Designing the perfect app to keep grassroots football pitches match-fit

The FA, Premier League, Sport England and the UK government came together to help grassroots clubs get their pitches ready for the new season. A £10 million fund was made available through the Football Foundation charity, to help an estimated 4,000 clubs improve and maintain their pitches.

Bolser were appointed by the Football Foundation to review their new PitchPower app. The app had been developed to help clubs submit their pitch inspection reports to the Groundskeepers Management Association (GMA), so their experts could recommend the work required.

Our brief was to use our world-class user research and design expertise to optimise the user experience. Groundskeepers with varying levels of technical ability would be using the app to submit the reports, so an intuitive, seamless user journey was essential.

2,700

User registrations

3,900

Inspection reports

4/5

Average rating

“Bolser have exceeded our expectations on every front. They produced some inspirational UX design ideas from the outset and made the process so easy for us - a joy to work with.”
Sam Bunis Director of Brand, Marketing and Communications, Football Foundation
The challenge

Creating an efficient tool for a wide variety of users

Our challenge was to make it easy for a non-technical user to understand and accurately upload all the information required. In order to make recommendations, experts at the GMA need detailed information about the pitch, such as precise measurements of grass length, roots, and weed density, backed up by clear photographic evidence. The app needed to guide the groundskeeper through this process simply and effectively.

What we did

Great UX design that started and finished with the user

We quickly identified that the best way to get to the root of this problem was to get involved in some real-life pitch inspections. How else could we fully appreciate the challenges experienced by the users? So, we headed out to several of our local clubs to test out the app for ourselves and get feedback from the groundskeepers first-hand.

With this valuable insight, we planned an end-to-end redesign of the app to meet the needs of both the groundkeepers and the GMA experts.

Key elements of the redesign included:

  • Simplification of the process.
  • Contextual help in the form of instructions and diagrams at the right point of the user journey.
  • Instructional videos with closed captioning (sub-titles) for improved accessibility.
  • A new FAQ section on the Football Foundation website.
  • Updated look and feel, to reflect the Football Foundation brand.
  • User acceptance testing with real users from the GMA and local clubs.
Results

Great user feedback and nearly 4,000 reports completed.

The main aim of the app redesign was to help get more funding distributed to the grassroots clubs who needed it most. The app was initially launched in September with an update including more help screens and videos in November. Six months later, the results speak for themselves:

  • 2,700 user registrations
  • 3,900 pitch inspection reports completed
  •  4/5 average rating by users
  • 200% uplift in inspection reports, following the update.

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