STROMBERGSPORT

Research + Prototype + Web Design + A/B Testing

CLIENT

Stromberg Sport is a strategic advisory firm based in Chicago, IL, which offers advanced, innovative solutions that restructure and enhance sport-related organizations throughout the world.

WORK

I was hired to redesign the web product, code all the html/css pages and prototype landing pages for A/B testing.

CHALLENGE

As a young global focused company, with strong background in sport management they needed to grow digital market presence among B2B vendors and find a way to distinguish themselves from competitors.

MY ROLE

  • Product Designer
  • Web Developer lead
  • Research lead

CONSTRAINS

Lean team, lean budget, timeline: 8 weeks, no pre-existing design team

RESULTS

StrombergSport.com

Previous Version

Redesigned website

RESEARCH

At the kick-off meeting I was provided with a good amount of research that team at StrombergSport had already conducted. By conducting target user interviews, they were able to narrow down on who their target user is, what he does, what he needs, and what his/her pain points are based on the data they collected. Leading points from the interviews the team conducted were:

  • The target user wants a more streamlined user interface with less wording.
  • The target user wants to have responsive website that is simple and easy to navigate on mobile to acommodate their on-the-go lifestyle.
  • The target user wants to feel that website is current on industry trends

As a early stage start-up, but with senior management and industry expertise, StrombergSport was trying to figure out how to best reach out to and connect with their target demographic. They needed to communicate their industry expertise‚Ȇ but at the same time differentiate themselfes from corporate establishements.

To summarize what I learned, I created a persona to work with moving forward.

Preliminary work started by thinking how to create connection with the user. My background in marketing working for Fortune 500 companies came in handy in terms of finding what type of sport management resources middle management is using. Foremost I was interested to find targeted, high-level consulting and business strategy services. So, I decided to audit various 'competitors pages' from the world of sport management consulting. Below are examples of what I looked at.

First observation I made was the lack of emphasis on creating a feeling. Example pages that I observed were generaly very wordy and uninteresting. Most website are also very outdated in terms of use of technology and user experience. Non of the pages had mobile friendly features and were hard to use on mobile device. Based on what I had learned, that wasn't what Strombergsport's target user wanted. Aside from redesigning the webpage, I thought to create an actual brand templates for Strombergsport digital material (emial, pdf, power point). I'll return to this idea in the next section. Findings from inital observation was that Sport Consulting industry did not use most curent trands for layout, visuals, information, etc. So the next logical step was to audit landing pages for various companies that align with StrombergSport mission statement and business goals. Industry that had most potential was Luxury Hospitality paired with webpages that highlight extreme sports. Below are three examples.

From what I saw, most had one clear action for the user to take. They were explicit in their purpose. I knew this was a trend I wanted to follow, as the target user doesn't have much time and can be easily distracted (middle management are extremly busy)! The visuals were heavy, great photogtraphy was dominating, and the overall style and layout was very minimal.

DESIGN

I knew the design had to be simple and elegant, yet neded to provide enough information for users to consider StrombergSport as a valuable partner.I had to be straightforward and to the point, with focus on: current trends, easy to find inforamtion and visuals that were engaging enough for a user to take an action. All of these things required simplicity, and seamingly imbeded information that was transparent enough for user to take an action, yet insigfull enough for the user to have instant gratification. I revisited all of these points by looking at the magazines, and in particular Architectual Digests, that focused on minimalistic design. I needed to tell the story without leaving user overloaded with information. These are few visuals that captured my attention and help lead visual design.

The minimalistic style was exactly what I was looking for. With this, I turned back to begin designing the branding page template. I needed to decide what to include and what information was most important. The team and I considered:

  • Photos of futuristic sporting venues
  • Prominent "Call to action" feature
  • Real social media photos of extreme sports such as Red Bull Competition
  • Blog feature

We chose to move forward with all features except for social media photos because they're sport focused, and we needed to stay on course with business aspect of sport-focused material. Also we decided to replace blog feature with Twitter live feed. In terms of what it would look like, how the information would be structured, and how the features would play in, I held a design studio.

I wanted users to be able to enjoy photos, to visually consume the feeling of the brand. But I also didn't want photos to dominate the page, without quick visual to where to go next. The team and I played around with a number of options, and decided on a center focus of "call to action" button. The user can scroll down or simply click on "See what we do" button. It was the simplest iteration we had, and it allowed for a nicely compartmentalized page.

Evethough we had a clear idea to proceed with mock ups for the landing page, menu was still an issue. As early on it was decided to simplify text and focus on visual brand experince, "menu" suddenly was not that importan anymore. However it still needed to be part of the landing page experience. It was decided to leave decision making after we conduct A/B testing on the mock-up landing pages.

Finally I put together two high fidelity prototype page to deliver to the president, and ultimatly get approval for A/B testing. Our approach was to design different landing pages with different menu options in order to A/B test how users felt most comfortable navigating site. 'A' in this instance would prompt users to navigate site using upper right "menu", and 'B' would be at the bottom of the landing page.

A/B User Testing

Based on results from A/B test I had studied during the research phase, and inspiration from the modern architectual simplicity I revisited, I was able to design inspired iterations.

I kept in line with my desire to keep the process as simple as possible, which included an interface that is incredibly easy to understand and interact with. I minimized white space like the examples I had seen, incorporating rich photography with minimalistic subject in it. It's clear what is supposed to be accomplished here; visual ingagement without umbiqus distractions.

The value proposition offered to users is reading a live story (tweet) about sports business industry from the industry experts, followed by a clear "call to action" in hopes of converting website visitors into a sucesfull business lead.

StrombergSport.com

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