A new iOS app I designed has just been released in the iTunes app store! Breakthrough Stats iOS app helps coaches, players, and parents efficiently track stats during fast paced basketball games.
Within 1 week of release, this app took over the #2 spot for the Paid Sports Apps category in the iTunes store!
App User Experience Design
The client had a good idea of what they wanted the app to do and features they wanted it to have, which is always a great start. Since they already had this planned out, why did they need UX design?
User Experience Design is the process of thinking through human-computer interaction, making a plan, and acting on it. There are plenty of studies that show people use different devices in different ways. For example, it takes the human eye about 25% longer to read a screen then it takes to read something printed, like a book. In a stats tracking app, where you have to input data as fast as possible while watching a 10 person game, each second, half second, and app interaction counts.
In this app, UX design helped us set standards for things like:
- how the majority of people will use the app
- how we can make the app easy to use for edge case scenarios while keeping the integrity of the product
- how we can make data entry most efficient
- how we can make data correction most efficient
- how to make the game setup process as intuitive as possible
- app navigation
Once we created UX standards, I could more efficiently create the design for the app. Remember, products should be designed with a purpose. They should also solve problems to create a cohesive, easy-to-use product. UX design helped us define those problems.
How User Experience Design Saved Money
One of the app requirements was to create a home screen to use as navigation. This was defined as a screen that a user would have to come back to every time they wanted to navigate to another screen. Since one of the UX requirements was to keep the number of taps to a minimum, I was inclined to use a navigation bar instead of this home screen. I favored a navigation bar because it would always be readily available and require less taps.
To be confident in my recommendation, I did some research in the Apple Guidelines and found that a home screen isn’t recommended as an app is very different from a website. After seeing this, the client readily agreed to the navigation bar.
UX design saved money for the client because it cut out a screen I needed to design and allowed us to allocate those resources towards making some other great improvements!
App Graphic Design
I designed all of the graphics for the app, including the app icon design. Of course, I didn’t design the native iOS controls.
App Icon Design
Another app requirement was to create an iOS App Icon that presented this as a basketball stats tracking app. When most people think of stats they seem to think of numbers and spreadsheets. Having a big spreadsheet as an app icon seemed sort of boring. (And besides, one goal with this app was to get away from having to use spreadsheets!)
I did some brainstorming. From talking with the client, I know that their goal is to really focuses on progress and not just numbers or who’s winning/losing. So I wanted to show progress in the app icon while keeping it stats based. I chose to do this with simple graph bars that are also used in the splash screen as well. I tied this in with other common basketball elements to create a cohesive design.
Please check out the Breakthrough Stats app on the iTunes app store!