The goal of Stoke was to create an online community for mountain bikers of Marquette Michigan; a place to share and build their passion.
On this page, you'll be able to see how I got from a few scribbles to the final product. We'll take a look at my research, why I took on this endeavor, the sketching & ideation process, and what it all turned into at the end.
Being a mountain biker myself, I'm heavily involved in Marquette's MTB community. Some of my best friends are the founders of Northern Spokes (Northern Michigan University's mountain biking club). So I had a bit of a head start on the research, and I had the chance to do a lot of asking around about what they'd like to see in the Marquette MTB scene, as well as use my own perspective on the whole thing.
Marquette's MTB scene has a lot of great things going for it, it is a strong and thriving community with multiple events held throughout the year. There are multiple bike shops in town, and they are all extremely helpful and actively involved in organizing everything from small weekly rides, all the way up to huge, regional events.
A survey done by Christopher Devine in West Cuesta Ridge area of the Los Padres National Forest revealed enjoyment, natural setting, and life meaning as the top 3 motives for mountain biking. - find it here
80% Male, 20% Female | Age: 16 - 60 (avg. 20 - 30) | Tech Savvy | Marquette Resident/Tourist
I set to work building all the components, starting with the identity and finishing everything up with the app.
I had a bunch of other options written out and I dwelt on what to call this project for a while but finally landed on Stoke. It works from both its definitions, formal and informal.
Formal definition of stoke:
Informal definition of stoke:
After research came the beginnings of the identity creation. I knew I wanted to use the shape of a triangle in the identity, it being the symbol for fire and a simplified shape of a mountain and basic structure to a bike frame.
It started as a swooping “s” mimicking the shape of a winding trail, I placed that in the triangle, then moved to the stroked s creating the triangular shape. Finally, landing on a sort of combination of two triangle shapes.
The trail map for South Trails was reworked and revamped, unnecessary information was removed and the feel of the brand stems from the texture of the elevation map. Trail and section distances are now displayed visually through to scale lines.View Trail Map
The website was built with the focus of quick access to trail information as the top priority. With secondary function of the sharing of photos, videos and reviews of trails. The sign in feature is constantly available in a bold, fixed, top nav for constant access to editing account settings and sharing.
It was built responsive using Zurb's Foundation to better serve the purposes of user’s active lifestyles.
Site Features: Trail Info (map, distance, distance, max + min elevation, climb distance + descent distance, difficulty, reviews) | Photos | Videos | Reviews | Contact formVisit Stoke
The app then acts as an extension of the website itself, but rearranged to facilitate expedited access to information (all maps of the trail preloaded onto the user's device).
Priority for the app was ease of use, I wanted users to be able to use the app while on the trails. I designed it around the idea of being gesture controlled, swiping coupled with large navigation making it easier to quickly pull out the phone, find the map they're looking for easily, and hop right back on their bike.View app mocks as a PDF.
What's next for Stoke? I plan on taking it further, smoothing out a few wrinkles and get everything top-notch. I plan on attending some meetings with NTN and the greater Marquette MTB Community in order to see if this could be a thing they would be interested in doing.
I've got some connections at some of the bike shops in town an could look into getting some of these ideas considered by some of the folks at the head of Marquette's Mountain Biking community.