Toast of the Town: Best Web Design and Development


Creating Elegant Sites

The accolade "game-changer" was applied liberally in 2006, but in the case of Interpublic Group's R/GA's Flash-powered NikeStore site, no other term suffices. Not only does it shine from aesthetic and design viewpoint - the site is as stunning as it is seamless - it replaces the seven-year-old NikeTown with a markedly improved user experience and purchasing process.

Until now, Adobe's Flash technology was thought to be appropriate only for branded Web sites and for special effects, while html was thought better suited for transactional e-commerce sites. But here, Flash allows the revamped site an alternative and multifaceted navigation system that enables visitors to filter the site's inventory of more than 30,000 apparel and footwear products literally in a flash. Using a navigation menu on the left, visitors can hone in on what they're looking for by product attributes.

"Nike is the first client we completely organized around, demanding the most of our technical and creative disciplines to tell meaningful stories and create a community around a seamless shopping experience," says Nick Law, recently appointed chief creative officer for North America at R/GA.

Another marvel of design can be seen in the work R/GA put into the NikePlus page, which allows runners to record workouts on their Apple iPod Nano using a chip in their running shoes. Viewers have the capability to instantly upload and view their workouts on an illustrated graph.

NikeStore wasn't Nike's first application of Flash for an e-commerce site.

The R/GA -built Nike iD site, which invites visitors to design their own footwear, also uses Flash. Other notable work has included Verizon's Beatbox Mixer and an experimental site for Nokia Nseries.

To get the word out about the high-concept line of multimedia devices in the Nokia Nseries, R/GA created a Web site where people could upload their own videos.

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