NIKE: RACE THE PACE
Nike Race The Pace is a world-facing Instagram AR experience I developed with NikeLA. Users engage in a virtual race against 3D characters that represent Olympic champion records. At the finish line, a results screen compares users' speed and pace with world-leading athletes.
• Immersive Design
• Creative Technology
• Technical R&D
• User Flow Design
Tools & Techniques
• Meta SparkAR
• Adobe CC
• Cinema 4D
• 3D modeling & Rendering
Augmented Reality • Social AR • Mobile
Experience Designer • AR Developer • Art Direction
Link to the Effect
How do we design an engaging AR experience on Instagram, despite its limited body tracking?
How can we create an engaging user flow despite a complex and longer setup time?
When and how should we introduce the pace choice for an optimal user experience?
MAKING MOVEMENT FUN WITH AR
When Nike approached us with a challenge to create an experience to inspire movement, they set two very unique and exciting Key Performance Indicators: Spark physical activity and ensure enjoyment.
Given that many associate Social AR with Instagram's "beauty filters", this was no ordinary task. While platforms like Snapchat or TikTok offered superior body tracking, Nike was eager for a full-body experience on Instagram. This posed a unique challenge: How to confirm movement without the support of advanced body tracking? Our solution was refreshingly human - we turned to the time-tested method of peer validation.
KEY DECISIONS FOR KEY RESULTS
In creating Race The Pace, a significant challenge was identifying when to introduce the pace choice, while ensuring a seamless user experience. We also wanted to prevent unnecessary interruptions that could hinder the experience.
To address this, we introduced a strategic surprise element. We unveiled the characters and pace options during the 'Tap the screen to place your track' step, adding an unexpected choice and enhancing the runner's engagement.
Secondly, we gave users two initial instructions: “Go Outside With A Friend” and “Find a Flat and Well Lit Space”. This was to prevent mid-experience restarts. By stating these conditions upfront, users could decide if they could start the AR experience immediately or if they needed to wait until the conditions were met.
We further refined the user experience with recording-only visible instructions, ensuring a clutter-free final version. The culminating results screen provided a shareable record of the user's achievement, concluding the race in a gratifying manner.
TouchDesigner Installation Artists
UX Design, Art Direction, AR Development
Ana Carolina Estarita Guerrero
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A SOCIAL EXPERIENCE THAT IS REALLY SOCIAL
One unique challenge of developing Nike's Race The Pace was to create a gamified, validated experience within a technological environment that inherently lacked the necessary tools for such a task.
My team and I saw this challenge as an opportunity to innovate. We embraced the concept of social validation, using it as an alternative method to track success or failure. This led us to design 'Race the Pace' as a social experience that is meant to be shared. Consequently, we treated the moments before and after recording as two distinct stages. The first stage focused on delivering clear instructions, ensuring that users needed to record only once. The second stage emphasized the creation of a fun, shareable experience.
I SEE YOU, YOU SEE ME
A key challenge in Race The Pace was maintaining user engagement during the unavoidably lengthy setup process. We questioned how to sustain user interest through the stages of setup, ensuring they remained motivated until the racetrack section.
Our solution centered on understanding that AR social media users are typically not first-timers; they likely have seen others using the application and thus have some preconceived expectations. This insight shaped our approach to the user flow design. Our priority was to ensure a substantial and satisfying payoff for the users, especially considering that our project required the collaboration of two participants - the runner and the person recording.
The culmination of this experience - a dynamic recording of the user racing alongside a lively 3D character and followed by a results screen - had to be captivating. It was crucial to make this payoff impactful to justify the preceding setup process.