been carried out in the concept phase of the new adidas.com.
What were the findings?
One of the most important findings concerned the overall navigation of the website: Option A with the menu items ‘[…] Sport, Originals, Style’ was frequently misinterpreted and, as a result, had a lower acceptance level than option B: ‘[…] Football, Originals, Running, Basketball‘. This was certainly also due to the fact that more than 80% of the test persons mainly expected to find watches, accessories, news and glasses behind the menu item ‘Style’.
These findings provide practical support for the usability recommendation ‘Navigation that is structured by task, not the org chart, is most helpful’ (Nielsen Norman Group) and will hopefully contribute to the success of the new adidas.com.
It might still be a long way from achieving the ‘Apple Effect’, but in the words of its originator: ‘The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better designs we will have.’ And to put an end to a common misconception, I conclude with the words of Steve Jobs: ‘Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.’