Back in June, we wrote a review about the Nike Plus SportBand and it’s website, Nike Plus. The review was mainly about the SportBand, not the website that tracked all of your data. Right before the review was published, Nike announced that they would revamp the Nike Plus website in anticipation of it’s new line of shoes and products to promote something called Nike Fuel – a supposed metric they developed that would allow you to track ALL of your movement to come up with a true measure of how active you really are. This update also promised to not disrupt the Nike Plus running community, which would receive the additional Nike Fuel measure and a new and improved user experience on the website. We were skeptical of the proposed changes to go along with the marketing push, but after some initial usage, it appears to be improved.
The design of the new website is much cleaner and intuitive. The menu was moved from the bottom left side of the page to the top. As a result, it’s easier to find what you’re looking for.
The new dashboard shows a snapshot of your recent runs, with the same style of graph you’ve become used to. Your velocity is tracked over time, along with some metrics of your run. These include pace per mile, calories burned, and overall time. The amount of Nike Fuel burned is newly added. Sharing has been made easier and there is an advertisement for Nike gear. Below the fold, there are some average statistics that compare you to the average person your age and against the Nike Plus community.
Levels are still the same, with your level indicated by color. However, there have been milestones added within each level, designed to give you more rewards and keep you motivated. This becomes more important as you get to the highest levels. Your total miles and average pace are also featured prominently on the dashboard with your level.
The activity page is pretty much the same as before. It’s a page The controls have been adjusted slightly to help improve the navigation, but you’re getting the same information, with the addition of the new Nike Fuel overall activity metric. Below the fold, you can see some other metrics about your runs. Some of these include the time of day, the surface you run on, and your PR’s. This is a gold mine for runners who are serious about the analytics behind their training and performance.
Trophies and awards appear to have been reset. You’ll have to start from scratch. That’s a bummer.
Challenges are still around, but have been de-emphasized. There is no menu option for them. You have to accept a challenge from the website, or create your own. You can find it on the dashboard located, in a banner just below the menu.
The best change to Nike Plus has been the revamped Maps section. The old was very difficult to use and we left it out of the review completely, as we deemed it insignificant to the overall product. Now, with a revamped interface, the maps has a chance to become a central part of the Nike Plus experience. It’s beautiful. You can look for routes that were mapped out by others, create and save your own routes, and tag them in a useful manner.
The Nike Plus redesign has resulted in a much better experience for those who are looking to track their runs with Nike’s system as opposed to some of the others out there. Even if you completely ignore the Nike Fuel, you still have the functionality from before, wrapped in a new, easier-to-use package. It loads more quickly, doesn’t have connectivity issues that the previous one had, and doesn’t go down. The best part is that the website is a free complement to the SportBand (and some of their other shoes and products). The bottom line is that if you use the Nike Plus system – you’ll appreciate the updates, and if you don’t, the issues that may have pushed you away have been resolved.