Most current fantasy sports games require a huge time committment and a great deal of knowledge and dedication to be successful (even with that, I still manage to constantly lose. Go, me.). They require a deep knowledge of specific players, teams and topics, that are often of no interest to you.
Based on the problem above, the idea was to create a simple game that allowed people to predict the outcomes of their favorite events. It needed be simple. It needed be fast. It needed to be categorical, so that a user can choose a topic they are interested and invested in.
- Branding – Responsible for a complete redesign of the brand.
- UX Design and Research – Whether it was prototyping, wireframing, user testing, A/B tests or other UX processes, I was always in the mix.
- Visual Design – All visual design for the product (emails, marketing, iconography, typography, product UI, etc.).
- Front-End – Established a front-end framework and owned all HTML/CSS.
Rebrand – The goal was to better align our identity with the product offering, which was games revolving around sports and entertainment. The product was transitioned from muted color palette that was aimed at sports fans, to a brighter theme that portrayed "fun", across multiple categories, not just sports. The improved design was tested with remote users on Usertesting.com, as well as in person.
User Flow – With the research and analysis phase in a good place, it was time to start visualizing some low fidelity user flows for testing and validation. We decided to start with the web application.
Fantuition quickly cumulated a loyal, dedicated fanbase. A community that was always ready and willing to provide feedback, which made testing and improving the experience a dream. We were able to quickly uncover insights regarding preferred game types, styles and formats.
It quickly became very clear that although the product was beloved by many, it wasn't sticky enough. Although we had strong metrics regarding DAUs, those visitors were only visiting for a short period of time to make their picks, then abandoning the app. To remedy this and increase stickiness, we tested a few options:
- Mobile – Our mobile experience wasn't what it needed to be. We had data from analytics and user interviews that implied this should be the primary area of focus.
- Daily Pick Game Type – Encourages users to visit the app every day, as opposed to just the day of their scheduled event. Also increases game variety.
- Gamification to the Rescue – Many psychological advantages which led to increased engagement.
1. Mobile – When picks are needed, an email is sent to the user. When reveiwing our data, we could see that roughly 60% of these emails were opened on phones. Improving the experience on mobile could greatly increase engagement while making picks as well as during an event (many people admitted to being on their phone while watching an event).
“Although an iOS app was planned for the near future, we knew we needed to act more quickly. We decided to build a mobile-web experience using jQuery UI.”
2. Daily Pick – The Daily Pick instantly resulted in a dramatic increase in daily active users. It was quick, it was easy and there was very little time or risk involved in playing. It also allowed us to introduce an even larger variety of events. Many of these events may not have been worhty of a season, or even could be, as they are limited in time and length, but could easily be featured for a day. We could then leverage these one-off events in our marketing efforts, to acquire new users to the app.
3. Gamification – The most common frustration we heard from users was related to season timing. If a season had already been active for an extended period of time and a new user wanted to join and play, they had little to no chance of winning that season and obtaining the prize. This gave them very little incentive to join even if the act of playing is enjoyable in and of itself. To rectifyy this issue, we created a weighted reward system, based on the size of the game. That is, rather than receiving a fixed number of points per game you won, you were now awarded certain number of tokens that was dynamically calculated based on your performance and the number of people in the game. So, even if you joined late, you had the opportunity to do well and instantly climb the leaderboard.
We gave people that satisfaction of "collecting" their rewards. We also introduced another element to the gamification system: "Rewards". These rewards would extend from the game experience and into the overall Fantuition experience. Visiting, sharing, inviting, commenting and many other user actions could result in a reward. There's plenty of data that supports the positive psychological effects of offering rewards and tokens to users.
These additions to the overall experience resulted in a dramatic increase in many of our KPIs. More importantly, qualitative feedback showed that the overall perception of Fanuition as a quick, fun prediction gaming experience was at an all time high. Fantuition was truly FUNtuition (BA DUM, CHING!).