Hikei, enjoy sports in the easiest way.

An exploration of sports enthusiasts habits aimed at improving their overall experience

USER INTERFACE
UX RESEARCH
USER FLOWS
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
WIREFRAMES
BRANDING

What is Hikei?

Hikei is a social platform made to connect sports enthusiasts of any level and sport preference, allowing them to arrange sport activities in real life.
Furthermore, it is a tool that helps Professional instructors gain visibility and attract new students.

Tools Needed

Figma

Principle

Illustrator

Photoshop

How Hikei was Born?

Not so long ago I was struggling to improve my running pace and increase my course distance.
I usually went running alone and sometimes it was hard to find motivation to wear running shoes and get outside when you got minus degrees or it's raining.
I started to go running with a friend, I instantly felt less fatigue, the hills looked less intimidating, and my motivation went up substantially, I quickly started improving.

This was the trigger to start working on this project, my mission was clear: I wanted to determine if social interactions could be a fuel for helping athletes like me to enjoy more sports activities or to improve their performances.

Target Icon

PROBLEM

Issues and Risks of practicing sport activities alone, Professional instructor management of work

Solution Icon

SOLUTION

Connect sport enthusiasts and professional instructors

My Role Icon

MY ROLE

Research, User flows, information Architecture, Wireframing, Prototyping, UI Design

Preliminary assumptions

if a sport is practiced alone, especially for novices, it is difficult to maintain consistency and pace.
Likewise for athletes, even the most experienced, it’s difficult to "raise the rod" and improve sport performances without having someone to deal with.

Practicing certain sports with others is more cost-effective (e.g. skiing, dividing transportation costs).

Furthermore, some sports (hiking, climbing etc.) if practiced individually can lead to conditions of real danger.

High Fidelity Prototype
Feel free to explore the prototype; here's the list of tasks you can complete:
Onboarding
Registration Flow
Inside the App
Explore the Map
Join Existing Team
Contact a Player
Check Notifications
Schedule Activity
Create a Team
Enroll in a course
Find a coach
Scroll down to see the entire research process that led to this final prototype
Discovery
01. Competitor Analysis

In order to understand how and where to position the application, I conducted a deep analysis of the actual competitors.
I studied their peculiar qualities and all their features.
Several tests were run on different devices to examine most of their features.

Below is the summary of the 5 major competitors

Direct Competitors
Competitor for Social Activities
Indirect Competitor
Smatch
Opensports
Meetup
Shoelace (discontinued)
Facebook
Strenghts
O
Unique Business Model
O
Specific for sport activities
O
Huge list of sports
O
Real interactions
O
Intuitive interface
O
Always free
O
Useful features (ex calendar)
O
Specific for sport activities
O
Huge list of sports
O
Real interactions
O
Intuitive interface
O
Always free
O
Unique Business Model
O
More intimate Social Network
O
Large Community
O
Possibile to create group for any topic
O
Intuitive interface
O
Always free
O
Large User Base
O
Integrations with all Google apps
O
Huge activity List including sports related
O
Real interactions
O
Large User Base
O
Integrations with all Google apps
O
Huge activity List including sports related
O
Real interactions
Weaknesses
O
Uneven Diffusion
O
No instructor's profile
O
No categorization between different skill levels
O
No distance filters
O
Outdated Meetings stay displayed
O
Can't connect another social network to the profile
O
Uneven diffusion
O
It works only for groups but not for individuals
O
No categorization between different skill levels
O
No different features for instructor's profile
O
Pricey for hosts
O
It works only for groups but not for individuals
O
No categorization between different skill levels
O
No profilation of the user, ranked just by distance
O
Not specific for sports
O
Not best reputation (after 2017 scandal)
O
App always updated with new functions
O
It's difficult to filter good content that user care about
O
Not specific for sports
02. Interviews & Surveys

To validate the preliminary assumptions, I sent a survey out to people in the target demographic (20-40 years old and passionate about sports at various levels) to find out if they experienced the hypothesized problems.

I left a few open questions in order to leave room for more accurate answers. This helped me identify issues I needed to take into account.

I then conducted interviews with a different audience. As a result, I gained a deeper understanding of the topic and learned about the habits of users.

The following highlights summarize some of the most significant results of the survey

Survey Participants: 231 (213 athletes, 18 Instructors)
Interviewees: 20
1
Alone or in company ?
79%
COMPANY
21%
ALONE
SHOW LESS
SEE MORE
79% of the entire cross-section believes that practicing a sport in company can produce advantages over performing it alone
The reasons can be summarized as
• More entertainment and fun
• More stimulation in practicing the activity resulting in a greater degree of continuity
• An increase in healthy competition
• Motivating, encouraging, supporting when difficulties arise
• An opportunity to Socialize
• Team sport activities in which company becomes a necessary factor
3
Is it easy to find a sport mate?
48%
HARD
52%
EASY
SHOW LESS
SEE MORE
48% of the interviewees who play sports together often find it difficult to find a person with whom to take part in an activity. The reason behind this can be summarized as follows:
• Difficulty making plans with friends due to different commitments
• Not commonly practiced sport
• Different sports interests from acquaintances
• Friends' laziness
5
What is holding you back from practicing sports?
SHOW LESS
In order to get into sports, people who don't currently practice it find the following incentives helpful:
"It must be feasible near my house"
"Low Costs"
Flexibility in timetables
"Programs defined by an expert instructor"
"Having someone to share it with"
2
Why Alone?
72%
MORE FLEXIBILITY
28%
OTHER
SHOW LESS
SEE MORE
Other reasons include
• Spend some time by myself
• Push myself to the limit
• Have a greater focus on the activity
4
Analog vs Digital
36%
DIGITAL
64%
ANALOG
SHOW LESS
SEE MORE
64% of the interviewees who already play sports do not use sports related mobile applications during before or after the activity
We also note that interviewees that use apps, or 36% of the total almost entirely use activity tracking applications, among which the most common are: (Strava, and Apple software)
6
How do instructors find students?
79%
WORD OF MOUTH
72%
SCHOOLS, GYMS
67%
SOCIAL NETWORKS
SHOW LESS
SEE MORE
An important fact that we note is that only 6% use smartphone applications to find students
We also note that the instructors' difficulties in finding new customers can be summarized as follows:
• Without the use of intermediaries (schools, fitness centers, hotels), it is hard to find customers
• Ethical problems in the use of social networks
• Too many competitors
• The ability to transmit passion
Want to see the complete questionnaire?
TAKE ME TO THE QUESTIONNAIRE
03. User Personas

During the interviews, I was able to identify various aspects that differentiate the target users.
These fictional characters represent the three most common users of the app, "The Instructor", "The Expert Athlete" and "The Sporty Newbie".
I was able to focus on the needs of the target by thinking about the app's features based on the user's personas.
Below is the summary of some significant results of the survey

04. Customer Journey Mapping

Customer Journey maps provided a more detailed view of these Personas, enabling me to study their actions, desires, feelings, and touchpoints in order to create the most friction-free and effective user experience for them.

“I Want to teach and find new students”
1 - Organic Search
2 - App store and downloading
3 - App profilation
4 - Creation of the course
5 - Course applications
?
Touchpoints
The Touchpoints are the various steps in the broader customer journey map; they can be both digital and physical points.
Smartphone,
Facebook App
Smartphone,
App Store
Hikei Mobile App
Hikei Mobile App
Hikei Mobile App, Instructor's Gym
Actions
Federico while navigating on Facebook come across the AD of our app
He lands on the app store and he starts reading the features of the app, he is curious and he decides to try the app
He installs the app on her device and proceeds with the registration and profiling process
He navigates inside the app and he starts creating a course
Users start to enroll in the created courses, The teacher contact the participants
Thoughts & Concerns
“i need to find students”
“The app seems to fullfill my needs”
“I hope registration is quick”
“I’m not sure who can see my created courses”
“The app works, i want to recommend it”
?
Opportunities
What we can do to provide a better experience for the user?
what channels
we have to use?
Google AD, SEO
CTA based on instructor's needs
ADS on Social Networks
Clear CTA, good Promise
Clear Features explanation
Link to App store
Meaningful Walkthrough
Quick Registration Process
Optional Steps during registration Process
Share the course on Social Networks
Notificate how many people the instructor reaches
Email Confirmation
Add Event to Calendar
Billboards in Gyms?
“I Want to learn a new sport very soon”
1 - Organic Search
2 - Landing on
the website
3 - Downloading the Mobile App
4 - Inside the
Mobile App
5 - Course Enrollment
?
Touchpoints
The Touchpoints are the various steps in the broader customer journey map; they can be both digital and physical points.
Smartphone,
Google Search
Smartphone,
Hikei Landing page
Hikei Mobile App
Hikei Mobile App
Hikei Mobile App, Instructor's Gym
Actions
Francesca performs a Google search, typing “Boxe courses, Milan”
She lands for the first time on the website and navigates around the website to find out if she’s in the right place
She installs the app on her device and proceeds with the registration and profiling process
She finds in the app some instructors and courses nearby
She enrolls and performs the course on field
Thoughts & Concerns
“I want to start a course very soon”
“I want to find a professional instructor that’s close to my area/near to me”
“I hope registration is quick”
“I’m not sure if the course and instructor fit my actual needs”
“I want to keep my training even at home”
?
Opportunities
What we can do to provide a better experience for the user?
what channels
we have to use?
Google AD, SEO
Straight-to-the-point CTA
ADS on Social Networks
Straight-to-the-point CTA
Features Explanation
Link to App store
Meaningful Walkthrough
Quick Registration Process
Optional Steps during registration Process
Add instructor &
Courses Reviews
Matching User nearby
Extra video content on the app
Add Event to Calendar
Billboards in Gyms?
Ask User to leave a review
"I want to get more physically active"
1 - Organic Search
2 - Landing on
the website
3 - Registration Process
4 - Inside the
Mobile App
5 - Performing the activity
?
Touchpoints
The Touchpoints are the various steps in the broader customer journey map; they can be both digital and physical points.
Smartphone,
Google Search
Smartphone,
Hikei Landing page
Hikei Mobile App
Hikei Mobile App
Hikei Mobile App, Instructor’s Gym
Actions
Maria decides she needs to get in shape, she searches on Google for apps that will help her workout
When Maria scrolls through the app store, she finds a list of apps, reads the description, and selects one.
She installs the app on her device and completes the registration
In the app, she becomes familiar with it and searches for nearby users
Maria texts a user who lives near her. They get to know each other a bit and then schedule a run together. As a result of completing the activity and scheduling the routine, they decide to meet again.
Thoughts & Concerns
“I want to get in shape and I want to do it at my own pace”
“I’m not sure which app fits my needs”
“I hope registration is quick”
"I'm hesitant to share my position because I'm worried about my privacy."
I'm on my way to becoming more fit
?
Opportunities
What we can do to provide a better experience for the user?
what channels
we have to use?
Google AD, SEO
Straight-to-the-point CTA
ADS on Social Networks
Straight-to-the-point CTA
Features Explanation
Link to App store
Meaningful Walkthrough
Quick Registration Process
Optional Steps during registration Process
Add instructor &
Courses Reviews
Tutorial when user enters in the app
Matching User nearby
Video content on the app
Add Event to Calendar
Billboards in Gyms?
Ask User to leave a review
05. Card Sorting

As a way of defining the Macro sections and functionalities of the mobile app I performed a card sorting test with three target users.
In addition, I allowed users to place a number token on each card, so that I could use that to determine what functionality should be prioritised (1 high priority, 5 low priority).

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, I used a board game online platform to create the cards and I shared them with 3 people in target to perform the test online.

Inbox
Personal
Profile
1
Home/Feed
New
Activity
2
Explore
1
Notifications
Settings
Stories
Activities
Courses
Followers
Profile Info
Search
Team
Athletes
Followings
Preferred
Sports
Athletes
Find
Friends
Instructors
My Courses
Instructors
My Activities
Define
01. Information Architecture

With the information gathered through card sorting, I set up the information architecture of the application. I decided to create two slightly different architectures, one for the Player's profile and one for the Instructor's profile, based on the different goals that each stakeholder wishes to accomplish.

PLAYER'S
PLAYER'S
INSTRUCTOR'S
INSTRUCTOR'S
02. User Task Flows

I designed user flows in such a way as to keep the completion of specific tasks easy and intuitive for the users. This helped me to retain a user-centric approach while keeping a strong focus on the project.

Ideation
01. Actors, Actions and Components

Thanks to Research and validation i was able to get a clear idea of the “powers” and features that each type of user should have in order to accomplish each respective goal. this was really helpful to clarify doubts and as a starting point to begin working on wireframes.

ACTORS
Main Actors
The Player

Is the main actor of the community, she/he can selects preferred sports and for each one choose a specific skill level (Beginner, Intermediate, Expert)

O
Contact other Athletes
O
Enroll
in courses
O
Schedule
activities
O
Create and
join Teams
O
Contact Instructors
O
Find specific sports
💪 Superpowers
The Instructor

The instructor's profile can display the sports he teaches and show professional certificates

O
Scheduling Courses
O
Be contacted by players
O
Direct
Feedback
O
Setting Payments
O
Upload Content
💪 Superpowers
The Team

A group composed by players. The Team can be both a meeting point for players of a specific sport or it can include multiple sports

2nd Level Actor
ACTIVITY COMPONENT

The activity is the main element of the application, it can be created by any player.
Creating an activity is not mandatory every time, but it’s the only action that allows users to find multiple people at once and is essential in case of a team sport activity.

SKILL DIFFERENTIATION

The player can choose between 3 different skill levels in each sport preference.
I came up with this solution in order to keep three significant macro groups without needing further exceptions.
The user will choose the appropriate skill based on auto-evaluation.

BEGINNER
INTERMEDIATE
EXPERT
COURSE COMPONENT

This course card can be created only by a certified instructor, inside the course there is a private section visible only by those attending the course.

ACTIVITY COMPONENT

To define how the application works, I studied the functionalities of some competitor app such as Rovo and Smatch, in order to discover possible pain points that their mechanics might have, this helped me to structure a working mechanism easy to use and able to work over time.

Many Activities fall into oblivion buried under many other more recent similar activities.
Consequently, some users fail their objective (e.g. find a sports mate).

Therefore, I then realized that i have to find a way to solve this problem in my app!

CREATE AN ACTIVITY PROCESS

In the process of creating their profile the players are able to set a distance range within which they can be spotted by other users. The selected distance can be easily changed at a later time inside the app settings

1
Maria finds Vanessa, a player with the same level and sport preferences
2
Maria sends a direct message to Vanessa
2
After chatting and knowing each other they decide to schedule a football match
4
Maria has 2 options, she can either extend the activity to the whole community or she can keep it private between her and Vanessa instead.
02. Wireframes

After finishing the first part dedicated to user research, I started developing some paper wireframes for the main features of the app. After testing and iterating the wireframes multiple times, i came up with high-fidelity wireframes.

WALKTHROUGH
SIGN UP / SIGN IN
PLAYER'S REGISTRATION FLOW
PLAYER'S FLOW: CREATING AN ACTIVITY
PLAYER'S FLOW: CREATING A TEAM
PLAYER'S FLOW: ENROLLING IN A COURSE
INSTRUCTOR'S FLOW: CREATE COURSE
Validation
01. Usability Testing

The final step was testing the app to understand whether users find it easy and enjoyable to use

I sent to every participant a brief explanation with some basic informations about the app and a list of tasks they had to perform.

Based on the rate of success of the required tasks, I've evaluated the current interface's performance

The participants chosen for the test are the same who carried out the interviews

The feedback generated helped me to identify and correct critical areas and flaws to resolve.

This is a simplified version of the project; the full version can be accessed via a desktop device.

What is Hikei?

Hikei is a social platform made to connect sports enthusiasts of any level and sport preference, allowing them to arrange sport activities in real life.
Furthermore, it is a tool that helps Professional instructors gain visibility and attract new students.

How Hikei platform is Born?

Not so long ago I was struggling to improve my running pace and increase my course distance.

I usually went running alone and sometimes it was hard to find motivation to wear running shoes and get outside when you got minus degrees or it's raining.

I started to go running with a friend, I instantly felt less fatigue, the hills looked less intimidating, and my motivation went up substantially, I quickly started improving.

This was the trigger to start working on this project, my mission was clear: I'd like to determine if social interactions could be a fuel for helping athletes like me to enjoy more sports activities or to improve their performances.

Do athletes face challenges when arrange or practice a sport?

I conducted 20 interviews and 231 people participated in this survey The target audience was composed of 20-40 years old passionate about sports, from amateur to professional athletes. The goal was to determine what are the pain points that athletes encounter when they arrange and practice a sport activity, The following are a few of the results obtained.

You can check the detailed results from a desktop device.

1
Alone or
in company ?
79%
COMPANY
21%
ALONE
SHOW LESS
SEE MORE
79% of the entire cross-section believes that practicing a sport in company can produce advantages over performing it alone
The reasons can be summarized as
• More entertainment and fun
• More stimulation in practicing the activity resulting in a greater degree of continuity
• An increase in healthy competition
• Motivating, encouraging, supporting when difficulties arise
• An opportunity to Socialize
• Team sport activities in which company becomes a necessary factor
2
Why Alone?
72%
MORE FLEXIBILITY
28%
OTHER
SHOW LESS
SEE MORE
Other reasons include
• Spend some time by myself
• Push myself to the limit
• Have a greater focus on the activity

The Next steps of the Project

In addition to interviews and surveys I researched if there were similar services/platforms already available and I studied their unique features.

My next step was to design the user flows and the information architecture of the app in order to make the task completion as simple as possible. The following step was working on screen wireframes and a prototype of the app i then tested and iterated thanks to feedbacks from the target users

The last step was creating a design system and turning the raw wireframes into pixel perfect screens

O Competitor Analysis
O Interviews & Surveys
O User Personas
O Customer Journey Mapping
O Information Architecture
O User Task Flows
O Wireframe Prototype
O Design System - User Interface

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Prototype
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Ideation
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