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While other sports wait for trends to come to them, triathlon has a long, rich history of living at the cutting edge of technology and design. Multisport has led the pack in breaking trends, and while not every tri design is a home run, our sport is a petri dish for exciting innovation. We sat down with our editors and a team of gear experts to whittle through the most exciting and impactful people, products, and more from the last year to see who is truly deserving of Triathlete’s designs of the year. We’ll be announcing the winners one by one here on Triathlete.com. Pick up the March/April issue for a complete list of winners (and don’t forget to enter to win the bike featured on the cover). The winner of the Best Digital Design award is…
Peakers isn’t the first online coaching platform, and it won’t be the last, but it definitely has that Wired-magazine future-focused artificial intelligence thing going for it in a way that no other service does. From start to finish, the entire process of signing up and signing on is super forward thinking—no detail is left behind as you connect all of your services (Strava, Garmin Connect, Fitbit, Suunto, Polar, Apple, and more) and answer a ton of questions about your goals and training style. While all of this may sound standard for a coaching relationship, the true heart of what makes Peakers unique (and a digital design winner) is the fact that a large part of the platform’s guts uses AI—in various mixtures with real humans—to help obtain and process the piles of data it collects from you.
Using artificial intelligence programmed by top-level endurance minds, actual human coaches, and cutting-edge digital concepts, this new online service integrates information into a whole training program with daily updates, technique videos, strength training, nutrition, and (way) more. For the $90/ per month Premium subscription, you’ll have access to a team of individual human experts (one for nutrition, one for coaching, a strength trainer, a “concierge,” and more) who check in as often as you’d like, while the AI does the heavy lifting and checks in with you post-workout to get a download of how it went beyond the data. While the AI works in the background, it’s important to note that there are a shockingly high number of human touchpoints in the platform, particularly for the price.
With so much info and connections at your fingertips, a platform like this could be overwhelming, but the intuitive design helps cut through the weeds by using simple check-ins that feel like a text conversation that you’d have with a real-life coach. The amount of resources in Peakers is vast, but the award-winning design lends itself to an extremely user-friendly experience overall.
Best Digital Design Honorable Mention: Infinit Custom Protein
While the concept of custom protein based on your specific athletic needs, intensity, nutrition goals, time of day of training, and more is a great idea, the real design beauty in this product is in Infinit’s online ordering system. Infinit has had a custom hydration product for some time now, but the online platform was (and still is, as of this writing) a little clunky. While the experience for hydration isn’t so jarring that it’s unusable or detracts from the product, when it comes to recovery, there are just too many ever-changing options to do it halfway.
Infinit’s digital ordering platform feels almost exactly like ordering a pizza online. You start with the basics (how many calories, what type of protein, flavor, and flavor strength) and then move on to the “toppings” in the next screen. As of this writing there were nine “boosts” that one could add to alter his or her mix—each boost has its own info box that gives a brief description of what each ingredient could do. You pick your topping, you get your pizza…or recovery blend. As an added bonus, in case the list of toppings is too complex and dizzying (as can be the case in the ever-changing world of supplements), Infinit marries the online platform with a free nutritional phone consultation with a very non-digital actual human (no AI here). This consult definitely helps streamline any user error that could occur when you’re not sure exactly what each topping could do.
Starting at $23 for a five serving bag and way up from there for bigger bags and various add-ons, this digital platform combines simplicity with fun extras like a flavor strength slider (pro tip: they’re all pretty light) and a reactive nutritional facts window that changes whenever you add various ingredients. The final package is a customized recovery product that’s delivered with a hand-written label and custom-printed—and familiar-looking—nutritional facts sticker that reflects the exact ingredients of what you ordered. Just like a (much) healthier Domino’s.