After the flood UEFA Euro 2016 Player Barometer

UEFA Euro 2016 Player Barometer

“How can we connect fans with their favourite players at Euro 2016?”

Client

UEFA

The Problem

Cutting through a crowded market to get fan attention

Our Solution

Players Barometer engaged fans with unique data

Results

UEFA iOS App #1 download in 3 months before Euros in UK, Germany, Portugal, France. Source: www.appannie.com

“How can we connect fans with their favourite players at Euro 2016?”

What we did:

  • Developed new product to engage fans with the players they follow
  • Engage fans across a broad spectrum, from novice to expert, through a user-centred approach
  • Created new player categories that are now in use across UEFA.com
  • Defined the player card as a new format that lives across UEFA and is easily sharable
  • Brought our unique expertise but worked closely with the UEFA team
  • Created a new content stream for live events

Humanising Data: “Narrative, Not Numbers”

The project began by working with UEFA's product teams to understand their user segments and develop a set of strategies that would meet their diverse needs while making full use of the wealth of data they had access to (collected by DeltaTre). Early conversations highlighted the need to engage a global audience whose football expertise varied widely. We quickly agreed that we wanted to get away from the celebration of complexity that so often plagues sports data – the final presentation needed to reflect a sense of life and make UEFA’s data super accessible. 

Product R&D began by developing visualisations that explored player actions, stats, and events. Many had a “reconstructive” feel that, despite having editorial merit, were not instantly engaging. A change of tack was in order. One alternative we explored was how to verbalise the data—creating a set of simple sentence structures that could provide a huge variety of outputs.

To create the Barometer, we first needed to make sense of how fans talk about players, particularly how fans identify and group players for comparison. This is an important principle of information design at After the Flood—mediating metadata creates a more resonant message. Designing metadata can solve a large part of the visualisation problem. 

 

Our new player categories are now used across UEFA.com.

The Player Card, Socially Optimized

Once we established the player categories and a model for ranking players, we were able to build prototypes of how to use the output content. We developed a library of card modules that could be used in across the Euro website and be integrated with the wider effort to bring Euro 2016 to life online.

The primary unit of the design is the player card, designed to show relevant content, work across UEFA.com, and be easily shareable across the rest of the web. A key user need identified in early research sessions was for live updates on social media during games.

The Player Barometer

The Player Barometer presents a new type of player rankings that lets UEFA own the debate about the best player. We eschewed more complex visualizations to create something that would work for non-experts and on mobile devices.

The Player Barometer uses a combination of the player cards and new player metadata to construct a live ranking that is updated at the end of every match. The rankings can be filtered by position to get a more granular view of how players are stacking up. 

Importantly this creates new content for UEFA journalists throughout the tournament.

Prototyping, Testing, and Delivery

We worked in close collaboration with UEFA.com and their UX team in tight cycles of testing and revision to get this right. It was important for us to time the delivery of elements for testing with the UEFA project sprints—we do this on a variety of projects with internal UX teams. Different projects have different speeds, tools, and partnerships, and we use appropriate online collaboration tools along with occasional trip to Nyon to optimise our working relationship.

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