AthleticOutlook

A youth athlete experience to access to NFL-level coaching, anywhere.

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Overview

Youth sports alone are expected to grow from a 2019 value of $15 billion to $41 billion over the next 4 years (Wintergreen Research, 2017). Leagues purchase and distribute sports software that capitalized on disparate opportunities in a new market, such as people buying clothes and equipment. Over time, youth sports has become well defined. However, coaching has not improved from this growth and is severely lagging behind, so AthleticOutlook wants to change that.

Role & Duration

Sole Product Designer | AthleticOutlook
CEO, Product Designer
2-3 months | Ongoing

User Research, Product Strategy, Brainstorming, Ideation, User Personas, User Journey Mapping, Wireframing, Hi-Fi Mockups, Hi-Fi Prototyping, Usability Testing

The Problem

Coaches & Athletes have always been restricted to in-person coaching and interactions. Coaches are limited by time and restricted by location. Athletes are limited by resources & restricted from access. 

Thousands of youth athletes or people who want coaching come to AthleticOutlook, but have no film. These athletes are ill-prepared for the transition because of the lack of proper training or mentorship. With the restrictions on both coaches' and athletes' sides, athletes need a way to access the lessons they need regardless of location, time, resources or access.

The Need

Youth Athletes need access to communicate with coaches and high-level content that would normally be exclusive to in-person mentorship from coaches.

Coaches need a way to provide a seamless coaching experience or tailored educational content to athletes in various methods and mediums.

Solution

AthleticOutlook is a web and mobile platform that enables seamliness online coaching & communication by  delivering digital coaching IP to athletes anywhere. 

Why this solution?

1) Athletes obtain access to the best coaches, content and delivery.
With this platform, athletes can start a connection with some of the best coaches in the business. What used to be exclusive coach-curated content in D1 colleges is now accessible to athletes all around the country. Athletes can start learning valuable information to improve their game earlier in their career. 

2) Coaches obtain more coachable hours and better athletes. 
Coaches are now able to expand their hours to how their schedule permits, and they are no longer restricted to on-site limitations. Furthermore, they can help an expontentially wider talent pool of athletes on our platform.

3) Fosters equality in access to private one-on-one coaching.
With our in-house coaches and ability to deliver Masterclass e-courses to any user, athletes can now be free of their limitations from their schools or ranks. AO's license opportunity can will replace actual text messages to state recruits and private videos made exclusive to a D1 college. 

My Responsibilities & Process

I was the sole product designer for crafting this user experience. I collaborated heavily with AthleticOutlook's CEO (Russel Reeder), who created this company to solve a problem he faced as a student-athlete himself. I am working with him to see to his app live up to his vision, working within our constraints and carrying out the full design process from concept to completion.
design thinking approach

Framing the Problem
Asking the our initial user base what problems they have when finding coaches and what they expect out of this app after our pitch. We also do a competitive analysis on prominent competitors in the market. 

Exploring the Solution Space
Brainstorming unique & useful features and ideating through sketching various user journey maps for both the coach and the student athelte. Keeping the user journey streamlined and leaving out excessive features.

Finding a Good Solution
Creating various user scenarios and storyboards and personas to scope the problem in the eyes of our target user segments (3). Marking constraints that we have to realistically make deadlines and scale designs.

Refining the Solution
Usability testing our lo-fi prototypes and each hi-fi iteration along the way. Showing mockups to stakeholders and users to gain qualitative feedback. Testing users for task completion rate and first impressions of the UX.

Framing the Problem

In this stage, we conducted user research and competitive analysis to frame the problem.

For user research, user interviews and feedback methods were necessary to gain qualitative information on how we can craft our platform for athletes to accomplish their needs. 

For competitive analysis, we looked at our top strengths and planned features and compared them to those of our competitors. We particularly selected three key players in the industry, and conducted competitive assessment. I was thereby able to compile a list of problems or frustrating aspects of the current solutions. 

User Research

The direction we ended up taking was influenced by three pieces of data. 

Evidence of 'How customers in the market are currently trying to solve the problem'
How are athletes and coaches currently trying to communicate information (online)? We looked at our current competitors to figure out what methods they were utilizing to ease communication.

Customer Feedback from App Data
AO first released a barebones app in which 'A user had an inbox in which a voice-over-video was sent to them and that was it.' We tracked time spent on file as our KPI for nearly 100 users. Over 25% of these users requested pre-made courses / information after watching the video. In addition to this, we relayed customer feedback directly as our customers were excited for the platform and eager to share their thoughts. 

Customer Feedback from Social Media & Personal Anecdotes
From social media (FB, IG, Google), user stories and personal anecdotes, we knew that coaches were using archaic forms of communication to send data / information / game knowledge to teach their athletes. Coaches were still using sheets of paper to coach their athletes. If it was in this form and 'retrievable' it would be much more efficient for students.

Competitive Analysis

We looked at the core features that our platform would offer, and ran a feature check across our 3 main competitors in the market for online coaching. When it comes to the amount of functionality an online coaching platform holds, ours is unmatched in delivewry of information and data transfer.

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Key Findings

Users have a hard time in... 

1) Obtaining access to the best coaches that can can teach the best players.
2) Finding helpful, affordable tutorials or lessons outside of a sports institution. 
3) Finding a right coach to personally share or teach their skillsets in order to improve.

Opportunity areas in the online coaching industry are...

1) Virtual, individual coaching sessions in various scalable formats that can adapt to different situations.
2) Providing affordable coaching services covering any topic an athlete needs attention to.
3) Delivering curated content for athletes that best fits their needs.

Problem Statement

"I can't find a good or affordable coach that can teach me what I need to improve at my game."

Exploring the Solution Space

In this stage, I conducted the following two methods: brainstorming and ideation through sketch. In class, we had training about rapid brainstorming with structure with the group. We choose two axes for our design matrix and brainstormed based on the given instructions. This helped me a lot in expanding my ideas and developing creativity. 

After the brainstorming session, I completed ideation through sketch: I sketched eight possible solutions to my design problems, which allowed me to think in different contexts where my system could be used to inspire new, creative ideas. 

After, I sketched user storyboard to help convey our design problem and solution. By doing so, I was better able to sympathize with my hypothetical user, and reconsider whether my solution will truly solve the user's problem.

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Crazy 8 Sketches: Possible solutions for design problem

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User Storyboards: Expansion of Selected Sketches

Personas

I created three personas and one anti-persona to better understand needs and goals of my users. After, I picked my two primary personas and conducted story mapping for a better product development. 

user persona – student athlete

Student-Athlete Persona

Conceptualization

I immediately started with some lo-fi concepts for the main user flow: Courses, Lessons, and Storyboards. I also started on some concepts for the Homepage for the app, but that needed the most iteration and still had to be worked on through further iterations. 

I created multiple iterations for the first pass of Courses and Lessons screens. There were multiple ways to go about them, and my client wanted to see all the options before deciding. 

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Streamlined User Flow Diagram: Athlete's Perspective

Wireframes and notes pushed to Invision Freehand for CEO and I to collaborate them in real-time

Current Status: Hi-fi Iterations + Usability Testing

As of the first week of May, Russ and I are working together to create: 

  1. A mock course for an interactive prototype to simulate a real storyboard course, which leads to... 
  2. An interactive prototype for usability testing (3 rounds of 5 users each iteration). We have dozens of eager users that want to try the product out, so we can gather results from testing their usage of our prototype.
  3. Qualitative surveys for our users to test the product. 
  4. White-label version of the app (to license out to universities) + AthleticOutlook branded version for students of other universities seeking independent coaches (not tied to universities)
  5. Engagement metrics for our usability test. We are looking at Google Analytics of a beta app that AO released a while back and catching up on how we can look at the data in such a way that we can see that users enjoy the new release by staying longer and browsing the app. 

Hi-fi iterations so far with feedback notes!

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Mock-up course ready for usability testing for students

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