I tried to keep up with the 2014 Brazil World Cup and it made me re-think my app downloading habits. Here is an example of good hassle-free user experience.
When it comes to soccer, I am an average fan. However, when the World Cup craze hits I am a devoted fan that wears Colombia’s jersey and yells in excitement whenever the “cafeteros” score.
Unfortunately though, some games are during office hours and I couldn’t watch every match live. As a matter of fact, I lead such a busy lifestyle that it is impossible for me to re-watch a game. I’m not upset about it though, I really just wanted to know the scores so that I could be in sync and share the emotion with other soccer fans.
Beginning my search to be informed.
I happened to open twitter one afternoon and it suggested I follow some people in order to be in the loop of the world cup. It asked me what team I was rooting for, (I chose Colombia), and then it recommended me to follow more than 3,000 people.
There was a button to “follow all”. Immediately I thought of what would happen once the world cup was over. Would this clutter my twitter account with countless updates from 3000 people I have no intention of following? Trying to lean out the things I need to sort through in the morning, I decided against Twitter’s recommendation.
No more apps.
So when I was thinking about downloading world cup apps, it hit me that, much like following 3K twitter profiles, I didn’t want to have yet another app on my phone. Truth be told, I have so many, it’s becoming unmanageable and every phone backup is painfully slow.
I wanted to avoid repeated first time user experiences, multiple “create account” or “login with facebook”, and more importantly I honestly did not want a thousand notifications going off when something happened. I needed to see the scores promptly, but “on demand”.
Google came through.
After all this thinking, and as a passing thought, I used my phone to google (search for) “world cup”. It quickly took me to a search results page that highlighted virtually all the things I needed to know, at a glance.
The search results included:
What was happening (or happened, or was going to happen).
Group stats, which are important to see how teams advance.
Finally, it showed a preview of the second stage, which even though it was empty at the time, it clearly displayed who would be playing after the first stage was done.
It was beautiful. It was simple. I was hooked. The layout was also perfectly responsive, so I could access it through my desktop browser and got the same satisfying experience.
Even as I watched live games, I checked that same results page to see how concurrent matches were developing. Having quick access to that information transformed me (I like to think) into “El Señor Soccer”. I feel a bit more popular now with some friends, if I’m being completely honest.
This is an example of good user experience design. Usable and beautiful. I immediately bookmarked it, and it has been my world cup companion ever since.
What google did.
Google’s browser based results did what every world cup app is trying to do; it turned me into a recurring customer, but it didn't make me go through any hassle at all. No sign ups, no first time user experience, no evident upsell. It was “just” information, and it was perfect.
I understand that Google has the infrastructure to be able do this, and partnering with FIFA was a key factor, but they leveraged their assets very, very well. They gave me - a humble user - exactly what I wanted.
Google’s search made my life a little bit easier by not making me jump through hoops, by not upselling me before getting the information I wanted, and more importantly, by quickly helping me achieve my user “goaaaaaaals”.
Andres Bohorquez is a professional photographer & senior user experience designer. He has strong roots in photography, UX, visual design, advertising and branding.
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