In my last blog post I described one process for prioritizing your audience for the web and why that might be important. To help you visualize that further, I’ve taken website from a well known company to help you see how that translates into the design of the site.
Since we picked on Nike with the swoosh in my post on logo design, I’ll continue that trend and continue to use them as a good example here, because they’ve obviously put a lot of thought into their websites and designs.
No doubt Nike has many many audiences, all of whom are important to their success, they sell many different types of athletic products, and as a public company, they also have to look out for investors. So taking a look at their homepage, the first prioritization I see is pretty telling.
Nike has chosen to prioritize this homepage with a strong call to action for their Fuelband. This is a product that they are currently pushing, and it crosses many of their audience groups. You’ll notice that in the very uncluttered design, they aren’t confusing the user with the myriad of different things that they are selling, but instead focusing on one core product. This focus can change as they release different products.
The other audiences start to be addressed when you hover over the navigation at the top of the page. You’ll notice a few different ways that they categorize their users. Since they are an athletic company, they’ve categorized them by sport in this particular dropdown. This was likely the result of studying which products were typically bought by a subset of athletes playing a particular sport.
When you choose a particular sport, you are taken to a new site that has products (and a design) specifically tailored to that sport. In this screenshot of basketball products (below) you’ll see that it becomes an online store. This store is also able to be bookmarked (e.g. it’s a site not a search), so the basketball user can return and buy more basketball items.
Returning to the main site, there is a shop link, for those who may want to shop in the more traditional categories of Mens and Womens, shoes, apparel etc. So the traditional shopping experience is preserved for users who prefer to shop in this way.
But where’s the shareholder information?
You’ll notice that one key audience is not addressed in these various links….the shareholders. There’s no information about Nike’s Board of Directors, no “About the Company” and certainly no profile of the CEO. Why? Because in Nike’s case, the users don’t care. They know about the company, and they are interested in one thing — the products. Knowing how Nike performed in the stock market is completely unimportant to them.
Nike knows, however, that you can’t completely ignore your shareholders, and they do need to distribute that information, so there is a link all the way in the footer, to a Nike Inc. subsite that looks and feels completely different, and shares that information that is important to people checking out the company or those that have invested money in it.
So it’s apparent that for Nike, the users that are the primary audiences are those who are actually buying their products. They aren’t cluttering up their site with news and information that is irrelevant to someone trying to buy a pair of sneakers. They have clear goals for each of the subsites and when you visit them, you know exactly where you are.
Nike’s site is complex, and large. What do you do if you have a smaller company with less content? In the next blog post I’ll share some examples gone right.