This morning on the Behance Network portfolio site I noticed the Trek Project One configurator. I previously noticed the online config tool for Trek’s high end bike when my recent project Syracuse Bike integrated it to their site.
Concepting, design and UI for Trek’s Project One – a custom bike program where you design the bike of your dreams. Work completed for Hanson Dodge Creative. Design your dream bike at projectone.trekbikes.com
Selling the Project One bikes through a configurator is a big bonus not only for dealers but for customers to be able to sort through the various options for the bikes. The configurator even estimates the delivery date and final price for the bike with the selected components. The configurator is funt o play around with to build up your dream bike, You can configure everything from your gruppo, paint scheme, brake hoods and cable colors. The end result is a bike that looks totally custom but is made through the usual Trek process.
Here is one orange bike I designed influenced by the Syracuse University colors.
Taking the custom project to extremes, you can design bikes to your choosing. Here are some designs that model after birds.
They come to snuff the rooster.
The configurator takes a concept of upselling and makes it easily accessible to the customer. Instead of browsing through catalogs and imagining what the final bike would look like, a customer can run through any option and get a solid idea of the finished product. Trek gets an easy way to upsell all sorts of products such as higher end wheels and carbon stems made from Bontrager. previously customers who would plunk down the cash to get a truly custom ride would get all of the extras in after market goods which would probably not be from the Trek empire. Now the configurator gives the customers one stop shopping to a tricked out ride.
The configurator is optimal when there is lots of money to spend. But now we are in a tough economy where some customers may actually balk at the prospect of spending 6 to 8k on a bike. With cost cutting in mind can customers use this configurator to actually get a better deal on a high end Trek? Here you can substitute a lower end gruppo and lower end s wheels to get a better price on the final bike. Go without the totally custom paint job and choose a semi-custom stock setup and you can be riding for a few thousand less than what a bike shop would typically get in a showroom. So if trek positions this correctly the configurator can be used to save money for the customer and still keep sales coming in to Trek.
Behance Portfolio Network
Bike as birds
Following the Tour of California Tour Tracker, the same technology will be used for the The Tour de Georgia Tour Tracker.
Allan Padgett of Adobe was originally involved in building the Tour of California Tour Tracker. He provided details on how it was built using the Adobe Flex Framework. The entire app was built within 4 weeks with only one or so developers. They were also using beta technology that was not fully tested. Cell phones were used to constantly broadcast GPS positions of riders. This was complicated at times when the course would run through areas where T-Mobile coverage was spotty or non-existent.
Allan even built a live Tour Tracker for the US Open Cycling Championships using only GPS data, no live video.
Needless to say there were bugs that needed to be worked out. Despite all of the issues the Tour Tracker did a great job of getting information on the bike races in real time. Something to geek out on while sitting at your desk.
The Amgen Tour of California site seems to always come up with very innovative ways to show the race. Last year the Tour Tracker provided real time pictures and some video to help with the race coverage. This year the Tour Tracker made a technological jump by providing live streaming video in a dashboard that overlays the course profile, GPS location and live flickr photos.
The combo is very impressive. The video is in full screen mode which makes the picture a bit pixelated, but can be accommodated by resizing the screen to a smaller size. The video feed is fairly smooth for web videos. Just about the same quality that you would get on Youtube. I am impressed with their decision to go full screen which looks very slick. (Sorry for the Bob Roll-like gushing)
Race websites vary in their quality. The Tour de France website has been the best so far because of their great design and real-time race updates in just about any language you like. The Tour of California’s website now trumps any other cycing race website ever created. With the backing of Adobe and Google a great website has to be the result.
The ToC website uses Google Maps to show the location and layout of each stage. This may be considered a lazy way of showing the stage maps since you can easily map out the courses, but it is actually very useful. In the past race websites would show a course route as a stand alone map. The result is a lone squiggly line with little to no idication of side streets. You could not get any idea of the actual neighborhoods they would traverse or the actual streets they would pass by. The Tour de France and Giro D’Italia have extensive guides that tell you when and where the race is expected to arrive with variations for speed. The ToC doesn’t get down to that level, but the Google Maps do allow you to get a very solid idea of where to go if you want to see the race.
Who needs to wait for the ESPN2 coverage at 2am? I DVR’d the coverage last night and probably will not watch it tonight or tomorrow. That coverage is pretty much useless to me and I am a huge cycling geek/dork. If I was half interested in cycling I wouldn’t even bother to watch and the ToC would not even be on my radar. So how do we get video of the site at a decent time? The ToC website has a live race tracker that includes video of the race. Adobe bought Macromedia (makers of Flash and Flash Video) a while back and since they are a major race sponsor, they are showcasing Flash Video. Google, YouTube and countless other video sharing sites are using Flash Video as the default video player because of the ubiquity of the Flash plugin and ease of playing Flash video within a web page. The result is smooth video of the day’s highlights with a quicker turn around time than a major sports network. I will try to use the race tracker to follow today’s stage and will report back on what actually happens during a road stage.