Mobile Sports Communities


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Project Snapshot


2 UX designers, 1 UX Researcher

(Student team)


UX Researcher: market research, usability testing


1 month


To expand market segment to new users of Nike fitness ecosystem.

Background & Goals

Our student team was given the design challenge to create a digital solution for the topic area of our choice.

Ideation Session

Huddle Ideation session

Our first step was to conduct an ideation session to align on what we were passionate about and then branch out into areas that would address the design challenge.

One messy yet worthwhile process was to conduct a mind-mapping session, where we just added ideas onto a whiteboard and see what patterns emerged in our thinking.

We were all passionate about health and fitness and began thinking about our interactions and knowledge of health and fitness.

We connected ideas where three goals emerged for our digital solution.

Main Goals

We narrowed the scope of our digital solution to a mobile app due to assumptions we made about our user base:

  • People who engage in fitness are often on the go, participating in exercise that requires them to go to at least one other location
  • Our target audience would have familiarity would social applications and would have at least one social application on their phone
  • Our target audience would prefer to have support while engaging in fitness activities. They would not like to feel intimidated when engaging in a new fitness activity,
Heatbeak icon in lime green

Fitness Oriented

Goal 1: To encourage people to improve their health through fitness.

Social icon


Goal 2: We wanted people to feel supported by others in their fitness activities.

Accessibility icon


We wanted to make sure our digital solution included people of all fitness levels and abilities.


How should we develop a digital solution that meets our goals?

Screener Survey

Screener surevy

We sent out a screener survey to 50 people in order to conduct preliminary market research of our target audience and identify people to conduct qualitative interviews.

We received 20 responses, with 55% of respondents stating that they have used mobile fitness apps?

User Interviews

User interviews

We conducted user interviews with 5 individuals between the ages of 20-30 years old.

We asked them to recall their experiences with fitness:

  • What types of fitness activities do you engage in?
  • Can you recall a time when you engaged in a new fitness activity?
  • How do you prepare for a new fitness activity?

After synthesizing interviewees’ experiences, we created patterned insights from the voice of the user:

  • “I’m moderately active but I’d like to be more active.”
  • “I wish I was prepared for the activity beforehand.”
  • “I’m not confident in trying new things, especially alone.”
  • “I feel more comfortable when I do activities with friends.”
  • “I like being well-informed of what I’m doing.”

We used this synthesized research to develop the framework and problem statement.

People tend to be more open to new experiences if they are able to  experience them with those who share their same knowledge and skill level. In fitness communities, people with higher levels of confidence in their fitness abilities are more likely to  continue their engagement in both new and establish fitness routines, leading to healthier and happier lives.

How might we develop an experience that welcomes people of all skill  levels to fitness communities?

Our business and user research lead to the following design considerations for our prototype:


We developed multiple personas to represent the combined insights we gained based on our research findings. We used our primary persona, Victor, to inform the design of our process.

Huddle secondary persona - Michelle
Huddle secondary persona - shawn

User Journey

We developed a user journey for our primary persona, Victor,  to understand his  the pain points, and illustrate how he might interact with the platform to create positive experience in his pursuit of fitness.

Huddle persona user journey

Market Research

Competitive Research:

We conducted competitive research to understand the product-market fit for our design solution and to identify potential brands to integrate our mobile fitness app.

Huddle competitive matrix
Huddle competitive feature analysis chart

The Nike Ecosystem:

As one of the largest sports brands in the world, Nike prides itself on innovation and unmatched customer service for sports and fitness enthusiasts. Nike’s determination to involve themselves on both a local and global scale allows them to engage new athletes throughout their fitness journeys.

Our user experience design team’s goal conducted desk research to how our platform  could integrate into Nike’s current fitness app ecosystem.

Design & Feature Considerations

Research Insights:

  • People want to engage in group activities
  • Enabling GPS locator would allow people to find nearby games more easily
  • Assessing skill level will reduce fear of trying sports
  • Knowledge of how to play sports will help users feel  more prepared

Design Considerations:

  • Create option to join team games
  • Incorporate geolocation of games nearby
  • Develop skills assessment for  different sports
  • Include a rule book or frequently asked questions

We conducted feature prioritization mapping using the MoSCoW method and feature priority mapping to define what would be included for our first feature. Some essential first features were: setting the fitness level,  profiles, discovery of sports, checking the field availability and rules/how to play.

Huddle feature prioritization

User Flows

We created a user flow to illustrate the sign up process and the sign in process as well as the primary function of joining a game.

Huddle User Flow

TASK Flows

We also created the task flow show the “ideal” interaction a user would take navigating the app. 

Huddle Task Flow

Design & Results

We implemented our research insights into a lean and agile design process.

Style Guide

Our team developed a style guide based on Nike’s color scheme, typography, and iconography.

Huddle style guide

Mid-Fidelity WireFrames

We created a user flow to illustrate the sign up process and the sign in process as well as the primary function of joining a game.

Mid-fi wireframes

Mid-Fidelity Usability Testing

Our team conducted usability tests on five (5) people for two rounds of testing to evaluate the ease with  which users could navigate through the tasks and identify any barriers that might prevent users from  completing tasks associated with the user flow. Generally, most tasks were completed with relative ease  (set the skill level, find a team to join, check schedule) with users commenting on the design clarity and  ease of use of the app.

Huddle usability testing

Design Iterations

As we iterated on the designs from mid-fidelity to high-fidelity, we wanted to ensure clarity of the home screen and matches near you to help users join existing teams more easily and simplify the results for matches.

Design iteration screen 1

High-Fidelity Usability Testing

In our second usability test, 3 out of 5 testers inquired about setting skill level during the account set up  page as opposed to going to their profile to set their skill level. Another trend we found was that they were  confused on the the number represents how many people joined the group. They found it to mean the  number of people on one team as opposed to the total number of people participating in the game Some  users recommended adding a “set up profile” page and clarifying the skill level for subsequent design  iterations.

Huddle usability round 2
Usabilit testing comparison chart

Design Iterations

As we iterated on the designs from mid-fidelity to high-fidelity, we wanted to ensure clarity of the home screen and matches near you to help users join existing teams more easily and simplify the results for matches.

Design iteration screen 1

First Feature

Huddle Designs

Login and Sign-Up

Huddle splash screen
Huddle login welcome
Huddle login filled state

Fitness Skill Assessment

Huddle home
Huddle soccer survey

Team Game Sign-Up

Huddle profile
Huddle soccer event page
Huddle team page

Game Rules

Huddle sports list


Did we meet our goals? A retrospective on the research and design process for a mobile health app.

Regarding our goals to promote fitness, social ability, and accessibility, I believe we started implementing the goals but could have refined our research aims to focus on how to incorporate them better into the design.

Here are some considerations for the next phase of app research and development:

  • Increase variety of fitness activities users could choose
  • Incorporate messaging functionality within the app. For instance, if people want to meet up for game preparation outside of team games, they could organize those activities through the chat features.


Making the app accessible:

Regarding accessibility, our team needed to dedicate ourselves to understanding accessibility research to make the app accessible by design. For instance, if we recruited a sample population which included people with disabilities to test the accessibility of our app, we could have tested the usability of the product with a more representative sample of people from various fitness levels and abilities.

In terms of digital accessibility, it would’ve been useful to conduct user research based on A11y principles. The next design iteration should be informed by principles from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Nevertheless, I’m proud of our team’s achievement in answering the design challenge by building a first-feature mobile app within a short timeframe.

After our team developed the app, I was fortunate enough to show the first-feature design to a mobile app engineer at Nike’s innovation lab. The application was warmly received, which motivated me to think about how to use my coding skills to eventually turn our designs into a working prototype (pending).

Card art photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 2020.