This is my first UX project which I created as an assignment for the UX from Scratch course by Interaction Design Foundation. The brief was to create a messaging app for an audience of our choice.
As live sports was one of the most impacted industry by the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to target the app to sports fans, aiming to find ways to ease the pain of not being able to watch your favorite teams at the stadium or along with friends.
Research, Product Design, UI, Prototyping, Testing
Part 1 Empathize
I contacted 6 sports fans between 25 and 35 years old and conducted 20 minutes semi-structured interviews. The goal was to better understand how they usually watch sport and what is the role of messaging apps in the process.
Can you walk me through the last time you watched sports?
What can you tell me about the experience of watching sports alone vs with others?
What are the challenges you face when watching sports?
What other things do you usually do while watching sports?
How do you and your friends talk about sports online?
🧠 Behavioral Findings
Fans have to think ahead of their schedule and make sure to organize their to-dos in order to have free time to watch matches.
They browse social media during the slow paced plays as well as during the breaks. If the match is not that important, they leave it in the background while working or doing chores.
LEARNING & SHARING
They read stats about teams and players before the game and in their spare time and share them with friends along with other interesting content.
A SOCIAL EXPERIENCE
100% of interviewers agree that talking with others about sports enhances the experience, making it more fun and enjoyable.
BUT NOT TOO MUCH
They consider that too much talking can become a distraction and can make it harder to pay attention to the game.
Part 2 Define
Meet Michael! After learning about the sports fan’s behavior and needs, I was able to create the user persona along with its story and the key design challenges. This helped me better relate to the target I am designing for, as well as will act as a reminder of the needs I am trying to solve.
USER JOURNEY (AS IS)
Then I laid out the steps through which Michael passes when watching sports, from the initial idea to the follow-up after the game. What I discovered is that one of the main pain points he is facing happens when none of his friends are also watching. Under each step I took notes of possible opportunity spaces for the upcoming messaging app
Part 3 Ideate
Value Proposition Canvas
Having captured a deep understanding of the user needs and pain points, my next target was to come up with ways in which a messaging app could answer those problems. To do this I used the Value Proposition Canvas tool proposed by Strategyzer.
The first step was to define what are the jobs the sports fan is trying to accomplish when watching sports, along with the pains they are facing and the gains they receive.
By then noting which of those points a messaging app could address, I finally narrowed down the opportunity spaces for the product.
At the end of this process, I found the idea. A messaging app that provides chatrooms for live matches, connecting fans around in the world in real time.
Part 4 Prototype
To validate the first concepts, I sketched the main screens of the app in Figma. This offered me a better understanding of how different features would fit together. After the first iteration, I linked the screens in an interactive prototype and tested it with the 6 people I interviewed before.
Users found browsing through the entire list of matches a bit tiring.
Some users were interested in being able to chat only with their friends.
Ability to Follow a match was added, along with the possibility to only browse the Following list.
Option to Create a private chat was also added.
The goal of the visual design was to create a clean experience that makes it easy for the user to dive right into the action, which is chatting with other like-minded fans.
Since messaging sits at its core, I looked into design patterns that are already present in our day to day communication apps.
When choosing blue for the main color, I aimed to to make the app feel bold and exciting, but without being easily associated with any particular sport.
Part 5 Testing
The final prototype was tested once again with 6 sports fans. Out of the 8 tasks they had to complete, the most notable findings are:
2/6 did not know where to look for the matches they Followed.
3/6 missed the Create custom Group button.
Designing this app provided me with a great opportunity to learn by doing. I was able to apply the design thinking concepts and tools that I studied in the course, as well as to hone my technical skills in Figma.
One aspect that I particularly enjoyed was receiving real feedback from actual target users. Watching them interact with the prototypes and listening to their thoughts along the way was a very positive learning experience. I found this process to be key to designing a product that users would actually want to use.
What I would consider next in designing the app would be to A/B test different screen designs in order to nail the main functionalities of the app: joining & creating a chat room.
Furthermore, I would explore adding a live-statistics feature through an API that provides real time information about the matches. In this way, users could get a feeling of what is happening in different games and could join the conversation even if they are not watching them.
Another topic that I think it is important to consider is enabling fans to communicate in more expressive ways – features like custom face filters and stickers with your favorite teams.