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Design Practice

Showcasing all my work and blogs

Kickiq app design project

Project Introduction

The aim of my project is to create an application in which I feel passionate about. Upon searching for market gaps and taking into account my passions, I came up with the idea for KickIq. I immediately considered STRAVA's commercial success in the sports industry. Football is one of my favourite sports, so I immediately thought of this. Nevertheless, I'm not the only one who feels this way—football is the most watched and played sport in the world. This indicates to me that there is a big and perhaps worldwide market for practically everything connected to football. At first, I tried to appeal to both the desire to teach and to learn. 

A few important factors to touch upon for my design was the UX and the UI.  'The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother. Next comes simplicity and elegance that produce products that are a joy to own, a joy to use.' https://www.nngroup.com/articles/ux-without-user-research/

Initial ideas

I  used miro to establish some initial base ideas and my immediate idea was a football training app. The basis around the creation of a mind map is to clearly establish initial ideas and to allow myself to expand upon every idea with a clear vision of what my brand and image could potentially be. 

The idea for the functions of the app were clear and precise however, there was still plenty of smaller details that needed to be ironed out before the construction of the prototype was put in motion. Many of these aspects such as specific drills and audience targeting could be decided during construction.

 

In terms of building upon this idea SWOT analysis was what appealed to me most in terms of building upon what I have already established. The benefits that I saw of using SWOT was SWOT analysis assesses an organization's internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats.

Using swot allowed me to identify a number of interesting points that i knew would help me in the creation of my app. For example I was able to pin point the opportunity for global recognition as the lack of access to a high calibre of training. We would ideally like to help girls and women that perhaps never would it be attainable for them otherwise. Football is succesful throughout the globe and many there are many stars famous and beloved from many different nations making it easier to reach out to certain markets.

However, it is essential to remain aware of the importance in making sure the app operates perfectly otherwise people will simply choose to just not use it and it may even cause the app to recieve bad reviews in the app which is the lifeline for survival for anything applicaation based as the algorithim will only recomend what it believes the users will enjoy. 

Time Management

For this project, utilising a Gantt chart was both wise and practical. Clear and organised task and milestone scheduling was made possible by the Gantt chart, which offered a visual roadmap. The utilisation of a visual aid in project planning and progress monitoring made it possible to ensure that every facet of the development of the Kick IQ app—from branding to content creation—was methodically handled within the allotted time period. The Gantt chart was very important in making sure that all of the many parts that went into making Kick IQ came together smoothly and on time since it provided a detailed picture of the project's schedule, dependencies, and deadlines.

Gantt chart for Design production_edited

Competitors and sources of inspiration

My first initial step was to ask people I know involved in football and more specifically football coaching their initial thoughts. The general response was overwhelming support for the idea however, some would rather the app was there to guide rather than instruct and control however some of the less experienced coaches would rather that the app was to be in control of everything in order to help them be provide this expert advice from day 1.

box-to-box

Box to box have 4.9 stars rating on the app store with 561 ratings. This shows not only the success that this app has had but also the appreciation that this type of app has and that there is most certainly a market there. Although impressive I feel as though an app of this style has the potential to push further in terms of outreach.

 

Strengths:

  • Clean and sleek app design with clear instructions and easy passage for its users to navigate throughout the app.

  • Have a current partnership with Borussia Dortmund which will attract this fan base but also showcase examples of professionals putting the training to good use.

  • The ability to customise your own profile to the extent of showcasing your own skills.

  • A good example of the subscription tactic being put to good use as they show how Kick IQ could potentially operate.

  • I like the app encapsulating exactly what the brand name states while also standing out.

  • Ability to download drills so if the user has no access to wifi or 4G.

Weaknesses:

  • Although clean I feel like the way the app appears lacks directions. The home screen just has large pictures with a general lack of writing and direction.

  • No clear level differentiating starters for semi pro’s all the way up to professionals.

  • The app has nothing for actual coaches and only looks at the players POV. Although maybe not a goal for this app it does showcase the clear absence in the market for this.

Train Effective

Train effective is the app with a far greater role in the football training market. Their app has 4.8-star reviews with over 5,000 ratings. Clearly they have good support and an established user base in the market.

Strengths:

  • Comprehensive Training Programs: TrainEffective offers a wide range of comprehensive training programs catering to various sports, making it a versatile platform for athletes across different disciplines.

  • Professional Guidance: The app provides access to training plans and insights from professional athletes and coaches, offering users valuable guidance to enhance their performance.

  • Personalised Workouts: Tailored training programs allow users to set personalised goals, ensuring that the workouts align with individual fitness levels and objectives.

  • Progress Tracking: TrainEffective's robust tracking system enables users to monitor their progress, providing a data-driven approach to fitness and allowing for adjustments to optimise training.

Weaknesses:

  • Customisation Constraints: Despite offering personalised workouts, the app may benefit from additional customisation features, allowing users to tailor workouts even more precisely to their individual needs.

  • Social Engagement Opportunities: Incorporating more social features, such as community forums or challenges, could enhance user engagement and foster a sense of community among athletes using the app.

  • Offline Access: The app might improve by incorporating offline access to training programs, ensuring users can seamlessly follow their workouts even in areas with limited or no internet connectivity.

  • Learning Curve: The app's comprehensive nature may have a steeper learning curve for beginners. Improved onboarding tutorials or a more intuitive interface could address this challenge.

Train Effective are a more established variation of the online training format. They already own the majority of the market and have established a good user base. 'The app features over 150 soccer drills, training sessions, workouts, and programs created by UEFA licensed coaches and Premier League experts. ' (Train, 2023) Clearly the app has been well supported by experts as it has allowed them to create this user experience superior to that of any other rivals. The aim of KickIq is to rival this expertise with a creative user experiance that is yet to be fully exploited to it's full potential. Another USP of KickIq is the aim to reach the amateur level of the womens game as well as create a level of accessibility for people across the globe.

Initial visual design

The main initial inspiration for the visual element of the apps was to take inspiration from 'strava'. Strava is a device of great use to me as I have always found it an easy use but the way the 'UI' is designed is of great efficiency. "The app is intuitive to use, and it's easy to navigate around, join challenges and view your data.... It's also very easy to customize the homepage feed to see the activities of the people you really care about. " (Tom’s Guide, 2021)

Another source of inspiration was actually the box-to-box app. There was a multitude of admirable aspects to their UX design that I really liked. The simplicity of the app flow was extremely appealing. There is intuitive navigation with the menus being clearly labeled and a logical placement of features. It is one that I admired in the research stages of my project.

In order to insure that my skills were up to scratch when creating an app with effective UX and UI I felt I needed to try my hand at practice so used youtube in order to hone my skills on figma and I found two videos extra helpful. There were two specific tutorials I found really helped to level up my app design.

(Ketterman, 2019)

Logo Development

I touch more upon the inspiration of the logo in the brand identity. The aim of the logo was to mix professionalism while showcasing what we do. The US chamber of commerce detailed the essentials to good logo design"You want your logo to be versatile and capable of being used in many different contexts. You’re not just going to slap a logo on your website and forget about it — you’ll probably also use it on social media, marketing materials and even products you sell." (Johnson, 2022)

The logo design process was something that came to me with relative ease. I like to think I am quite creative when it comes to creating something like this. After drawing my very first design however, I did stagnate after this. There was a few decent ideas that came to mind like creating a border using the idea of a football sideline.

I then wanted to focus on the player side of the application and this allowed me to get creative as I began to implement the idea of the user into the logo allowing the user base and the app to feel more intertwined and personal.

I used Adobe Illustrator in order to try let my creativity flourish. I found this tricky as I had not used this software for some time however, eventually with patience and help I started to get to where I wanted the logo to be. 

I also understood the importance of different versions of the logo, as there are often differing situations in which these would be required and called upon.

Brand Identity

Brand Identity is an essential piece of app creation. Users are more likely to recognise and recall an app with a strong brand identity. Building familiarity requires consistent branding across several touchpoints, including the app icon, logo, colour scheme, and typography. As a result of this acknowledgment, users' confidence in the app's validity and dependability grows.
Because there are typically a lot of alternatives available in the sports app industry, it also helps to generate distinctiveness in a crowded market. What distinguishes the app from rivals is its clear and distinct brand identity. It explains to consumers what makes the software special and why they need to pick it over alternatives that are comparable.

'Brand values are the core beliefs or philosophy that a brand upholds, and which differentiate it from its competitors. Another way of characterising a brand is by identifying its brand personality.' ‌ (Slade-Brooking, 2016)

Achieving sustainability goals

In order to achieve the United nations goal 17 for sustainable development I had to visualise some of the issues faced. The United Nations helped by producing a helpful infographic showcasing some of the key problems across the internet, (Un.org, 2023)

 

One thing of immediate notice to me was that for the incredibly large internet reach 259 million more males used the internet than females. In order to try and come up with a way to combat this I needed only to look at the recent success and boom of women's football. '4 million watched live WSL football in 2022, but did not see any live Premier League football, with 6.8 million watching both. This compares to 5.1 million only watching the WSL in 2021.' (SkySports, 2023)

It is clear that there is room for impact and bringing more incentives for women and girls to use the internet would be achievable. The entire aim of KickIq is to bring a level of accessibility of professional level coaching to people without the

access. Girl's often struggle with the accessibility even more than boys do. 'Lack of access. Girls have 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play high school sports than boys have. Lack of physical education in schools and limited opportunities to play sports in both high school and college mean girls have to look elsewhere for sports –which may not exist or may cost more money. Often there is an additional lack of access to adequate playing facilities near their homes that makes it more difficult for girls to engage in sports.' (Women’s Sports Foundation, 2019)

Wireframing

I used figma in order to create my core wireframes as it is a free software that is extremely simple to use.  However, these were the first wireframes I personally had created so I initially I did struggle to understand what was required in creating a good wireframe. 'Wireframing is one of the first steps in user interface or user experience design. Designers do it primarily to outline the features on each screen.' (Springboard Blog, 2021)

 

After numerous attempts I was happy with what I had created.

Prototyping

This is the loading page which will have an animation as it gradually loads you into the application.

Home page in which users are welcomed and you can see everything that is ongoing in the KickIq community from events to challanges.

The player training section will have many different aspects that will allow specific training regimes and allow players to flourish in their strong points.

All sections will be clickable and will allow users to experience in depth rundowns of drills and exercises. I aimed to enhance the user experience in terms of comfortability and made this page extremely easy to navigate.

Similar to the player coaching page in oder to maximise the user experience.

Less visible content however, once clicked the tabs will open pages that are far more enriched with content that is more complex.

This will be the social media function of the application in which users can share clips as well as watch and react to their friends and celebrities.

The final page will be the user profile in which users can edit their profile picture, share stats, link other social medias and create highlight type sections of all their favourite clips.

The next job was to create a flow that would work and allow users to navigate throughout the app. This was tricky as there are may intertwining functions that must work in order for the whole flow to work effectively.

This was my final working flow that i screen recorded in order to showcase some of the capabilities of my app. I am happy with how the overall user interface of the app is presented. However, given more time I would have like to clean up some of the visuals as well as going into greater details.

Some of the letters do not blend into the background images perfectly and some of the icon sizing in the navigation bar I particularly struggled with.

User and Industry expert reviews

In order to try and gain some outsider feedback I got in touch with some people whose reviews I knew could make an impact on my work going forward. I asked them for honesty and feedback. I knew some personally and others I found on linked in and reached out too.


1. Anais, Amateur Football Player:

Likes: "Kick IQ is a game-changer for someone like me who's passionate about football but lacks formal training. The apps layout is easy to follow, and the aspiration for a strong community aspect makes it feel like a team effort."

Dislikes: "I wish there were more beginner-friendly content. Some of the advanced drills are intimidating for those just starting."

 

2. Steve, Experienced Football Coach:

Likes: "As a coach, I appreciate the depth of the coaching resources. The idea for the ability to customize training plans and track players' progress is a fantastic tool. It's a great platform to stay updated with the latest coaching methods."

 

3. Deborah, Women's Football coach at men’s amateur level:

Likes: "Finally, an app that actively promotes and supports female football! The emphasis on equality and the spotlight on female players and coaches is a big win for the sport."

Dislikes: "I'd love to see even more content dedicated to women's football, perhaps featuring interviews with top female players and sharing their insights."

 

4. Marie, Marketing Specialist:

Likes: "The brand identity is strong, and the commitment to social initiatives aligns well with current trends. There's a great potential for partnerships that can elevate Kick IQ's visibility."

Dislikes: "The marketing strategy could be more clearly defined. A comprehensive plan that leverages social media, influencers, and collaborations will be crucial for reaching a wider audience."

 

5. Tom, Amateur Football Enthusiast and Tech-Savvy User:

Likes: "The app's user interface is clean and intuitive. I appreciate the variety of content available, from video drills to forums. It's like having a personal football coach in my pocket."

Dislikes: "I'd love to see more interactive features, maybe virtual reality drills or live Q&A sessions with expert coaches should you plan to progress the development "

 

These reviews provide a diverse perspective, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of Kick IQ from the viewpoints of amateur players, professional coaches, women's football advocates, sports technology experts, marketing specialists, and tech-savvy users. Addressing the specific feedback from each group can contribute to refining and enhancing the app's overall appeal and functionality.

Final Reflections and thoughts on the project

I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project and feel that it has given me some essential tools going forward. It has not only given me a basic understanding of UX and UI but also the necessity for wireframing when designing an application. It has also allowed me to create and develop upon existing skills in useful software such as figma and adobe illustrator. 

 

I set out to create an application that would produce a level of accessibility to professional training that is not common globally. I also aimed to promote this to more female users in the hopes the community can become a place of valuable learning for them. The focus on coaches and managers, was something I felt was untapped and hopefully will become a succesful usp for the application.

At the beginning of the project I really struggled to understand what it was I wished to create. This project was something of a new venture for me and for a while I was lost. However, overtime I began to understand and learn from mistakes. Although, this did mean that on a whole I was constrained with time meaning that when I did have ideas it was hard to fully bring those to life especially in the app prototype in which is still a slightly unfinished product.

Going forward I would not only look at competitors for app aesthetics, but also for branding and themes as sticking with a brand image is difficult to maintain.

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