Tribe

- Encouraging engagement in football, to tackle social isolation in older adults -  

Tribe

- Encouraging engagement in football, to tackle social isolation in older adults -  

'How might increased engagement in football be used as a medium for tackling social isolation in older adults'

The Problem

For people who are isolated there are barriers that limit how much they can engage with football; ranging from accessibility and their own mobility to knowledge about the team or suitable platforms they can connect and engage through.

The Opportunity

To revitalise the deep routed connection that football creates between fans in those who may have lost it as they've grown older and stopped engaging; to help ease their feelings of social isolation by reconnecting them to society through a medium they have genuine interest and passion for.


The Solution

'Tribe' is a two-part service that begins with an interactive TV experience; allowing users to watch a live match in their home and interact with others doing the same. This is followed by a social event in a 360° VR igloo, bringing these users together to enjoy a shared VR viewing experience of another live match. The service allows socially isolated older adults to engage and watch their team; interacting with others who share their interest in the sport and giving them the opportunity to rebuild a network of friends they've lost over time.

'How might increased engagement in football be used as a medium for tackling social isolation in older adults'

The Problem

For people who are isolated there are barriers that limit how much they can engage with football; ranging from accessibility and their own mobility to knowledge about the team or suitable platforms they can connect and engage through.

The Opportunity

To revitalise the deep routed connection that football creates between fans in those who may have lost it as they've grown older and stopped engaging; to help ease their feelings of social isolation by reconnecting them to society through a medium they have genuine interest and passion for.


The Solution

'Tribe' is a two-part service that begins with an interactive TV experience; allowing users to watch a live match in their home and interact with others doing the same. This is followed by a social event in a 360° VR igloo, bringing these users together to enjoy a shared VR viewing experience of another live match. The service allows socially isolated older adults to engage and watch their team; interacting with others who share their interest in the sport and giving them the opportunity to rebuild a network of friends they've lost over time.

THE PROCESS

THE BRIEF 

This project began with an open brief; to improve fan engagement in football. This would then be re-focused through research as the project progressed and the topic was explored in greater detail. 

Early Research  

The project began with some general secondary research into the topic that covered a variety of influencing factors, ranging from the effects of money and tourism through to the relationship between fans and their club; to understand the sport and its fans, the role of engagement and the factors that influence it - why might people be disengaging with it? and how can we prevent this from happening? 

1 – money

Impact of money
on clubs/fans

Impact of money
on clubs/fans

club and supporters

Fan/club 
(dis)connection 

Fan/club 
(dis)connection 

2 – tourism

Tourisms effect 
on atmosphere

Tourisms effect 
on atmosphere

50+1

German club
model comparison

German club
model comparison

3 – stadium

Standing vs
seated stadiums

Standing vs
seated stadiums

I also looked at a competitive analysis of current solutions surrounding fan engagement and what is currently being done to promote this, both within football and around other sports. These solutions ranged from changing the format of the sport through to introducing new products to complement the viewing experience.  

Big Bash League – Adelaide Strikers v Sydney Sixers

20/20 Big Bash Cricket

Established to attract new fans to the sport and excite existing ones - has been a resounding success.

golf

USGA Golf App

Gives fans personalised content to keep them more informed while they watch live or at home.

stadium digital resized

Stadium Digital

A platform to revolutionise the way fans connect with sports teams; at home and in-stadium.

Unpacking Assumptions

The 5 W’s and H are a tool I used to unpack my assumptions about the project before more detailed research began, to help me focus and refine my research objectives; and the best methods to use to achieve these.

5w’s and H 3

The focus here was to explore what is known/assumed about each area following on from my initial research, therefore highlighting what else needs to be found out - and involved considering 6 questions:

Who will the potential users be?

Who will the potential users be?

What problems will the product solve?

What problems will the product solve?

Why should people use the product?

Why should people use the product?

When do you expect them to use the product?

When do you expect them to use the product?

Where will the product be used?

How will they use the product?

EXPLORING ENGAGEMENT 

With a better understanding of the project topic, I wanted to explore what it actually means to engage - allowing me to map out the bigger picture and the environment of fan engagement and its different variants.

Experience Mapping

I began by mapping the football fan experience when engaging with their team before, during and after the match, focusing specifically on:

  • Touchpoints of the match
  • What they're thinking, feeling and doing while engaging
  • Key painpoints of the experience
  • Any areas of opportunity for new innovation
first experience maps 2

From this experience mapping process it became clear that there are multiple levels of touchpoints with the match that fans can access (face to face live, mediated real-time and mediated not real-time), allowing me to map these out and visualise at which stage a new solution might take effect:

live

The live touchpoint takes two key forms; the stadium experience where the fan is part of the collective crowd supporting their team, and fans discussing the match between themselves; both during the live experience and away from it on digital platforms.

The live touchpoint takes two key forms; the stadium experience where the fan is part of the collective crowd supporting their team, and fans discussing the match between themselves; both during the live experience and away from it on digital platforms.

mediated realtime

Fans can engage away from the live experience but still in real time. This can be done either at home or at the pub; through tv broadcasters such as Sky Sports, BT Sport or similar. They can also access online streams and mobile updates, or other live touchpoints like fantasy football or sports betting. 

mediated not realtime

Fans are also able to engage with the match after its been played, through highlights and match reports; allowing them to live the experience in a different way and not in real time. They can also engage by checking for general news on players, fixtures, transfers and other information.

richness of experience

The main touchpoints of the match were then placed on a scale to visualise the richness of each experience, to understand which of these is the most immersive way for a fan to engage with their team, and where a new solution might be most effective. 

Creative Brainstorming  

I created some mind-maps to start to consider all the possible relationships people have with the club, and how these are affected in relation to their engagement. At this stage, this exercise was assumption based, and was used to help me scope out this area in greater detail - unpacking 7 key questions: 

  • Why do fans not go to live matches? - What barriers are there and how can these be overcome?
  • How does football connect people? - Who does it connect and how?
  • What does it mean to engage? - What levels are there and which fans engage in different ways?
  • Issues around watching at home/pub? - Main things missing from each one?
  • What makes fans feel connected to their club? - Can one of these be tapped into?
  • Why might fans start to disengage? - What negatively impacts the club/fan connection?
  • Technologies around football? - Could this data be used to enhance the viewing experience? 

 

  • Why do fans not go to live matches?
    What barriers are there and how can these be overcome?

  • How does football connect people?
    Who does it connect and how?

  • What does it mean to engage?
    What levels are there and which fans engage in different ways?

  • Issues around watching at home/pub?
    Main things missing from each one?

  • What makes fans feel connected to their club?
    Can one of these be tapped into?

  • Why might fans start to disengage?
    What negatively impacts the club/fan connection?

  • Technologies around football?
    Could this data be used to enhance the viewing experience? 
brainstorm questions 4

NARROWING THE FOCUS 

Having unpacked the wider scope of the brief, I wanted to begin to define my focus further and explore it more depth. To do this I needed to understand some of the key factors that combine within the football fan experience.

Unpacking the Live Match Experience

In order to start narrowing into a more defined focus and understand how to bring the live match experience to users, I needed to unpack what the match experience is and the role of personal relationships within this - breaking it down into what fans see, hear and feel, along with whats missing. 

unpacking the match experience

Understanding Football Fans

Secondary research to begin to look into the culture of being a football fan, and how this has changed over time, to develop a greater understanding of what it means to be a fan, their inspiration and motivation, the effects of this social experience on people and how this might influence a design solution in this project.

football ultras resized

Extreme Fans (Ultra's)

Fans who engage the most with their team, occasionally to a point of violence. 

Extreme Fans (Ultra's)

Fans who engage the most with their team, occasionally to a point of violence

football hooliganism

Football Fan Culture

Hooliganism in the 1980's and comparisons between this and the modern football era.

Football Fan Culture

Hooliganism in the 1980's and comparisons between this and the modern football era.

what it means to be a fan resized

What it means to be a fan

The emotion of being a fan, the passion of their support and the belonging to a 'tribe' of fans.

What it means to be a fan

The emotion of being a fan, the passion of their support and the belonging to a 'tribe' of fans.

Technology in Football

Research into technology currently used in elite football, and considering possible future technologies that could be introduced, to identify where something the promotes engagement might work within the current football landscape - and whether it can utilise any current technology being used.

  • Goal line technology
  • Wearable technology
  • Goal line technology
  • Wearable technology
  • Video referee's
  • Player tracking/Camera's
  • Video referee's
  • Player tracking/Camera's
  • VR and AR
  • Biomechanics/Wearables
  • VR and AR
  • Biomechanics/Wearables

Football's Social Impact

Watching a football match is often something done in the company of others, whether it be with strangers at a live match or in a pub, with family members or friends, or a combination of all three. The impact on this experience socially is an important factor in encouraging people to engage, and further research highlighted two key areas:

Family and Friends:

Football can link the shared experiences of family members across generations, creating a lasting sense of tradition and belonging.


Football can link the shared experiences of family members across generations, creating a lasting sense of tradition and belonging.


Supporting a team becomes a group event that unifies the entire family; with different opinions and viewpoints from different members.

Supporting a team becomes a group event that unifies the entire family; with different opinions and viewpoints from different members.

The presence of a friend or family member when watching a match can often enhance the enjoyment felt, regardless of the result.

The presence of a friend or family member when watching a match can often enhance the enjoyment felt, regardless of the result.

Personal Happiness:

Being part of a fan base has been linked to higher levels of well-being and happiness with one's social life, as well as lower levels of loneliness.

Being part of a fan base has been linked to higher levels of well-being and happiness with one's social life, as well as lower levels of loneliness.

Simply identifying with a team can give people well being benefits. Rather than relying on the success of the team, it's down to how community lifts peoples spirits.

Simply identifying with a team can give people well being benefits. Rather than relying on the success of the team, it's down to how community lifts peoples spirits.

Sports fans are simply another kind of community; connecting to one another through their shared love of one team.

Sports fans are simply
another kind of community; connecting to one another through their shared love of one team.

“The simple fact is that people are looking for ways to identify with something,
to feel a sense of belonging with a group of like-minded individuals”

“The simple fact is that people are looking for ways to identify with something, to feel a sense of belonging with a group of like-minded individuals”

- Sports Psychology professor Daniel Wann of Murray State University.

This research highlighted to me the important impact that other people can have on peoples experiences, especially within the context of watching football and supporting a team, and how the sport can often help people feel less isolated and alone.

Fans Becoming Isolated

My previous research had highlighted that supporting a football team can help people who suffer from social isolation and loneliness, and I wanted to explore this area further to consider whether football could be used as a route through which to reconnect elderly people to one another. 

causes of social isolation in fans

Why do elderly fans stop engaging and lose connection with other fans? 

Why do elderly fans stop engaging and lose connection with other fans? 

 

  • Lack of knowledge about team
  • Lost contact with other fans
  • No one to go to matches with
  • Unable to attend matches
  • Lack of knowledge about team
  • Lost contact with other fans
  • No one to go to matches with
  • Unable to attend matches

Current solutions targeting this issue with football - Are there any and how effective are they?


Current solutions targeting this issue with football - Are there any and how effective are they?

  • West Ham 'Any Old Irons' - Celebrate and explore clubs history, meet people, reconnect.
  • AIK Senior Club Members - Walking out with elderly fans before a match to celebrate them.
  • SPFL Trust 'Festive Friends' - Have a warm Christmas meal at the stadium and meet other fans.
  • West Ham 'Any Old Irons' - Celebrate and explore clubs history, meet people, reconnect.
  • AIK Senior Club Members - Walking out with elderly fans before a match to celebrate them.
  • SPFL Trust 'Festive Friends' - Have a warm Christmas meal at the stadium and meet other fans.
AIK old fans any old irons and festive friends

These current solutions are going some way towards easing feelings of isolation:

But how much do they really encourage people
to engage with the team and with other fans?

Having done this research I felt that football could be used more prominently to help reconnect fans that had become disengaged and isolated from one another.

bob

Photo via QuoteSurf

This quote gave me some further insight into what it means to be a football fan, and how a fans engagement can be encouraged by factors beyond the teams performances - centred around their genuine love for the team, and enhanced by the experience being shared by one another. 

PRIMARY RESEARCH 

The secondary research during the exploration stage of this project highlighted the need to bring the live match atmosphere to fans at home/in the pub to encourage them to engage more. However, primary research was needed to help define the final design direction for this process.  

Research Questions  

I wanted to understand the different parts of the live match experience and where it could be improved, along with more general information about fan engagement. I could then use this research and apply it to a specific design direction and problem to solve, later in the project. To do this I had a series of general research questions that focused on three key areas fan engagement:




                               The Live Match Experience:

  • When do fans feel most connected to each other/the team?
  • What are the pain points of watching the match live?
  • What are the key/best aspects of the live match experience?
  • What makes fans feel connected to each other and their team?
  • What do fans value most when watching a live match?

                         Watching away from the Live Match:

  • What is the typical viewing experience at home/in the pub?
  • What are the pain points of watching away from the live match?
  • Touch points of the match available to fans at home/in the pub?
  • What do fans value most when watching at home/in the pub?

                                   Engaging in General:

  • What does it mean to engage with football/a specific team?
  • When do fans feel most connected with their team?
  • Why do fans engage with their team/football as a whole?
  • What effect do personal relationships have on engagement?
  • How can football impact people socially?

Service Safari's 

I used service safari's to experience the process of watching a match and identify which factors combine to make a live football experience what it is; and which of these contribute the most to encouraging fan engagement. This took the form of three safari's, each focusing on a different factor:

6 – what they see

What fans see

7 – what they hear

What fans hear

8 – personal relationships

Social relationships

Within each of these research trips, I also looked to identify the different touch-points of a live match, incidents that increase or decrease engagement, when fans seem most connected to one another and why, and the best parts of watching a match live.

 

What Fans See:

The first service safari used a narrative camera to document the experience visually; a simple clip on camera that automatically takes pictures every 30 seconds, giving an accurate representation of what a fan see’s and experiences when watching a match.

 

This process was separated into three sections; walking to the stadium, watching the match and then leaving the stadium; along with key moments of the day at each of these stages. It focused mainly on the atmosphere within the crowd and the discussion and interaction between fans. 

 What Fans Hear:

A second audio service safari focused on what fans hear during the match; which specific sounds can stimulate engagement and which parts of the audio experience are most important in terms of creating an engaging and immersive atmosphere. I also wanted to understand, through crowd noise, when fans are most engaged with that they are watching.

This process highlighted the importance of sound within the live match, and how integral it is in encouraging engagement and making it a really enjoyable and immersive experience for fans. It showed how the collective crowd can influence one another as they become more immersed in the match, as smaller groups of fans can encourage the rest of the crowd to chant/clap for their team.

 Social Relationships at the Match:

The final service safari focused on the social aspect of the football experience and the relationships within this environment. I looked to see when fans are most together and connected, as well as the dynamics of family and personal relationships during the match and over the course of the day.

This final research session highlighted the multigenerational nature of football, with a mix of lots of different ages of fans all going together. It also showed a real sense of identity with fans and their teams colours which is almost tribal, with two sets of fans competing to be the loudest and support their team the best.

Overall I saw a sense togetherness within the crowd between family members, but also friends and sometimes complete strangers at key moments, and it highlighted the importance of a social connection at a match and the contribution it makes to the overall experience.

Experience Mapping

Previously in this project, when doing experience mapping, I felt that it was a method that might be best suited being used later in the project by fans who are actively watching their team at the time. As part of my primary research I asked some fans to fill in experience map while they were watching their team either at home or at a pub/social setting - to understand this experience in more detail. 

second experience maps 2

Each fan was asked to fill out the experience map before, during and after the match had taken place, noting down information on 6 main sections:

  • The touchpoints they used to engage with the match (TV, online, betting etc)
  • What they were thinking, feeling and doing at the time
  • The main painpoints of the experience
  • Any ideas they had on how the experience could be improved

The main focus here was on understanding the process of watching a team away from the live match, and highlighting its limitations and where it could be improved from a fan engagement perspective. 

Each fan was asked to fill out the experience map before, during and after the match had taken place, noting down information on 6 main sections:

  • The touchpoints they used to engage with the match (TV, online, betting etc)
  • What they were thinking, feeling and doing at the time
  • The main painpoints of the experience
  • Any ideas they had on how the experience could be improved

The main focus here was on understanding the process of watching a team away from the live match, and highlighting its limitations and where it could be improved from a fan engagement perspective. 

Fan Interviews

The final interviews with fans, who have engaged with their team both at live matches at home/in the pub, focused on giving context to the findings of the previous research methods. I wanted to explore the various parts of each of these experiences, understanding when these fans feel most connected to their team and each other and identifying how this feeling can be maximised and delivered in the most effective way in the home/pub environment. 

CHOOSING A DIRECTION 

At this stage the focus of my project was still too broad, and I needed to decide on a final design direction - for what purpose was I bringing the live match experience to fans and encouraging their engagement?

The Three Options

My research had led me to a choice of three potential design directions to go down:

9 – home viewing experience
10 – fantasy football
11 – social isolation

Home Viewing Experience:

While the home viewing experience is better than its ever been, with lucrative television deals leading to high quality and detailed coverage of more games than ever before, it still has a series of shortcomings that could be improved. 

Home Viewing Experience:

While the home viewing experience is better than its ever been, with lucrative television deals leading to high quality and detailed coverage of more games than ever before, it still has a series of shortcomings that could be improved. 

Fantasy Football/Match Predictions:

Fantasy football creates interest from fans in matches they usually wouldn’t care about, so this platform could be a method of encouraging people to engage in football who usually don’t take much of an interest in it.

Fantasy Football/Match Predictions:

Fantasy football creates interest from fans in matches they usually wouldn’t care about, so this platform could be a method of encouraging people to engage in football who usually don’t take much of an interest in it.

Tackling Social Isolation:

For older fans growing older can mean they start to disengage with their team and fellow fans, leading to isolation. Football could help reconnect them and help them rebuild a network of friends they may have lost over time.

Tackling Social Isolation:

For older fans growing older can mean they start to disengage with their team and fellow fans, leading to isolation. Football could help reconnect them and help them rebuild a network of friends they may have lost over time.

THE FOCUS - TACKLING SOCIAL ISOLATION THROUGH FOOTBALL

"How can engagement in football be used as a medium for tackling social isolation? - Could it be used to reconnect older fans to their team, other fans or old friends, or simply reintegrate them back into society through something they're passionate about"

THE FOCUS - TACKLING SOCIAL ISOLATION THROUGH FOOTBALL

"How can engagement in football be used as a medium for tackling social isolation? - Could it be used to reconnect older fans to their team, other fans or old friends, or simply reintegrate them back into society through something they're passionate about"

THE PROBLEM

For people who are socially isolated, there are barriers that limit how much they can engage with football, which vary from accessibility and their own mobility, to areas such as knowledge about the team or suitable platforms they can connect and engage through. 

Isolated man

Photo via Flikr

THE OPPORTUNITY

My research showed how football can have an amazingly positive impact on people both socially and emotionally; watching the sport and supporting a team can create deep and lasting memories, forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones - between people of all ages and backgrounds.  I believe this deep routed connection, that might have been lost as people grow older and have less contact with the sport, can be revitalised with a new product or service - helping to reconnect people to society through a medium they have genuine interest and passion for.

Understanding Social Isolation 

In order to tackle social isolation through football, I needed to understand exactly what it is, its causes, the people affected, and how this issue is currently being tackled, both within the football landscape and outside it. To do this, I looked at a report from AgeUK:

"Social isolation is a state of complete or near-complete
lack of contact between an individual and society"

- AgeUK, Loneliness and Isolation Evidence Review

ageUk evidence review

 What are the facts?

 What are the facts?

3.8million

million people aged 65+ live alone in the UK.

million people aged 65+ live alone in the UK.

7%

of 65+ year olds said they were often lonely.

of 65+ year olds said they were often lonely.

31%

of 65+ year olds said they were sometimes lonely.

of 65+ year olds said they were sometimes lonely.

50%

of 80+ year olds said they feel a lack of companionship.

of 80+ year olds said they feel a lack of companionship.

Methods of easing it?

Having friends
is a more important factor in warding off loneliness than frequent contact with these friends

Having friends
is a more important factor in warding off loneliness than frequent contact with these friends

Befriending schemes
and group activities are particularly useful in helping people out of loneliness and isolation.

Intergenerational contact 
is another factor that has proven to be very effective in combating loneliness

 
Where does football come in?

People who took part in at least two cultural or sporting activities in the last year were:

70%

of people aged
25-64 years old

64.5%

of people aged
65-74 years old

45.2%

of people aged
75+ years old

Participating in leisure, social, cultural and spiritual activities in the community, as well as with the family, allows older people to continue to exercise their competence, to enjoy respect and esteem, and to maintain or establish supportive and caring relationships - highlighting the positive role football could play in helping older adults feel less isolated and alone.

PRIMARY RESEARCH ANALYSIS

I then needed to take my research and use it to craft out an opportunity for a new product that tackles the problem of social isolation, along with key insights and guiding design principles to drive the design during the development phase - ensuring the final result is grounded in user research.

Affinity Mapping process used to analyse and organise research findings

Key Insights  

key insight 1

Clubs could do more

To engage their fans away from the live match, and put more emphasis on integrating with the local community.

HMW Give fans a greater sense of
their club’s community involvement?


HMW Encourage clubs to engage
fans more away from the match?

key insight 3

Varying Reasons for Support

Fans support their team because its part of who they are, and have a desire to make an impact on the teams performance.

HMW Help reignite the fans love
and passion for the team?

HMW Give fans away from the live match
a voice, as part of the live crowd?

key insight 5

Make it memorable:

Memories are a key part of the live match experience, and creating new ones is a primary reason for engaging with the team, especially with friends/family.

HMW allow fans to create lasting
memories of the full day experience?

HMW provide an experience that
engages the entire family?

key insight 7

Opinions and Discussion:

Fans enjoy discussion between one another and actively look to share opinions and views on the team, along expert opinions of ex-players.

HMW Facilitate more live discussion
between fans while the match is on?

HMW Provide fans better access to
the opinions of ex-professionals?

Opinions and Discussion:

Fans enjoy discussion between one another and actively look to share opinions and views on the team, along expert opinions of ex-players.

HMW Facilitate more live discussion
between fans while the match is on?

HMW Provide fans better access to
the opinions of ex-professionals?

key insight 2

Diverse & Detailed Information

Technology plays a big part in engagement, and fans have a need for tailored information specific to their preferences.

HMW allow fans to personalise
the information they receive?

HMW use technology to make betting
and fantasy football more immersive?

key insight 4

Social Impact of Football

Football can bridge the social gap between people, connect generations, and create lasting relationships between fans.

HMW do more to facilitate different
ages connecting through football?

HMW Use footballs social benefits
to reconnect disengaged fans?

key insight 6

Fan Connection:

Fans feel most connected when sharing the experience with one another, and this deep connection is what drives their engagement with their team.

HMW provide shared experience for
people who are alone?

HMW translate the collective feeling
of a live match to home/the pub?

key insight 8

Live Match Key Features:

A lack of a proper match atmosphere will limit engagement, and can make fans feel like they're not getting the full experience.

HMW translate the live atmosphere
to those away from the match?

HMW use music to create/enhance
fan engagement and support?

THE VISION 

Having analysed my research and focused it into 8 key insights to drive the ideation and development stage, I had a clear UX vision of what the final product or service will do, and the design principles that would guide its definition:

"The product or service looks to use football to tackle the issue of social isolation in older adults in the UK. The aim is to rejuvenate their passion for their team or the sport; by giving them better access, information and integration with other fans - away from the live match-day experience"

Guiding Design Principles 

The extensive background and primary research into this project had identified some key design principles that I felt were essential if the final product or service were to be effective in tackling social isolation by encouraging engagement. I used these to help guide the project through the design and development stage; ensuring the solution is grounded in the research already undertaken:

12 – shared experience

 Shared Experience:

As seen throughout my research, a shared experience really enhances how much fans enjoy engaging with their team, and so the final solution should emphasise this, and can do so in three ways:

Connect People

Provide an environment in which people are comfortable to socialise with others and bond through a shared interest in the sport.

Connect People

Provide an environment in which people are comfortable to socialise with others and bond through a shared interest in the sport.

Create Relationships

Offer the chance to form new friendships and create new memories with people, and rebuild a social network.

Create Relationships

Offer the chance to form new friendships and create new memories with people, and rebuild a social network.

Multigenerational 

Connect the older generation with younger fans, utilising the knowledge of each group on different areas of football. 

13 – user communication

 Communication:

Again, research showed the importance of communication and discussion between
fans; who like to share their opinions and hear the views of others too, and so
communication should be a key part of a solution:

Retain Communication

Facilitate communication away from just the football experience, and allow users to continue to communicate after its finished. 

Technology

Integrate technology into the final product or service to support the delivery of the live match atmosphere to users.

Community

Re-develop clubs ties with the local community, and create more of a connection between the club and individual fans.

14 – match atmosphere

 Atmosphere:

The atmosphere of the live experience was consistently identified as the best and most engaging part of watching a team, and should be a key part of the final product or service - generating: 

Engaging Atmosphere

Bringing the live match atmosphere into to a different environment; creating a feeling of anticipation and excitement for the match. 

Collective Feeling

Create the feeling that the people present are part of one collective group, with the same desire for the team to do well.

Benefit the Team

Help fans feel like they’re contributing to the success of the team and helping them, as part of the stadium crowd.

EARLY IDEATION 

The information I had gained through discovery research allowed me to begin generating some basic design concepts in response to the UX vision, problem and guiding principles that had been identified.

Initial Concepts 

The exercise involved generating a series of concepts that looked to tackle the problem of social isolation through football, in a variety of different ways and providing very different experiences - the focus here was to get a high quantity of diverse ideas.

The red and blue boxes represented a feasibility rating scale; from a safe, easy and possible ‘boring’ concept (blue) through to a very innovative and ‘blue-sky’ idea (red), with an overlap to show ideas that were a good balance of both. 

The red and blue boxes represented a feasibility rating scale; from a safe, easy and possible ‘boring’ concept (blue) through to a very innovative and ‘blue-sky’ idea (red), with an overlap to show ideas that were a good balance of both. 

There were no limits here on how ‘blue-sky’ the concepts could be, as even if they were technologically impossible, some features of them could be taken and applied to a more feasible idea - to encourage creative thinking and innovative solutions.

There were no limits here on how ‘blue-sky’ the concepts could be, as even if they were technologically impossible, some features of them could be taken and applied to a more feasible idea - to encourage creative thinking and innovative solutions.

There were 12 concepts generated in total, which ranged from app’s and services through to solutions that utilise VR or AR technology to provide the experience. 

There was a good spread of concepts across the three sections. The very basic ideas that offered simple solutions may not be the most effective in tackling the overall problem, but their primary features (providing information to fans & knowledge sharing between fans) could be useful things to take forward.

There were 12 concepts generated in total, which ranged from app’s and services through to solutions that utilise VR or AR technology to provide the experience. 

There was a good spread of concepts across the three sections. The very basic ideas that offered simple solutions may not be the most effective in tackling the overall problem, but their primary features (providing information to fans & knowledge sharing between fans) could be useful things to take forward.

IMG_1072

Rough Storyboarding

Some of these concepts that shared similar features were then combined, before I began some rough storyboarding to start to loosely define each experience and visualise it in more detail. 

initial storyboards 1

Each solution looked to target the issue of social isolation and engagement in different ways and at different levels of focus. Some targeted social isolation directly, promoting physical interaction between fans face to face, whereas others were more subtle, doing this indirectly by allowing fans to connect through a more digitally focused medium.

Understanding VR and AR 

Considering that many of my initial concepts included VR or AR technology, I wanted to understand these technologies better and think about how they can be used to create empathy and connect people; both within the sporting context and in everyday life.

This research showed me how VR and AR can be used to not only provide excitement and entertainment to fans in the sporting world, but can also have a deep and meaningful impact on personal relationships between people - something that could be very effective in the context of my project.  

“Through this machine we become more compassionate, more
empathetic and more connected - and ultimately more human”

- Chris Milk

Could this compassion, connection and empathy be used to re-connect socially isolated people back into society, by allowing them to access sporting experiences they may otherwise not be able to and connect to other people in a personal, meaningful and lasting way? 

CONCEPT EVALUATION AND DEVELOPMENT

I wanted to evaluate the high number of concepts I had, and start to identify which ones were suitable, interesting and viable options to take forward and explore in more detail.

Evaluation  

I needed to refine my concepts down into a more defined focus. To do this I used a weighted matrix to evaluate each one, and help identify and prioritise the most promising opportunities for further development.

Weighted Matrix Arty

Each individual concept was scored against a set of criteria derived from my guiding design principles, each one having a different weighting, to reveal which ones best meet the desired outcome at this point; rather than my own personal preference.

With the overall focus of my project to tackle social isolation, by encouraging fans to engage, I wanted to place each remaining concept on a scale of these features to identify where it excelled and where it fell short.  

evaluation graph

The ultimate aim was to get the concepts into the ‘target zone’ (shown in yellow), by redeveloping and refining them; potentially by combining multiple concepts together.

Ref i n ing Concepts

Having evaluated my concepts, resulting in 6 viable directions, I wanted to develop these into one or two detailed proposals to take further, using Scamper to refine them: a creative technique that helps to generate new ideas and services, by encouraging you to think about how you could improve existing ones - asking questions based on each of the 7 prompts: 

Substitute - Combine - Adapt - Magnify - Put to other uses - Re-arrange/Reverse

Ref i n ing Concepts

Having evaluated my concepts, resulting in 6 viable directions, I wanted to develop these into one or two detailed proposals to take further, using Scamper to refine them: a creative technique that helps to generate new ideas and services, by encouraging you to think about how you could improve existing ones - asking questions based on each of the 7 prompts: 

Substitute - Combine - Adapt - Magnify - Put to other uses - Re-arrange/Reverse

IMG_1144

Each concept had 4 post it notes, with each one representing a different feature of that concept:

  • Yellow: How it promotes engagement with the match/team/sport.
  • Orange: How it tackles the issue of social isolation.
  • Green: It's key strength.
  • Pink: It's key weakness.
  • Star = Especially desirable feature. 

Doing this allowed me to easily identify where each concepts main strengths and weaknesses were, and therefore where other concepts might be able to improve them through combinations/substitutions. 

The post its were then grouped together in different variations, trying out different combinations to see which ones might create the most effective solution; in terms of both promoting engagement and tackling social isolation.

Each concept had 4 post it notes, with each one representing a different feature of that concept:

  • Yellow: How it promotes engagement with the match/team/sport.
  • Orange: How it tackles the issue of social isolation.
  • Green: It's key strength.
  • Pink: It's key weakness.
  • Star = Especially desirable feature. 

Doing this allowed me to easily identify where each concepts main strengths and weaknesses were, and therefore where other concepts might be able to improve them through combinations/substitutions. 

The post its were then grouped together in different variations, trying out different combinations to see which ones might create the most effective solution; in terms of both promoting engagement and tackling social isolation.

scamper2

After exploring different combinations and developing the concepts in different ways, two key services emerged, with a further secondary concept retained to potentially add an additional feature to a final design direction due to its engaging and innovative nature - allowing people to share and relive their favourite football memories and experiences. 

concept A
concept B

Fans of all ages are invited to a local pub/public place where they can meet one another and share their knowledge and memories of the team. 

They can then watch the match as a group, through a projected AR experience of the live match that is brought into the pub environment; recreating the match atmosphere and sense of belonging within a collective group of fans.

Fans can access an online platform where they are able to connect with other fans to create a network of people that all share a mutual love for their team.

They can then enjoy a VR experience of being a fan at the live match, sharing this experience with the other fans on the platform; allowing them to form new relationships while watching their team in the comfort of their own home. 

SELECTING THE FINAL CONCEPT

Having developed my initial concepts into two viable ideas, I needed to take the two directions and look at them in more depth; considering stakeholders, access to users and mapping the experience in more detail to craft a finalised concept vision.

Stakeholder Mapping 

  • Who will take ownership of the solution?
  • Who will implement it?
  • What personnel will be involved?
  • How might users obtain it?
  • What personnel will be involved?
  • How might users obtain it?

While this might depend on the nature of the solution itself, I felt that I needed to explore a variety of different avenues for all options. 

stakeholder map

At this stage, the nature of the solution still needed to be fully defined and so the key stakeholders were not clear, however my research indicated that the service:

  • Should be something that the clubs are heavily involved in, as well as the local community
  • Should be a cost-free service for primary users
  • May also utilise volunteers from the club/community who want to help the socially isolated 

At this stage, the nature of the solution still needed to be fully defined and so the key stakeholders were not clear, however my research indicated that the service:

Supporting Research  

The nature of the target demographic is that they may not be easily accessed in terms of making them aware of, and getting them to participate in, a new footballing service - because they're isolated. Therefore I wanted to research this area to begin to think about how to ensure my service could effectively access and attract target users. 

AgeUK two reports

I also researched an AgeUK report on technology use by older people to understand technology’s role in tackling isolation and independent living, to begin to identify how my solution might integrate with target users current technology use and understand what technology they may or may not be comfortable using.

Developing the Vision

Took the two concepts and started to script the users experience in more detail, to inform future storyboards and help me select one to develop as a final idea. Within this I considered, in detail:

  • How will the service work?
  • What will it offer?
  • Who will provide it?
  • How will fans be accessed and involved?
  • What sort of technology will be utilised?

This process led to a final concept, however this needed to be developed further to fully define exactly what the solution will offer to fans, how it will do this, and how this will ultimately encourage social interaction between users. I split the concept into four key areas, developing each one: 

the scale

The Scale

- How many people can take part at once?
- How often will the service happen? 
- Where will it happen geographically?
- Will it be single or multiple events at once?

The Scale

- How many people can take part at once?
- How often will the service happen? 
- Where will it happen geographically?
- Will it be single or multiple events at once?

the space

The Space

- Will it be a new space?
- An existing one that's retro-fitted? 

- Who will provide the equipment?
- Who will set the space up? 

the match

The Match

- How will the match be watched by fans?
- How will the atmosphere be effectively conveyed in the new environment?
- New or existing broadcasting streams?

13 – user communication

Social Interaction

- How will social interaction between users be encouraged and accentuated?
- At what stage will this take place?
- How will this social interaction continue?

Concept Vision Statement

The UX vision I outlined after the discovery stage of this project identified the opportunity for a solution, along with a series of guiding principles that identified user requirements and help to ensure the final solution addresses them. As the creative stage of the project developed I could then respond to my UX vision with a clear concept vision statement; defining clearly what the experience is, and how it will be delivered to users.

The first part of the service will use 360° video and VR technology to allow fans to experience watching their team live at a match, in the comfort of their own home. This will include the ability to share this experience and communicate with other older fans who are doing the same, promoting initial interaction between users.

The second part will bring these same fans together to a pop-up event in their local area to watch another match. TV projection and surround sound will be used to convey the live match atmosphere in an immersive and engaging way, and users will be able to enjoy talks from ex-players, food, and VR videos of the clubs greatest historical moments. 

Overall, the service will offer a friendly and sociable environment within which older adults can foster new relationships with people who their share interest in the sport, helping them to rebuild a network of friends and easing their feelings of social isolation.

REFINING THE SERVICE

Having developed a concept vision I wanted to visualise it more clearly by building some user persona's, and then test it with users; to assess how well it meets their needs and identify any potential limitations.

Persona's

I began the process by revisiting the guiding principles and painpoints identified through primary research, to help me define a set of specific user needs, task and experience goals to be met by the service - leading to accurate and believable personas. 

While the concept targets socially isolated people, I also felt that it could be used as a preventative measure before someone becomes socially isolated, or something that could attract someone who has never engaged with the sport before, leading to three users:

1. Socially isolated person who used to engage - George
A fan who is socially isolated now but used to go to matches, will use the service to re-ignite his passion for the team and rebuild a social network.

persona george resized

2. Supporter starting to disengage and at risk of becoming isolated - Andrew
A fan who is starting to disengage; will use the service to retain communication with current friends and prevent them becoming socially isolated.

persona andrew resized

3. Socially isolated person who has never engaged - Angela
A user who has never engaged but is socially isolated and wants to try something new.

persona angela resized

Football Match Visit

I visited a live match to record a series of 360° videos, to help begin visual development of what users will see, touch and hear during the first stage of the service, and to start to envisage a 360° video prototype to be used for experience prototyping with users.

These videos showed various parts of the live match experience, including the walk to the stadium, key moments and goals and the general atmosphere of the crowd.

These videos gave a realistic insight into what a user will see and hear when taking part in the initial augmented 360° experience. Having uploaded the videos to Youtube I then accessed them on my phone and activated VR mode; allowing me to let people test out the experience using a google cardboard headset.

EP – prep

The aim was to allow potential users to experience augmented 360° in the context of this project, to enable me to understand how these older users would react to augmented 360°, and identify areas in which the concept can improve. 

Experience Prototyping

The 360° videos recorded previously were combined to make one prototype video, which was watched through a google cardboard VR headset.

The video shows a snapshot of the whole matchday experience, from the walk to the stadium right through to the end of the match, accentuating the atmosphere and general feel of being in the stadium watching the game:

6 older football fans, who had varying levels of engagement with the sport and a team, were then asked to watch the experience prototype video and give feedback on this stage of the service, and the wider service as a whole.

experience prototyping

The focus of this session was to see how users would react to viewing the match in this way; identifying any potential issues or changes to be made moving forward. It aimed to answer three questions:

  1. Is this a technology that fans would be open to try using to watch a live match at home? 
  2. Does it present the match in a way that conveys the experience of going to a live game?
  3. How can this experience and delivery be improved? (are there any problems with it?)
     

Feedback:






 

The focus of this session was to see how users would react to viewing the match in this way; identifying any potential issues or changes to be made moving forward. It aimed to answer three questions:

good feedback

Realistic and Immersive:

Represents the live experience well and would stimulate their engagement. 

Realistic and Immersive:

Represents the live experience well and would stimulate their engagement. 

good feedback

Complementing Stages:

Two stages combine well to promote interaction between users who take part. 

Complementing Stages:

Two stages combine well to promote interaction between users who take part. 

good feedback

New Relationships:

Would feel comfortable enough to form new friendships and then maintain them.  

New Relationships:

Would feel comfortable enough to form new friendships and then maintain them.  







Limitations:

The participants liked the VR but had some concerns about whether it was the best option for the first stage, as they thought they may struggle to get to grips with it on their own, along with some other potential issues they felt might occur:

bad feedback

Visual Impairment:

Might not be suitable for users with visual impairment issues, which is likely at old age. 

Visual Impairment:

Might not be suitable for users with visual impairment issues, which is likely at old age. 

bad feedback

Navigation:

Concerns about how easily they would be able to navigate through the VR environment. 

Navigation:

Concerns about how easily they would be able to navigate through the VR environment. 

bad feedback

Shared Experience:

The VR experience might be even better if they could share it with someone else.  

Shared Experience:

The VR experience might be even better if they could share it with someone else.  

This experience prototyping session gave me valuable feedback - cementing the benefits of the service as a whole and its role in encouraging engagement and interaction between users, and the effectiveness of VR in bringing people together and conveying an incredibly atmospheric experience.

However, the limitations identified made me question whether VR
in the first stage was really the best choice for older users?

FURTHER DEVELOPMENT

The experience prototyping feedback led me to reassess the use of VR in the initial viewing experience and redevelop the service slightly - leading to a final co-design session with users before visual development of the GUI and pop-up event.  

The Initial 360° VR Experience

The experience prototyping session highlighted some potential issues with the combination of augmented 360° VR with older users, and so I wanted to reassess whether it would be the most effective and suitable viewing method for these older users.

I wanted to retain the immersive qualities of the VR within the service, so began exploring whether the social pop-up event be a better place for this to be used - as it would enable people taking part to share the VR experience as a group, rather than doing this alone and having to navigate through the interactive aspect themselves. Further research led me to www.igloovision.com:

IglooVision main

IglooVision's 360° domes allow users to enjoy shared VR experiences, and would be an incredibly immersive and enjoyable way for the group of fans to watch the live match during the social event. They offer distinctive, robust structures of up to 21-metre diameter, for indoor or outdoor use, which are great for projecting a seamless 360° horizon, and can be erected and taken down quickly and easily.

"Inside an Igloo, the senses are stimulated from every direction. Your
audiences
are immersed in the action and, if you add in our interactive capabilities,
they can become part of the performance"

-  IglooVision.com


The shared 360° dome would also be very effective in conveying the live match atmosphere, and give fans a realistic insight into what it's like to go to a live game - which was the main focus behind the original design of the service's first stage. 

IglooVision's 360° domes allow users to enjoy shared VR experiences, and would be an incredibly immersive and enjoyable way for the group of fans to watch the live match during the social event. They offer distinctive, robust structures of up to 21-metre diameter, for indoor or outdoor use, which are great for projecting a seamless 360° horizon, and can be erected and taken down quickly and easily.

"Inside an Igloo, the senses are stimulated from every direction. Your
audiences
are immersed in the action and, if you add in our interactive capabilities,
they can become part of the performance"

-  IglooVision.com


The shared 360° dome would also be very effective in conveying the live match atmosphere, and give fans a realistic insight into what it's like to go to a live game - which was the main focus behind the original design of the service's first stage. 

Redesigned Service

The service will still take two stages:

15 – tv for redesigned service

Initial interactive TV viewing experience, allowing fans to watch the match live and communicate with each other, but through a technology they will be more comfortable with. 

Initial interactive TV viewing experience, allowing fans to watch the match live and communicate with each other, but through a technology they will be more comfortable with. 

16 – dome for redesigned service

Secondary pop-up event held in
an IglooVision shared 360° dome, providing a VR viewing experience of a live match that users can share as a collective group.

Secondary pop-up event held in
an IglooVision shared 360° dome, providing a VR viewing experience of a live match that users can share as a collective group.

Co-Design Workshop 

A co-design workshop was then held with older fans to begin to develop two key areas of the initial interactive TV viewing experience. The aim of this process was to:

  • Develop communication between users and how this will take place
  • Refine the visual information users will be given as they watch the match 

Communication Between Users.

The current interactive experience allows for communication between users, but is still isolated in terms of connecting users to other fans at the match. How will users be able to communicate with these fans and feel part of the wider set of supporters?

As a group we brainstormed ways people communicate currently during a football match, which resulted in 4 key touchpoints: Talking, Celebrating, Social Media, Pictures.

IMG_1276

These 4 touchpoints were then combined with the technology or medium that facilitates them during the football match experience, to see which are interconnected.

"The key function of communication between fans is to facilitate discussion, but this must not negatively impact
the experience of other fans who are also watching the game"

These 4 touchpoints were then combined with the technology or medium that facilitates them during the football match experience, to see which are interconnected.

"The key function of communication between fans is to facilitate discussion, but this must not negatively impact the experience of other fans who are also watching the game"

IMG_1275

This co-design session highlighted the effectiveness of conversation and discussion between fans sitting near each other. Therefore I felt that simply allowing the fans taking part in the service to speak to one another, while watching the game through the interactive experience, would effectively promote interaction and communication while not detracting from either of their visual experiences - or the enjoyment of other fans. This would take three forms:

headset

Headset/microphone
worn while watching

Headset/microphone
worn while watching

13 – user communication

Audio conversation & 
interaction between users

Audio conversation & 
interaction between users

supporting app1

Supporting mobile app to connect to external fans

Supporting mobile app to connect to external fans

This simple interaction would be facilitated by headsets worn by users as they enjoy the interactive TV experience, with an additional mobile app that would allow fans who aren't taking part in the service to communicate with the older users who are; as they both watch the match. 


Visual Information.

Having a digital experience that replicates what its like to be at a live match facilitates the addition of certain pieces of information that the user can see in their field of vision. What information will fans need/want and how will they be delivered to them?

CD – information

The group brainstormed of all the different pieces of information that the participants would look to access when viewing a match (regardless of how they view it) - both before, during and after the match, with the context noted, to help consider when each piece of information might be delivered to the user.

Through this session 4 key pieces of information that the concept will deliver to users over the course of the match were selected - to keep users informed and up to date throughout the interactive TV experience:

  • Starting lineups
  • Starting lineups
  • Other match scores
  • Other match scores
  • Match stats (half time)
  • Match stats (half time)
  • Live league table
  • Live league table

In addition, we felt it would add to the visual experience of the match to provide users with a variety of dynamic camera angles - allowing them to view the match from different vantage points within the stadium.

VISUAL DEVELOPMENT

Graphical direction and low fidelity sketching to develop the visual graphics of the interactive TV experience and mobile app, along with the basic floor layout of the pop-up social event. 

Graphical Direction

Created a board to help influence the development of the visual interface that the user will see when taking part in the interactive TV viewing experience.

Graphic direction board copy

I felt the interface needed to be very intuitive and easy to navigate through using a TV remote, so that the older users can pick it up quickly and won’t be confused. Having menu’s with a low number of different options will mean the users can interact with the system easily, as well as a simple layout with calm and neutral colours ensuring the screen isn’t overwhelming with too much going on. 

Interactive TV Experience

Low fidelity sketching to develop the visual graphics of the interactive TV experience; what the users will see in their field of vision when using the service.

The focus here was to develop the graphical user interface for communication between users, match information they will receive, interaction and navigation controls, and the general layout of content. 

Supporting Mobile App

The function of the mobile app is to allow other fans (who are also watching the match) to connect with users of the interactive TV experience, to enable interaction and discussion between them as they both engage with the same game in different ways. With this in mind, I was able to identify the key screens I would need to design to show a typical user journey through the app.

Having defined these screens and done some initial sketches on layout and content, I was then able to sketch some cleaner wireframes for each screen; focusing on layout and sizing of the different screen features - ready for high fidelity final visuals.

Rough Storyboarding

Loose sketching process to visualise of each stage of the user journey in greater detail. 

final storyboard 2

THE SOLUTION

'Tribe' football service allows socially isolated older adults to engage and watch their team; interacting with other people who share their interest in the sport and giving them the opportunity to rebuild a network of friends they've lost over time. 

How It Works

The service works looks to encourage isolated older adults to engage in football by giving them the opportunity to meet new people, through something they have a genuine interest in, and separates into two key stages: 

The first of these gives users the ability to watch their team play through an immersive live interactive TV experience at home, with dynamic camera angles, detailed information about the game and a headset/microphone that gives them the ability to share this experience and communicate with other older fans who are doing the same, promoting initial interaction between users.

How It Works

The service works looks to encourage isolated older adults to engage in football by giving them the opportunity to meet new people, through something they have a genuine interest in, and separates into two key stages: 

how it works

Following this, these users are then brought together to a pop-up social event in their local area to watch another live match in a VR Igloo as a collective group; using shared VR 360° projection to show the game and effectively convey the live match atmosphere in an immersive and engaging way. It will also enable users to enjoy talks from ex-players, lunch from a local restaurant and VR experiences of the clubs greatest historical moments.

Overall, the Tribe service offers a friendly and sociable environment within which older adults can foster new relationships with people who their share their interest in football; helping them to rebuild a network of friends over time and ultimately easing their feelings of social isolation.

Initial User Touchpoint


 

ageuk and prem

Potential users will be identified by the clubs themselves who will use their own membership history information to identify fans that used to engage and watch live matches but now don’t, and will also work closely with groups such as AgeUK, and the local community to identify older adults who are either socially isolated or at risk of becoming so.

Aside from the club contacting fans in their system via email or phone, leafletting will also be used to raise awareness of the service; a technique organisations like AgeUK have found to be very successful. Along with target users, this will also be aimed at younger people in the local area, in the hope they might know of someone who is isolated.

An introduction session will then take place at the users house, where they will be taken through the interactive TV session, how to navigate through the different features and how to use their headset to communicate with other users. The aim here is to make them feel comfortable using the technology, and ensure they know what to expect.

leaflet with branding

Interactive TV Experience

interactive tv experience

The interactive TV experience will utilise a live stream of the game provided by camera's placed around the stadium, generating a wide angle view of the pitch. This will be complemented by microphones recording the noise from the stadium to effectively convey the live match atmosphere through the users headsets.

The aim behind this is to allow these older adults to experience a live football match, and everything else that goes with it; primarily the atmosphere of the live crowd, and the ability to share this experience and make memories with other fans who are also taking part in the Tribe service. 

The interactive TV experience will utilise a live stream of the game provided by camera's placed around the stadium, generating a wide angle view of the pitch.

This will be complemented by microphones recording the noise from the stadium to effectively convey the live match atmosphere through the users headsets.

The interactive TV experience will utilise a live stream of the game provided by camera's placed around the stadium, generating a wide angle view of the pitch. This will be complemented by microphones recording the noise from the stadium to effectively convey the live match atmosphere through the users headsets.

The aim behind this is to allow these older adults to experience a live football match, and everything else that goes with it; primarily the atmosphere of the live crowd, and the ability to share this experience and make memories with other fans who are also taking part in the Tribe service. 

The aim behind this is to allow these older adults to experience a live football match, and everything else that goes with it; primarily the atmosphere of the live crowd, and the ability to share this experience and make memories with other fans who are also taking part in the Tribe service. 








Match Information. 

During the interactive TV experience users will be given detailed information on their team and the match; before, during and after the game takes place. Score notifications from other matches being played in the league will keep them up to date in real time, and at start of the match they will see the team lineups in the centre of the pitch - showing the starting team and formation.

starting lineups resized
Half time stats
score update
League table copy

Match stats will be displayed at half-time to aid discussion between fans on what they've seen, and a live league table, updated with the match result, will be shown when the match finishes - to keep fans informed and up to date with their teams progress in the league. 





User Interaction/Communication. 

Communication between users essential to promote initial interactions ready for the second stage, and this will be facilitated by headsets - allowing users to talk to one another freely and discuss the match as they watch at home. A list of other users will be shown, allowing each person to see who they're talking to.

360 user menu activated

This communication allows these older fans to get to know one another and introduce themselves during the first stage while they watch their team play, so that they are more comfortable and able to begin to build new relationships when they meet face to face at the popup event.

Users have four menu options with each fan they are connected to: favourite them, share their camera angle, request to chat to them privately, and mute them altogether. 

360 user menu activated icons

Supporting Mobile App

Tribe also allows external fans, not taking part in the service, to communicate with older users enjoying the interactive TV experience - through a mobile app. There are four key stages in the apps user journey:

AS – 2 resized
AS – 3 resized
AS – 4 resized
AS – 5 resized

The home screen shows all of the other matches taking place that day that have 'Tribe' users watching.

The home screen shows all of the other matches taking place that day that have 'Tribe' users watching.

The app user selects the match they want, and a list of 'Tribe' users watching that match is displayed

They pick the 'Tribe' user they want to chat with, and send a request - adding a message if required.

The 'Tribe' user accepts the request, allowing them to discuss the match together as they watch separately.

Supporting App - Process of Use

Supporting App - Process of Use

AU – 1 resized

A fan, watching their team on TV, knows of someone taking part in the 'Tribe' service and wants to discuss the match with them.

AU – 2 resized

They open their app, selecting the match they want and then find the 'Tribe' user in the list. They then send a chat request. 

app chat request

The Tribe user accepts the request and can speak to the app user while they both watch the match.  

chat request from app resized

When the app user sends a chat request, it comes through as simple notification for the 'Tribe' users, which they can accept or decline by selecting the green or red phone. When they accept they are put into a private chat with the app user. 

chat request from app icons2

Many older people become isolated because their family or friends move away and they have less and less contact with them. This app would allow an older user to still share the experience of the game with people, even though they might be watching the game in a different part of the country or world entirely.

Many older people become isolated because their family or friends move away and they have less and less contact with them. This app would allow an older user to still share the experience of the game with people, even though they might be watching the game in a different part of the country or world entirely.

Dynamic Camera's

The camera menu in the top right of the screen allows users to cycle through four dynamic camera angles, giving them a different view of the match and the chance to watch from a new perspective. They can choose between the dugout, referee body camera or behind either goal.

Camera angle menu activated icons
Camera angle menu activated
view behind the goal resized

They are also able to select the smaller camera icons around the centre tier of the stadium, to watch from different points in the crowd. These angles give an added level of detail and excitement to the service, as users can experience watching the match from a new vantage point entirely.







User Interface Navigation


The interactive TV experience's GUI has been designed to be used with a standard TV remote. Its very simple and can be navigated through using only the arrows and a select/ok or back/return - so users will feel confident using it and wont get confused. The blue ring shows the user their current selection.

tv remote resized
Sections of GUI
tv remote ok buttons resized

The users TV screen can be separated into three sections; other users, stadium camera's and dynamic camera's. This allows them to move between them easily using the arrows on their remote.

Each menu can be opened with the OK/Select button, again using the arrows to cycle through the different options it gives, and then closed with the Back/Return button. 

Pop-Up Social Event

igloo

Original Images via IglooVision

pop up event outside roof up

The pop-up social event is held in a 360° dome with shared VR - showing a stream of the game in 360° around users; allowing them to enjoy the fully immersive experience as a collective group. This environment also helps to convey the true experience of going to a live game in the stadium; with 360° degrees of sight and sound perfectly recreating the atmosphere in the crowd.

pop up event outside4

Key Focus - Building Relationships

This event brings fans, who met initially in the first stage, together to meet each other face to face and allows them to get to know one another in a social setting. 

The aim is to make them feel welcome and comfortable enough to do this, and to encourage them to develop personal relationships with each other through sharing a match day experience.

21 – building relationships

Other Features

22 – travel



Travel

For users who have mobility issues, the service will provide free travel to and from the event - allowing them to attend if they don’t have anyone to take them, or if they lack confidence to go out on their own.

24 – player presentation



Player Presentations

After lunch, the fans will be given a talk by a ex-player from their club, and given a chance to meet them. this will be organised by the club themselves, further developing the involvement of them within their local community.

23 – lunch
23 – lunch



Lunch

After having some time to settle in after arriving, users will be treated to lunch. This will be provided by a local business, helping to give the service a local community feel that elite clubs seem to have lost over time.

25 – vr experiences



Historic VR Experiences

Fans will be able to enjoy a series of VR videos that show key moments in their clubs history; allowing them to relive matches they went to in their youth or bring back fond memories they shared with family or friends at the time.

The Lasting Effect

The Tribe football service focuses on providing regular opportunities for user interaction throughout its duration. The aim is to encourage users to get to know one another and develop the beginnings of a friendship while they take part in the service, fuelled by the common ground they share in supporting the same football team.

After the service has taken place, and users have shared contact information with one another, these friendships can begin to grow as they spend more time with one another socially. While the service itself focuses on giving these older isolated fans the ability to re-connect with other similar people, as they take part, its lasting effects encourage these fan to develop and maintain these new relationships themselves.

old fans

Groups of fans may continue to use football as a medium to do this - watching matches together at the pub, home or even a live game. however this may also help them feel more confident and able to re-engage with society in other areas of their day to day life too, away from football; ultimately easing their feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Project Date: 20th February 2017 - 7th September 2017
Project Team: Solo Project