SF Marathon Banner Image
User Experience Web Design Brand Strategy CMS Integration


Innovative & Fluid Form Design for Maximum Engagement


An iconic American race, The San Francisco Marathon calls participants from all over the globe to traverse San Francisco’s infamous hills and pass a list of landmarks and attractions that nearly outnumber the miles on the route. Along with the all-important race day, SFM has created a community around the sport event, with blog, social media, and engagement that goes far beyond race day itself.


Navigating online registration shouldn’t be the most difficult part of running a marathon. Although SFM had new event branding and a freshly revamped website, they were still struggling with a clunky and outdated event registration system that was time consuming and didn’t fit with their new aesthetic. They needed to make signing up effortless for attendees, and to engage their target market with a brand new web app design. The catch was that the update had to be done without converting their registration to a new system.

Mobile device showing page from San Francisco Marathon app.

With the clock ticking on registration deadlines, and some communication challenges between the dedicated SFM team and their registration form vendor, High Seas engineers dove into research on the restrictions of their existing online registration system and began the task of technology-to-design translation. At the same time, our Design Strategy team partnered closely with the SFM marketing department to establish branding and content sketches that outlined requirements and set the stage for a bold new web app design.

Marrying the branding, content, and technology needs was a quick job for our full-stack team, and within a couple weeks we had finalized designs for a responsive registration process that would make scheduling, sign up, and ticketing seamless, smooth, and secure.

Tablet device showing signup form from San Francisco Marathon app.
Mosaic layout of San Francisco Marathon app screens.

We delivered the final form designs to a pleased marketing and event promotion team and maintained a standing offer to assist with any additional design or implementation needs. Due to budget cuts and reorganizations across the registration company, the final approved form designs went on hold indefinitely while SFM planned and held two more marathons.

However, a new marketing team at the company resurrected and implemented a variation on our new form designs just in time for the 2018 race. The result is a drastically improved registration workflow. While the robust new system may not improve a runner’s pace, it brings to easy sign up to their fingertips, and gets them back to their training routine a whole lot faster.

Mosaic layout of San Francisco Marathon app screens.


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