Nike Purpose Website

You don’t really have a new website if you don’t have new content. In this case, we had both new content and existing content that had been buried in the previous site.

- Owen Jones and Partners

Can you briefly describe your project and the concept behind it?

Nike Purpose represents Nike’s commitment to a fair and sustainable future. The aim is to protect the environment for tomorrow’s athletes, and make sustainability the new norm. Nike Purpose needed to develop a cohesive category plan for their five belief pillars—innovating sustainably, making product responsibly, protecting the environment, inspiring communities and standing up for equality—and to communicate the stories behind them to consumers, industry experts and employees. Acting as the category’s strategic and technical partner, we worked with Nike Purpose to develop the right voice and storytelling approach while also aligning audience identification and content strategy efforts.

Talk about your initial prototypes. How did those ideas change throughout design and execution?

Our early explorations focused around using Nike’s existing brand guidelines in a way that felt especially professional, trustworthy and accessible for a variety of audiences. We knew that to make an impact the site would need to balance between presenting a lot of information and highlighting the strong and emotionally resonant content that helps people understand the importance of this work. As the project progressed and we got a better sense of the volume and complexity of information, we focused our work on always leading with strong visuals and providing plenty of powerful and evocative stories and images to help people really contextualize the work Nike is doing.

What influenced your chosen technical approach, and how did it go beyond past methods?

Owen inherited an existing site that we judiciously modernized and updated to allow flexibility of content and design. The site needed to be modular so that authors could build dynamic pages within a hierarchical system. We took a decoupled approach, using WordPress as a headless CMS with a React front end. This allowed us to handle back-end and front-end development independently, leading to a more efficient overall process.

What breakthrough or “a-ha” moment did you experience when concepting or executing this project?

While the Nike Purpose team already had a website with a wealth of content on it, much of it had been spun out of their corporate responsibility report that was geared toward shareholders and industry experts. Our breakthrough was realigning the experience with the website’s primary audience—conscious consumers—and developing a content and experience strategy focused on their needs and concerns. This audience focus guided our approach to interactive storytelling, information architecture, and delivering the type of high-touch experience Nike consumers expect.

What web technologies, tools, or resources did you use to develop this?

Headless WordPress React Redux Docker Express server Webpack Atom

How did you balance your creative and technical capabilities with the client’s brand?

Owen Jones was fortunate to help tell an incredibly important story for one of the most design-forward organizations in the world. Not every web design project is lucky enough to have a vast library of top quality assets and a wealth of inspiring content and information to populate it. If we told an inspiring story but didn’t back it up, they wouldn’t believe it. Our work was all about striking the right balance of informational and informative. Once we found that balance, our teams were able to build a site focused on telling that compelling story with clarity.

How did the final product defy your expectations?

You don’t really have a new website if you don’t have new content. In this case, we had both new content and existing content that had been buried in the previous site. After the UI, content strategy, design, and Content Management System (CMS) were all completed, the site began to be filled prior to launch with more and more robust and powerful content. Content that was now so much easier to experience. By the launch day, the site had become so deep in such a finely organized way that it felt wonderfully gigantic, thereby defying even our own expectations of what this site could one day become when we first kicked off the project.

Why is this an exciting time to create new digital experiences? How does your team fit into this?

Big brands like Nike are leading the charge with purpose-based work in today’s economy. They have the political will and the resources to make big changes happen–and more and more they recognize they need to be better for their employees, their partners and their consumers. All of these audiences care about this kind of information, but often consumers aren't the target audience for corporate responsibility reports. Owen created this consumer-facing storytelling website platform for Nike's Purpose goals, progress, and leadership in order to make sure this information was available, easy-to-find and easily digestible.

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