- Role: Design Lead | Creative Direction | Visual Design
Beyond the Basic Tee Time
GolfNow is the industry leader in online tee time searching and booking. Trusted by more than 2 million golfers and thousands of golf courses around the world, GolfNow is dedicated to growing the game of golf for players of all ages and skill levels.
Golf course technology has become a growing focus for the company. We were approached by GolfNow to create a next generation golfing experience. Detailed GPS mapping, advanced in-app scoring, and post-game data analysis would take the existing GolfNow app to a new level. Going beyond the basic tee time searching, this new comprehensive golf app would become an essential tool for golfers before, during, and after a round of golf.
A solid strategic game plan would crucial to the overall success of the project. This plan would be the foundation that would set the stage for the design and development teams. From day one, I worked closely with the executive team and key stakeholders within GolfNow, helping to provide definition and gather requirements.
Distance to the Next Shot
Knowledge of a golfer's exact location and distance to their next shot are immensely important data points. By using the GPS and location services on a golfer's iPhone or Android phone, we could retrieve this data and more - but I needed to understand how golfers would use this data first. Will golfers carry their phone during a game? How often would they use a mapping feature - every shot or just when they are close to the pin? Will wearing a glove on the course affect the usage of this feature?
I conducted extensive user research to try and answer these questions. Interviews with a wide range of golfers lead to important usage data and validated the importance of this feature. But, the most important data points came from using a competing product myself.
- This feature must be intuitive and not get in the way of the flow of the game.
- Maps of individual holes must be clear and easy to navigate.
- Distance number must be timely and accurate.
- All features must work using one hand.
Based on this research, we were able to design an advanced feature that would provide detailed yardage and accurate mapping to display a golfer's exact location on a course map. A golfer can interact with the map (zooming and panning) and get distances to any point on the course with a simple touch, thus helping with club and shot selection.
The Power of Data Analytics
Many golfers look to the numbers to help improve their game. How many missed putts did I have? What percentage of my tee shots are going to the left instead of straight down the fairway? How many Greens in Regulation did I get this round? All of this data becomes an invaluable tool to help improve a golfer's game.
When designing the interface for the data analytics portion of the product, it was important to provide as much detail as possible yet making the data intuitive and easy to consume. As the data set continues to grow, trends and patterns begin to emerge. These trends form the basis for game improvement.