Fastpitch Power has been a leading authority on windmill pitching technique for fastpitch softball since 2012. After years of providing free instructional resources via their blog and popular YouTube channel, in 2020 they launched Fastpitch Power+: a subscription-based virtual training platform featuring a curated library of hundreds of targeted training videos, quick-reference documents, and a video submission option for receiving analysis and advice from an expert coach. The aim of this project was to design a mobile app as a companion to the web-based platform.
Fastpitch Power, Inc.
Product Owner, UX & UI Designer
2 Content Creators
While reaction to the launch of Fastpitch Power+ was overall positive, member feedback indicated that the web platform, while responsive, was frustrating to use on a phone. The video analysis method employed at the launch of the web MVP—texting and/or emailing directly with one particular Fastpitch Power coach—was also not conducive to member growth. We set out to design a cross-platform mobile experience focused on:
Fastpitch Power has a uniquely complex audience, where the beneficiary of the product is the student—typically, with very few exceptions, a girl between 8 and 18—but the purchaser is her parent or coach. With that in mind, we sought to answer the following questions:
Upon discussion with the stakeholders, we determined that we'd gain the strongest insights on our research questions by recruiting and interviewing real Fastpitch Power+ members. Interviews were held via video conference or phone call.
To bring some clarity and organization to the insights gleaned from the user interviews, I summarized the highest priority user stories.
I also synthesized the insights from the interviews into a typical user persona for easy visual reference.
I then further visualized the insights into an empathy map to share with the other stakeholders.
With the intent to reorganize the video library into more intuitive categories, we conducted a card sorting activity on a selection of existing videos and opened it up to all current Fastpitch Power+ members.
Creating a larger number of more specific, targeted categories might make finding certain videos easier for the user.
Agreement was very low, leading us to conclude that fewer, broader categories are easier to understand, and that any videos which can be reasonably placed in multiple categories should appear in all places they are relevant.
After compiling all research and meeting with engineering, I developed a feature roadmap to prioritize the different aspects of the app.
User interviews confirmed that the most commonly used aspects of Fastpitch Power+ are the instructional video library and the video analysis. I first designed a user flow for browsing videos and adding a video to a favorites list for easy reference. I then imagined how a native video analysis feature might function.
I sketched out my concepts via low-fidelity wireframes of every screen of the app, while exploring different home screen and menu options. Prior to creating a low-fi prototype with these wireframes, I presented the various options to a focus group of other designers from my personal network. The consensus was a category-based home screen, and elimination of the hamburger menu, which we all felt was redundant.
I prepared a low-fidelity prototype for usability testing in order to resolve the UX challenges prior to diving into the UI design. Although the app will be cross-platform, analytics revealed that an overwhelming 71.28% of Fastpitch Power users are iPhone users. To keep the project in scope, I used the iPhone 11 Pro as the basis for the single prototype.
Using the low-fidelity prototype, I conducted a series of usability texts on the app experience. For maximum insight, testers encompassed a wide age range, as well as those both familiar and unfamiliar with Fastpitch Power. Testing was conducted in person where possible, otherwise over video conference.
I began the UI design process by solidifying the color palette and heuristics of Fastpitch Power+'s existing branding. The existing logo received a very slight face lift to comply with the newly created style guide.
The final prototype received the stamp of approval from all Fastpitch Power stakeholders. We've agreed to partnership terms with a third-party developer and are planning an MVP release in Q1-2 of 2021, with a phased release of all features to follow.
Fastpitch Power has been a passion project of mine for almost a decade, and I was so excited to finally have an opportunity to give it some design TLC. In 2020, the phase 1 launch of the Fastpitch Power+ web platform and online clinic series resulted in 1050% profit growth for Fastpitch Power over the course of just half a year. We're projecting even steeper growth with the enhanced scalability we'll be able to achieve through the mobile app.