Project length: 2-week sprint
Client: Elite Athlete Management
Goal: This sports agency struggled to communicate effectively and share important details with its famous athlete clients. The agency sought out a way to improve this aspect of their job to better themselves as agents and stand out in the marketplace technologically.
My Role: The mobile app was to be designed on two ends, the athletes' end, and the agents' end. I specifically worked on the agent side of the app.
or preview my prototype below:
I used a lean UX canvas to map out the company's business goals and current challenges. I was able to refer back to the canvas to determine what would help my client achieve their goal and how to approach my research more precisely.
Recruit more top players
Effective communication and management between agents and players
Add value to current players
Standing out against larger agencies
Players are extremely busy, hard to get in contact with, and unable to track deadlines
Direct competitors of the agency included sports management agencies, while indirect competitors included calendar or scheduling apps that would offer something similar that the agency hopes to provide to their athletes.
Feature Comparison Chart
I highlighted three areas that popular calendar programs lacked while making note of user mental models typically seen in calendar apps.
I saw that most calendar apps didn’t include a dashboard that allowed users to view their overall tasks, approaching events and reminders.
User Surveys + Interviews
I worked with another designer to create a survey that would provide insights on how current users around the world use calendar or scheduling apps.
I collected important insights that were relevant to the agency’s goals regarding ease of use for them and their athletes. I found that visual elements are extremely important to users, especially if they are as busy as NFL athletes.
I was able to interview agents and athletes from Elite, and a previous college football athlete and recruiter in order to provide insight into the chaotic and busy life of an athlete.
Making sense of the data...all of it
I used an affinity map to make sense of my research, replaying interviews to understand the users' psychology, goals, and behavior.
Recruiting top athletes
Helping their current athletes reach their highest potential
Getting marketing and promotion deals for their athletes
Investing in an athlete only to lose them to larger agencies
Sports agency industry is highly competitive and stressful
Not being able to communicate deadlines to athletes looks bad on the agent
Creating Scott the Sports Agent
Forming Scott's user persona helped me stay on track according to my user data and avoid adding unnecessary features that would not help the client achieve their main goals directly.
So, I created Sports Agent Scott to ensure I was making design decisions solely around his needs, frustrations, and goals.
Scott's User Journey + Defining the Problem
Creating a user journey map helps me understand where exactly Scott’s biggest frustrations are throughout his day based on where his emotions are at their lowest points. I identified and circled the three lowest points throughout his day:
1. When Scott invests time into a player that just signs with a competitor agency for reputation or money
2. When Scott cannot effectively communicate important information to his athletes and as a result, has to deal with negative consequences
2. When Scott’s athlete loses a marketing deal because of a missed deadline that Scott was unable to properly remind his athlete of
Confirming and defining the problems
The journey map was an extremely important step in my process because it allowed me to confirm the assumptions and problems that the clients had stressed in our initial interviews.
Conducting thorough interviews with other agents and athletes at Elite, college football players, and sports recruiters helped me understand the most significant pain points and narrow down Elite's frustrations to three main problems:
Developing the Minimum Viable Product
After brainstorms a wide scope of solutions, it was time to narrow my scope in terms of features that I must-have, should-have, could-have, and won’t-have.
The MoSCoW method is extremely helpful in forcing me to think deeply about what features my client needs to solve a problem directly, rather than something that might look nice or be exciting to have.
The MVP (Not most valuable player)
So, my minimum viable product would be a mobile app that would alleviate the stress and chaos for Elite agents by allowing them to:
(1) easily view their upcoming week on their dashboard,
(2) efficiently communicate with agents and players through a messing feature,
(3) manage events more easily through a scheduling and calendar feature, and
(4) tracking tasks assigned to players through a task management feature.
The app is also set to include supplementary features like a digital address book of every player, agent, and department member within the Elite network.
Wireframes to Prototypes
I gathered research on Mobin.design to make note of popular mental models for users when using scheduling and messaging features.
I changed a few features from my lo-fi to mid-fi prototype based on my previous testing data.
I received much better feedback from users but still needed to make substantive adjustments before moving onto hi-fi.
Lo-Fi User Feedback
The icons on the calendars page felt awkwardly placed
The calendar filter box was confusing to use and popped up from a direction that felt unnatural to users
Some buttons were placed too high and were not well aligned with other content
Mid-Fi User Feedback
Navigation icons not reflecting brand attributes
Agents desired a more styled layout and exciting visuals when navigating the app like sliding motions between calendars
The agency contacts page was not clearly labeled
The menu page did not seem necessary in the navigation bar
Defining the Brand
Brand attributes are extremely important when driving user interface and visual design. In one of the many interviews, the agents agreed they wanted a brand that felt bold, modern, athletic, and clean.
To understand what visual designs the clients felt represented these attributes, they listed mobile apps like Nike, Nike SNKRS. So, I created a moodboard to set the tone for my design and tested it with users to ensure it reflected the proper brand attributes.
User and usability testing are absolutely critical in almost all stages of the design process. It’s important to get users involved as often as possible so that any substantive changes at a more ideal and less expensive time.
When I tested my mood board with users, I received feedback that reflected the desired brand attributes and indicated that my design was headed in the right direction.
I looked to Behance, Dribble, and Unsplash to find photos that would evoke an athletic, trendy, modern and bold feel to users.
I went for Trade Gothic LT Pro as a font for headers and buttons because this font is similar to Nike’s app fonts. I also stuck to the agency’s main colors, which I felt already established some of the desired brand attributes the clients wanted.
Final Result: Hi-fidelity prototype
After finalizing the layout of each feature and deciding on the visual design direction, I was ready to create my hi-fi prototype.
I changed the icons to reflect a more modern look, taking inspiration from more modern apps like Nike and Peloton. I took the red square outline look from the agency’s website, which already had a strongly defined brand that reflected their desired attributes.
After testing with users, I received great feedback. The agents were excited with their brand really shining through each page while maintaining that user-friendly and professional look.
In terms of usability, the agents found my navigation bar and feature layout to be much more intuitive, reflecting the mental models of popular apps amongst the youth like Instagram and Nike.
Dashboard + Inbox
Users will be able to see an overview of their weekly schedule, allowing them to stay more organized by having all important matters displayed at once.
The dashboard includes tasks to be done, weekly events, flights, and unread messages.
Users can check messages from Elite members using the inbox feature.
App Messaging + Adding Events
Users can chat and send messages to any contact within the Elite agency
Users will receive special notifications to ensure they always see messages from the Elite team
Users are prompted to easily add events into their calendar as discussed in their messages
Athlete calendars + Task assignment
Agents (and only agents) will be allowed to view athletes' yearly calendar and monthly schedules
Agents can add events into their clients' schedules / calendar, which will send notifications to their client
Agents can add daily tasks that they can check off once completed, as well as add / send tasks to their clients
Notifications + Elite Directory
Agents can check notifications on their dashboard where they can see when a client has completed a task, when they have been added to an event, and more.
Users have access to an entire Elite agency directory, where they can find contact and personal information on athletes, agents, marketing teams, and more.