Nike+ knows human interface

Screenshot of Nike+If you haven’t seen the wonder of Nike+ yet, and you’re a study of interface design, you need to spend some time checking it out. I first went to see the site at the encouragement of my brother, who’s a tech-skeptic but also a sports trainer.As usual, I was talking about technology and iPods and asked him casually if he’d seen any clients using the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit.”Isn’t that kind of overkill geekness?””No, it’s really COOL,” he said with dead certainty. He then explained how it’s changing the way people are thinking about their runs, that it tracks their running pace, their stats, and will switch into your “power song” when it senses you are running out of steam.So I had to go dig through the NikePlus site, and sure enough. Some of the most compelling consumer user interface design I’ve ever seen, from just over the hill. They’ve built a mashup with the Google Maps API for people to draw their running routes and track their runs. They’ve also built a realtime run calculator that’s tracking every mile uploaded from the NikePlus running tribe — from all over the world.Even I, an enthusiastic but lazy runner at best, got really excited about being a part of this community of people who are running to beat their own best times, routes, and stats. Nike is creating a whole community of like-minded lifestyle people around its all-inclusive mantra “if you have a body, then you are an athlete.” With the help of Web 2.0, they’re going to quickly change the way we think about running the way Apple changed the way we think about and interact with music.If you don’t believe me, go see it and tell me you disagree.

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