How may we maximize player performance, plan training and reduce injuries in one comprehensive digital experience?

The Microsoft Sports Performance Platform

A project built on Power BI, Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft Surface technology, Sports Performance Platform has an ambitious mission to drive the shift in the sports industry towards predictive outcome modeling and predictive analytics that is accessible for the professional, academy, high school or individual athlete.

Watch a short video about the project

The Ask

Create an app for the Microsoft Sports Science Platform that helps coaches and trainers leverage data to maximize player performance, plan training sessions smarter and reduce chance of injury through over-training.

The Approach

I took the team through an exploration exercise to find out which player and coaching data was desired for coaches and trainers to make this app valuable. I arranged and lead user interviews with staff from the Seattle Reign and to acquire a good contextual understanding of what coaches and trainers found to be “actionable insights” and how they make decisions.

I made sure our internal team was present in those user interviews to hear the coaches and trainer feedback first hand, which resulted in great alignment on requirements amongst the team.

There was a desire from the interviewees to have an easy and accurate way for players to add their personal data (hours of sleep, fatigue level etc.) so that they had insights of a player’s fitness and minimize the chance of injury. The UX strategy was driven by the coach’s desire to get precise answers on who’s fit, who’s healthy, who is able to train and who isn’t able to train.

As we were dealing with a rapid and intense working schedule, I took the lead on moving the small designer and developer team into a secluded part of the building where we could have the least amount of interruption. This set up allowed us to interact with each other and break out into white boarding at any moment. That strategy turned out to be extremely helpful and added to the success of the project.

The Prototype

I started with a very low fidelity interactive prototype that we could easily test because I wanted to make sure we had the flow right. I came up with 5 distinct scenarios that covered 3 personas, a player, a coach and a trainer. Once we validated the flow with the team, stakeholders and staff from the Reign, we moved quickly to turn the lo level wireframes into high res comps.

I made use of facial recognition technology for players to quickly login when they entered the training facility and through a simple slider screen put in their vitals. This would minimize the disruption of their daily workout and help user adoption. The players were presented with a personalized exercise recommendation based on the data they just put in. I then lead the team into creating a training session planner for coaches and trainers. This planner had several dashboards showing aggregated vitals from players so the coach could make decisions on team formation and the trainer could plan a personalized training program.

View the prototype (May require Axure plugin)

The clickable prototype shows the 5 scenarios in early stages, with some screens already designed but most still in low level wireframe version. I did it in Axure to show interactivity and so we could quickly move into design since our timeline was very short.

My Impact

I was responsible for setting up and leading the team into conducting interviews with the coach and the trainer of the Seattle Reign, Seattle women’s soccer club. I made sure to include all team members at POP to have a first hand knowledge of the user’s feedback. The insights we got from those interviews proved invaluable to the outcome of the project and provided everyone on the project context and empathy.

I got the team in an unused part of our building where we would be free from distractions and could work as a tight unit.

I collaborated and facilitated design sessions and created early user flow and a low fidelity prototype to get the interaction and flow right. My effort was essential for minimizing wasting any visual design time or development time, waste we could not afford with the short timeline we had. I then collaborated with visual designers and front end developers to turn the early sketches into full designs as well as collaborating with developers and the PM on the client’s side.