Is there a need for better organization in pick-up basketball?

Product Design: Developing an app for NYC Pick-up basketball Players

I started building this app while taking a UX Design course at General Assembly in NYC.  The idea developed from my personal experience as a life-long basketball player.  I had observed how the level of competition and overall amount of players using courts has degraded over the last two decades for many different reasons, and this has made it difficult to consistently find good competition at the time that you and your friends want to play.  This app would solve both of these problems by allowing users to not only know that people are checked-in and playing at a court in real-time, but also allow the user to learn about the checked-in players skills before going to the court to play.  Additionally, it allows users to schedule a time and court to meet at to get their game on.

Scope: 12 weeks

My role: Created all designs, conducted user interviews and usability tests


the problem: 

Basketball players want to challenge themselves by playing new competition but don't know where to find them, and there is no guarantee that anyone will be at a court when they show up to play.


the process:

I began by conducting interviews with local basketball players to better understand when, how, and who they decide to play. 

I asked:

1. How do you decide which court to play on? Location, word of mouth, weather?

2. How often do you play?

3. Do you prefer half-court or full-court games?

4. Does the type of game impact where you decide to play?

5. Are you seeking competition or just a "friendly" game?

6. Does average age of players matter?

7. Does gender matter?

8. What time of day do you prefer to play?

9. Does the make-up of the court affect your decision (single/double rim; metal/glass backboard; concrete/blacktop etc.)?

10. Do you prefer to play at the same location or explore new courts around the city?


Based on their feedback I created an affinity diagram to map out similarities in their answers.

Click for full image.

The affinity diagram helped me develop two personas for basketball players in NYC.  I named them Baller Bob and Particular Pete.  

ballerbob.jpg
particularpete.jpg

I then started to sketch what the app could look like based on the two personas. They were very low-fi, but allowed me to discern very quickly which design would be best to start building wireframes.

Paper prototypes were created to conduct usability tests on look and function.

paperprototype.jpg

I then built several iterations in Axure from very low-fi to semi hi-fi.

Finally I built a hi-fidelity version in Sketch and have continued to refine the design. 

My next step is to build a mobile prototype without code to conduct more user testing. Once I am satisfied that the functionality is where it needs to be then I will have the actual app built and ready to go.