OFFSEASON

OFFSEASON

ADDRESSING THE EVOLVING EPIDEMIC OF INJURIES IN YOUTH SPORTS

The Problem Space

Since 2016, 5 Million injuries occur per year in high school athletes

43% of Stress injuries today occur in student athletes aged 15-19. Stress Injuries are associated with overwork and used to be more common in adult populations. Today, there are 20 million sports camps and leagues outside the school system, resulting in student athletes stressing their bodies by playing competitive sports year round.

I asked the question.. What factors most contribute to this phenomenon?

36% of high school athletes specialize in a single sport 8-12 months of the year. These athletes were 2-3x more likely to suffer major knee or hip injury and 125% more likely to suffer bone stress injuries. This is because single sport athletes are performing repitive stressful movements while their bodies are still growing.

Primary Research

Learn more about adolescent student athletes current health practices to prevent and treat injuries.

Determine students relationship with other sports. How often do they play and what barriers exist?

Determine students future goals in sports and their level of concern and focus on long term health

Hypothesis

Participant Criteria

Research Method

Adolescent Student-Athletes are being pushed to exhaustion in their sports because they lack necessary knowledge of rest and treatment methods; they are unaware of how to effectively prevent long term damage

I developed a participant criteria based on the data on risk factors revealed from secondary research:

Adolescent student athletes, aged 13-19, playing just one sport competitively

To test my hypothesis, I will conduct 3 sets of user interviews. I made an interview guide to direct myself towards questions that help me reach my research goals. The findings from the interviews will be organized in an Affinity Map and analyzed for key themes.

Affinity Mapping

Athletes are hesitant to take days off or diversify their training because they are worried about falling behind their peers

Student Athletes and their coaches lack the proper communication methods needed to set effective rest schedules

Athletes lack the knowledge or discipline needed to consistently engage in more effective preventative interventions

The Problem Space

Athletic Performance

Rest Management

Preventative Treatment

From the interviews conducted, I had to correct some assumptions I had about the user base. Students were not concerned for injuries and health in the long term. Most interviewees only expressed concerns for injuries in the short term as it led to limited progression as an athlete. Given this information, I had to make sure that my goals matched the goals of the user base.

How might we help adolescent student athletes specializing in one sport effectively manage their physical health in order to reduce the risk of severe overuse injuries without hindering progress in their sport?

PROJECT PIVOT

Research Goals

Research Plan

Analysis

User Persona

Ideation

As I drafted my user stories, the majority of features pertained to introducing alternative excercises and tracking results. My primary goal at this stage is to introduce new training methods to decrease injury. Therefore, I chose Alternative Excercise Recommendations as the core epic since it most pertained to the how might we question.

Step 1: User Stories

Step 2: Task Flow

After building my task flow, I made a few exploratory sketches of each major screen. I made annotations highlighting the strengths and weakness of different ideas to help me progress towards my final designs.

"As an Athlete, I want to see what physical skills and attributes, contribute to success in my sport, so that I know what areas and types of workouts to focus on."

Alternative Excercise Recommendations

Social

Tracking Reults

Onboarding

Rest Alerts

Coach input

Education

Key Thought

"As an Athlete, I want to be introduced to alternative training methods, so that I can keep working towards my goals as an athlete without overworking my body."

"As an Athlete, I want to compare my measurables before and after trying a new sport, so that I can see how incorporating new sports is helping me succeed."

Step 3: Sketching

UI Development

Sign Up Screen

Onboarding

Social Screen

Users were confused why they had to specify their role when logging into the application. Selecting user's role was moved into the onboarding process for new users.

Users felt scrolling was not intuitive, so a right arrow marker was added that could be pressed to continue through onboarding.

The skip button was then moved to a more accessible spot on the bottom right. However, users showed an inclination to skip the onboarding screens when the button was placed right by their thumb in round 2 of testing. The bottom left was the best spot.

Mistakes regarding visibility of system status when moving through onboarding were corrected.

Users felt more space was needed to display full pricing details. The user interface was rearranged to prioritize space for most pertinent information

Users were confused at the text of the button. They were not ready to add new training into a schedule. The text was changed to more accurately reflect the task and progression of thought by the users.

The helper text on the training cards was difficult for few users to read so the help message was made more concise and the text size was increased

The size of text in calendar was decreased because users felt that it took too much of their attention.

With both Cards fully visible, users did not find scrolling sideways intuitive. I adjusted to make just half of the second card visible, and the scrolling function became clear to the users.

Home Calendar

Since we hope to keep users logged in, I moved log in for existing users to the bottom and made "Get Started" the primary focus.

Touch targets for text CTA was too small for some users hands. Target size was increased after round 1 of user testing.

Brand Identity

I wanted to make sure the app name had a clear message that our application is for athletes and not general fitness. Offseason was ideal since that is the time when athletes most need to experiment with training methods and find the time to rest their bodies.

Some screens have many organisms that grasp the attention of users, so I wanted to have a simple, geometric font that would limit the level of interference. Yantramanav fit these qualities and was used for the body text throughout the app. I slightly increased letter spacing of the font to ensure that the text was not too crunched together and that the text was accessible to a variety of users.

For Header Texts, I used Roboto Slab. Slabs are commonly used in collegiate logos and lettering used in sports. Using this style will help match the themes of future and progression, as college sports is the next level for my userbase. I made sure to avoid using the slab font in small spaces or noisy screens where it could potentially affect readability or become overwhelming.

Step 3: Typography

In the initial version, The colors felt too muted to reflect the focus and energy that I wanted to portray. The feel was too static and tired. To revise my moodboard, I added bolder colors and brought in images that emulated the physical qualities of sports such as speed. By enhancing the futuristic feel, and adding images that embraced the natural physical aspects of sports, I established a strong base for my visual identity.

For my moodboard, I wanted to focus on the goals of our user base rather than create a direct representation of sports. I wanted to give the application a futuristic feel to create a sense of growth and energy - a mood that they can grow their body and develop their game to operate at their highest capabilities. This style also emulates professional sport video games popular with the teenage population that is our target userbase.

Step 1: Naming

Step 2: Moodboard

Naming Decision

Key Thought

Design Iteration

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High Fidelity Design