Several days ago, I have done some researches about Puma, the new star of sportswear market. In the process, I found that Puma didn’t had an official APP, which surprised me a lot. Therefore, I decided to explore which sportswear brand has the best app. After browsing Adidas, Vans and so on, I found the one I love the most–New Balance.
When I opened it at the first time, I am surprised. Before this APP, I didn’t believe that a brand can be so attracting and useful. In other words, it’s more a lifestyle than just an app. You probably don’t believe the words I wrote. So, I will show you how amazing this app is. During our exploring, you can know its visual design, information architecture, usability, accessibility, etc. I bet you will love it since then.
Wow, so personalized!
Well, I will share about the story I use it for the first time. When I opened it, I was surprised. What? I have to sign in?
At the moment, the app became a troublesome thing in my mind. After all, I didn’t need to create an account In other apps. But then, when I opened it, I found I could use my Facebook account to log in, which was much more convenient. After I logged in, the first thing came out was a personalized questionnaire.
It’s the first time I feel that I am treated like a VIP in a sportswear app. So, with the excitement, I chose my birthday, interests and so on. After finishing it, I got the email from New Balance immediately, which told me I ccould enjoy a birthday reward and personalized offers. OMG! That’s awesome, This email let me think the New Balance company considered everything for me, which made me like this app.
Then, I began to look at its interface and menu. The visual design is simple and stylish like its website. On the homepage, we could see the “Leroy BRONZE, 750 NB POINTS” on the first row, which reminded me that I was a beginner in their member system.
Several articles possessed most part of the homepage. Their topics were different from each other. Some were to analyze the application of their products in exercises, and some were to promote their best sellers. In the middle of the bottom, there was a New Balance button that contained five functions we used most in stores. From “home”, ” shop”, ”check in” to “history”. The red “shop” button not only presented the visual design of New Balance, but also let people know that the shopping is the most important. Clicked the menu button on the left, we could see the app is divided in to several parts.
Despite what we can find in the bottom button, there were things like “find a store”, “ways to earn”, “RUN IQ”(its smart watch). These things were used more when we were outside stores. Isn’t it such a clever design? In the end, let’s use the “shop” function. The RUN IQ took up most of the page. Then, there were “Men”, ”WOMEN”, “KIDS” and its products designed by NB and J.Crew together. Everything is very convenient and easy to use. As for the detailed categories, they are great, too!
Usability is OK
Then, I was wondering if I can find the product I want to buy. So, I decided to search for a pair of shoes called “574 reflective”. When I entered the word reflective, it appeared. Besides, there are different colors, sizes and widths I could choose. So sweet! However, I was confused about that the app has no “filter” and “sort”. Come on, I was not the big fan of New Balance, I can’t recognize my shoes at once from hundreds of shoes. I thought the UX designer of New Balance should change it later.
Accessibility needs improvement
After this, when I wanted to know more about the “574 reflective”, I was surprised that the app had no any detail about its product. Really? They have no any information to describe their products?With this question, I opened its website and found there were information from type to description.
Therefore, I guessed this was caused by the designer’s laziness. After all, this was only a “copy & paste” thing.
Clever loyalty system
To be honest, the accessibility was not as good as I expected. But there’s another thing let me love it again. It is the loyalty system. We had seen the “BRONZE, 750 NB POINTS” before. I was curious about what it is. So, I clicked the “rewards”. It’s amazing.
I could use the points to get a $10 discount coupon for purchase more than $25; I could donate $3 to the need only if I spend 1,500 points; I could become the premium member of Strava (an app used to track athletic activity via GPS) for one month. So great! Then, I found I can get hundreds of points by doing things like following New Balance on Facebook, complete my account profile, etc. Every time I buy things from NB, I can get the corresponding points, too. The more money I spend, the more points I can get. I can also get points if I use Strava when I exercise. From this aspect, I think New Balance does a good job because this loyalty system can really attract consumers to use this app in their daily lives.
In sum, compared with apps of other sportswear brands, New Balance does a good job. Although it doesn’t contain some information like the detail of products, (it still) makes the app more a lifestyle instead of only an application.