Founded by two professional runners, Run The Edge is dedicated to providing innovative fitness experiences and virtual challenges for their inclusive community of running enthusiasts. The virtual challenges are personally designed by their team to encourage regular exercise with multiple milestones of activity, digital and physical swag as awards, and a provided tracker app to monitor progress.
Launching in 2015 with their first virtual challenge that incurred over 25,000 signups, Run The Edge has become the industry pioneer of virtual fitness challenges.
Over the years, the Shopify website had become cumbersome to update and no longer as intuitive to challenge participants. The Run The Edge team approached us to help resolve the user experience disconnect, address performance issues, and launch their brand new community.
Continually growing with new challenges being added every year, the website and brand story had become fragmented that revisitng the brand’s communication and content strategy was critical to support its bold new look with messaging to match.
Along with the client, our vision: to get people excited about the challenges, onboard new participants more easily by telling their story with clarity, consistency, and conviction.
With their brand attributes — Inclusive, Encouraging, and Community — it was clear that Run The Edge was built on enabling their participants to feel included and transform their lives with fitness.
Our teams started with a workshop to explore Run The Edge’s purpose, vision, and mission. Together we defined their unique selling proposition — well-designed virtual challenges and unique swag — and their value proposition — their expertise, passion, and community as the key differentiators.
Our work with the client culminated into a re-energized brand story that concisely communicated the format of the challenges and the value that they bring with celebrating the human connection at the heart of every participant relationship.
Like any design phase, there was iteration in getting the right tone, content hierarchy, and brand elements working together. We experimented with color palettes and brand illustration — first with a light and hand-drawn direction and then ultimately a dark color palette with bold graphical lines and elements. Our teams gravitated towards the bold, editorial look that typically is associated with the fitness industry but with a balance of rounded UI and hand-drawn elements.
At the end of the exploration phase we had built confidence in a direction that would help bring Run The Edge into their next phase of the company. The new visual system has polish and personality: curated photography feels editorial and genuine, hand-drawn elements add an authentic and human quality to the brand, and bold graphical lines exude energy and movement — a perfect match to the overall brand story.
Before our full UX/UI design process and development started, our Shopify developers looked to the fundamental framework to 1) vastly improve the performance with an already optimized theme template and 2) a basis that would be flexible in components so that the client could continually update the website with ease.
Performance was of critical importance so after a rigorous research process of Shopify templates we settled on one that would be the most agile, performant, and customizable to our own design components.
With the brand story and their key differentiators in hand, we we were able to approach the custom Shopify design that included the homepage and main challenge pages with a focus on what a virtual challenge means, what it includes, and what sets Run The Edge apart from others.
We followed that logic through the content hiearchy and the use of animation to guide the user through the page while maintaining a sense of movement.
While the homepage draws interest into what Run The Edge does, the challenge pages needed to communicate clearly the value that they provide to convert casual viewers into paying participants. We prioritized concisely explaining the objective of the challenge with the different paid tiers.
With a long-standing community on Facebook Groups, the client wanted to create a new dedicated space for their particpants to discuss. With the added benefit that their particpants were already mobile-first with the tracker running app, it was a natural transition to also offer a companion native community app.