Badgers Football Club
MVP BUILD, UX DESIGN
Twice a week my mood ramps up all the way to 10 out of 10, because I get to run after a ball with the rest of the training squad (we’re about 20 players) at Badgers Football Club, in Cape Town.
However, at the start of the season we didn’t really know each other’s’ names. There were some friends in the team, and they would click, but I sensed that most of the girls felt a bit disconnected. This especially happened when coach had us passing the ball amongst ourselves in warmup, which required us to call out each other's names. Lots of silence, that’s all I’m saying.
Making it easier to connect
After a few sessions like this I thought of solving the problem with a simple app. All we needed was a list of the players – showing their names and faces – that we could go through before practice and refresh our memories of who’s who. I wanted the players to feel more prepared and confident around each other, thereby strengthening our senior training community :)
Building a basic profile-sharing MVP
I didn’t really do any research at this point, I just jumped straight into the MVP build using Adalo. This is usually my process with fun side projects – I start the build, and work the feedback, research, copy and design elements into the process as I go. I wanted to get a MVP out ASAP, so I could show the club founder my idea, and get the greenlight to then share it with the community for testing and feedback.
I used Adalo to build the wireframes and do some basic design (fonts are limited on Adalo Free, but I could incorporate the club’s colour theme and logo). I didn’t have the exact logo I wanted for this app, so I used the simple badger logo and reworked it a bit to incorporate “Senior Squad” in red.
I wanted users to be able to create their own profiles, so the app needed a signup page. Once they landed on the home page, I wanted it to be as simple as possible with only two options: you either check out the team (the main call-to-action in red), or you update your own profile.
The team page was a simple card list, with profile pics, and the players’ names underneath. I wanted it to be an esthetically pleasing experience, allowing the user to scroll down quickly and get a sense of the whole team, allowing them to effectively check out everyone’s names if that’s what they needed reminding of.
For the user profile page, I added some interesting form fields (eg. “What is your hidden skill?”), to further personalize the experience and bring humor into the profiles. These extra fun facts were visible only if you tapped onto a user profile, which then opened a full profile page on the specific user.
FEEDBACK & SURPRISES
First users and beyond
After testing the app a few times on my own cellphone and fixing all the little bugs (buttons not clicking, data not pulling through), I shared it with the club founder. Her response was that it sounded very cool, but that some of the players have been complaining about the number of apps they need to use as part of this club. In retrospect I should probably have checked with her first, but I wanted to have something concrete to show her as an example.
In the end I convinced her that this was such a simple application, I didn’t think the players would be put off, and promised that I would share it in a way that didn’t sound demanding or compulsory.
I shared it on the training Whatsapp group, asking players to add their profiles if they wanted.
It was a big success! A few players instantly added their profiles, with pictures and hilarious fun facts. They all enjoyed the experience of seeing everyone else on one page. After about 10 players added profiles in one day, there was a long silence, and at the next practice I asked the players who hadn’t added profiles if they were going to. Their response was that they hadn’t had time to check it out. I left it at that, and didn’t want to pressurize them. A few weeks later I saw that they had added their profiles too.
On the Whatsapp group one of the players asked if I could add a pronoun form field. Another responded saying she was just going to add it next to her name in the name form field. And that was that!
Currently the web app has 18 users, with players updating their pics every now and then.
This was a super fun experiment for me. Even though this was probably just a once-off design that helped a few players remember their teammates’ names, it helped hone my wireframe skills, engage with users and think strategically. I would love to take on the main app design for this club, which will then combine everything into one: booking games, taking payments, seeing social events and checking out the team (there are currently two or three apps we use), but the process has been outsourced already.