Jan 08, 2021

Making sports bigger than the game

By Chris Rowe

From the Bay Area to Brazil, New York City to Nigeria, YML has die hard sports fans spanning the globe. But we’re not just avid fans. We have a particular bone to pick with the NBA app.

Despite being used by millions of fans all over the world, the NBA digital experience, with an emphasis on League Pass, needs to evolve with changing consumer needs, new streaming models, and the NBA’s ongoing global expansion.

So, we did what we do best: experiment, test and build.

The insight: More than a game

It's not just highlights and box scores anymore. Sports are defined by fans connections to the game. We integrated that insight throughout this reimagined NBA app, emphasizing the NBA many gateways to culture, from music and fashion to training, e-sports and social media.

What we built: An NBA tool for the modern fan

Mobile. Mobile. Mobile. Basketball fans rarely watch full games. Bite-size moments that are easy to consume, and share, on social platforms is the new sweet spot.

  • Fans watch from everywhere, not just on the big screens. They lie in bed watching the game on their phone, so the experience needs to be optimized to fit that anywhere, everywhere fan.

  • Outside of soccer, the NBA may be the most engaged international sport there is. The app needs to serve a global audience.

  • Don’t over-index on the super fan because capturing the casual fan is a white space and where the other connections to the NBA come into play even more.

Net new features that offer surprise and delight for fans

· “How do you fan” onboarding - empowering the user to customize their experience, essentially building the personalization

· Full screen mobile video

· Member password sharing to invite friends to watch and even placing bets live - trivia live smack talk. Focusing on a new way to watch and connect by creating a social platform for fans to connect with friends and watch the way they want, together, from anywhere.

· Things like member password sharing to invite friends to watch & even placing bets live.

· Fans love seeing all angles of the game like seeing a triptych portrait view replay of a great pass or huge dunk, and being able to easily share with friends directly from the app.

· Synchronized haptic vibration feedback. Fans also want to stay tuned in for all situations, notifications and haptics to engage in all circumstances, like feeling every dunk and every 3-pointer from your team with unique synchronized haptic vibration feedback.

What did we do?

· UI/UX Design
· UX Strategy
· Research - User Testing
· User Testing
· Motion Graphics
· Micro-interactions