Ask yourself who wouldn’t want to help a company that strives to get more people out and about playing football?!
This is why when I found out I was going to get the opportunity to work on such a project through Loughborough Uni London’s digital skill programme, I couldn’t wait to get started! The University has formed a partnership with Sport Tech Hub, an accelerator aimed at helping startups that encourage people to get more active, to offer 6-week work experiences to give students a taste of working in the sports industry with one the companies that are part of their innovation programme.
Having researched Football Matcher I knew that this was going to be an enjoyable work insight project as it was a chance to work on a platform that I would most definitely use myself, I know all about the painstaking task of organising a casual kickaround, and it was evident that Football Matcher would make this process a hundred times easier.
The brief handed to me was focused on the user experience and user interface of the Football Matcher website. The brief specified that I’d be looking at ways to improve the design of the group and game pages of the site as well as carrying out an audit of the whole site to highlight any issues along the user journey. I felt confident that I’d be able to provide useful and implementable solutions to improve the Football Matcher site, being a big football fan with a good attention to detail, mixed with being the son of a web designer…so you could say web design is in my genetic code!
Having set up a meeting with Phil and Steve, I was able to get a deeper understanding of their vision for the company and the service that they provide. It was hard not to get excited about their ideas being a keen footballer and a Sports Analytics and Technologies masters student, with the offer of tracking and collecting data from my own performance something I’ve always wanted to do. Keeping count of my goals and assists in my head is about as technical as its ever got for me and the thought of being able to gain extra insights into my personal performance is a striking one.
After taking the time to experience the user journey on Football Matcher for myself, a few issues were already starting to reveal themselves, which I reported to Phil and Steve. From there, we decided it would be best to carry out a series of usability tests to collect more feedback from potential users and identify any reoccurring issues causing friction within this journey.
I designed a questionnaire that would be filled out whilst the participants navigated the site to gain their immediate thoughts and impressions of each stage of the user journey. The questionnaire looked to obtain feedback on the landing page, registration, find game, organise game and invitation sections.
A total of 10 people took part in the usability tests, all of which matching Football Matcher’s target demographic, identified via a convenience sampling method given the limited time to complete the project. I took the lead on the tests, giving each individual a set of instructions which they would then go and attempt on the site. As each participant attempted these tasks, it was clear to see that the navigation was proving an issue as the participants struggled to intuitively navigate the Kickarounds homepage. The participants commended the idea of the platform extremely highly, however, its application within the platform left some room for improvement.
All the participants provided valuable feedback on the site, which I was then able to analyse in order to pinpoint the most urgent areas of improvement. Having coded all the responses on each individual section, I was able to identify the reoccurring issues within each page and start to formulate potential solutions.
Some of my recommendations include:
The work I have done has helped to identify key user experience issues causing friction on two of the core user journeys, organising and finding a game, providing actionable recommendations to improve the site. On the back of this work, I believe they are redesigning the user journey to discover new games for players to join and are also introducing more hints and new ways to navigate through the organiser flow.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Phil and Steve during the past few months and getting to learn about their vision as a company and helping them to progress towards that goal has been very rewarding. I am very excited to see some of my ideas and solutions come to life on their website. I am also keen to stay in touch and see how far Football Matcher can go! Watch this space!