iOS App Design for Breakthrough Stats

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.

I worked on a team with Karl Becker and Joe Seeley to craft this project from start to finish. My role during the project was primarily related to User Experience Design and Graphic Design.

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.

iPad-homescreen

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!

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