Dashboard design , UI Design , UX Design Principles

Dashboard Design in the Sports Industry

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What is dashboard design?

A dashboard is a visual snapshot used to display information at a glance. Owing to the fact that dashboards are a unique and powerful visual medium, they are key instruments in data-based storytelling that deploy data visualization techniques to unravel relevant data and statistics for producing easy-to-understand learning outcomes.

There are three main types of dashboards, namely

Operational Dashboards -

An operational dashboard is designed to provide, at a glance, a comprehensive snapshot of the performance of the day.

Analytical Dashboards -

Analytical dashboards helps users gain perspective on historical, current and predictive data to gain insights into larger industry patterns and trends for analysis.

Strategic Dashboards -

Strategic dashboards track the behaviour of key performance indicator over larger periods of time to predict outcomes using data that is updated less frequently.

Sports and Dashboard Design?

A sports website or app counts many diverse sets of people among its target users. The list includes fans, representative of sports federations, brand sponsors and the players themselves. Each group uses the app to gain a unique perspective of the sport and the dashboard must serve the needs of the entire sports ecosystem. With the help of technology, dashboard design can provide a bird’s eye macro and micro view of the sport to users in an engaging, visually appealing, easy to interpret manner. The usability of the app depends on the ability of the dashboard to make real-time data compelling and interactive for the sports fans. This boosts the ‘stickiness’ quotient of the app and makes it viral among the target users who flock to the app during related sporting events.

Before kickstarting design, we need to understand what platform would the ‘dashboard’ be accessed from (web or mobile) along with the type and mix of dashboards you will be designing (for analytical, operational, or strategic objectives). Generally, in the sports industry, the most common form of dashboards used are strategic and analytical dashboards to show scorecards, player cards, past analytics, trending viewer comments and so on.

Web versus mobile approach - sports 

When it comes to sports, web-based applications and mobile apps serve different purposes. Let’s discuss the nuances of the two approaches and compare the two platforms.

Web-based approach

The web-based dashboard design offers greater flexibility and functionality to the users. When your platform is heavy on functions and has parallel services running, web apps are preferable.  Let’s take the example of Runadam a 360-degree sports technology platform, that helps and empowers aspiring sportspersons all over the world. It aims to bring together all sports stakeholders under one platform by integrating data, creating access, and facilitating communication.

Homepage is key

The homepage of the website holds the entire website together. In the Runadam website, the homepage not only introduces the concept of that company but also places relevant resources and calls-to-action intuitively for the stakeholders to browse through. The strategic dashboard design allows the sportsperson and related sports organizations to network, ask for sponsorships and offer their services.

Intuitive data presentation

The Runadam website packs a significant bit of information within its pages. This can prove to be a daunting exercise for designers since the overall UX can become chunky and cluttered. The dashboard design for Runadam offers the drill-down approach to display data on demand by the players while maintaining a minimalistic view in a large screen enabling an important facet of storytelling in web-based design. The athlete profile dashboard includes details such as the stats on physical fitness, achievements and participation in sports-related events for a sportsman. The page allows the athlete to fill all the fields of information about his/ her career and also allows them to share the profile page in the industry with a very professional display of information that can be understood and appreciated by everybody.

Ideal for seeking community validation and support

This approach is useful for content and information-heavy platform. The Runadam sponsorship page is a great example of this. Runadam connects the players from rural India with prospective sponsors to help them progress in their careers without having to worry about materialistic limitations to a certain extent. Hence, web-based dashboard is important because it easily captures a variety of legal and personal information. This helps sponsors understand and verify information logically and also sort and filter the data as per their interest. Services like crowdfunding provide a big relief to players and a compelling web-based profile seems more trust-worthy to a prospective sponsor.

Gamifying web-based dashboard design 

Most of the web-based dashboard designs are designed with the purpose of displaying and sharing information, statistics and analytics because of the benefit of large screen size. In designing for the same, it is imperative that the design doesn’t become visually boring or heavy. At every point, the user must feel engaged in the experience. Runadam has a great solution in avoiding this by tempting the users with rewards in the form of badges.

Mobile-based approach 

Mobile-based dashboard design is suitable for building apps that provide real-time game updates to sports fans. Mobile apps provide easy access on the go and have a wider reach as compared to web-based applications. We will use Cricket.com as an example to illustrate this point.

Mobile-based dashboard design is suitable for high engagement applications

Most mobile-based dashboards follow the analytical dashboard design to identify the trends and grab the user’s attention. Cricket.com is a great example of an analytical dashboard design as it identifies the trends of the sport using Cryclytics which is a feature that uses a powerful, proprietary predictive cricket algorithm to encourage its users to participate in fantasy cricket and play for cash rewards by providing data and projections for fans to estimate, guess and participate. This is the primary engagement technique of the game.

Mobile-based application is preferred for repeat, on-the-go use

Mobile-based dashboard design is also preferred by most of the users to browse data on the go at any time and from anywhere. Hence, mobile-based dashboard designs can optimize the use of real-time data of a particular sport and give live updates. Cricket.com makes the best use of this feature by providing live updates, player performance predictions, victory predictions and upcoming match predictions on their application.

Drill-down approach

Mobile-based dashboard design follows the drill-down approach by giving importance to the current activities. The idea behind this principle is to give a glimpse of the overall activities and then allow the user to explore the section that grabs his attention in detail. Cricket.com uses this approach on its homepage by allowing the user to choose the match of his/her interest and get all the possible related statistics, news, trivia and information.

Consistent look and feel across all the dashboards

One of the limitations of mobile-based dashboard design is that the layout of the different dashboards needs to remain consistent. Since the screen you are designing for is limited by space, the display of information across dashboards on the application needs to fit the screen and match the user experience specific to the mobile.

Conclusion

Today, the sports industry is touted as one of the most rapidly evolving industries; one that creates content for the fans in every passing second. Dashboard design has hugely contributed to this growth by making this content accessible to the target audience in the most minimalistic, accurate and quickest form possible. The users now have easier access to the sports ecosystem through sports-based websites like Runadam & Cricket.com that go to great depths to create immersive experiences for them. The use of technology in sports is increasing on a daily basis. These apps create customized user experiences, using smart display of data, which in turn is helping them widen the customer base, which in turn is growing the ecosystem. If you want to read the general tips to ace your dashboard design, you can read the blog here.

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