Is the FIFA+ app falling foul of user experience?
As World Cup fever began, our team – like many others on the edge of their seats to see if football really is coming home – were looking forward to using the FIFA+ app to enhance our experience. But for many of us, this didn’t quite live up to expectations.
It’s true that we have high standards because creating high-functioning custom apps for large live sporting events is what we do. We thought maybe being passionate about great tech might just mean we aren’t representative of the general feeling? But after asking friends and family (and the willing volunteers on LinkedIn) it seems that its purpose as a fun, interactive tool to improve the World Cup experience may have missed the back of the net on this occasion.
1. User comes first
“I couldn’t even find the app by searching World Cup 2022”
There are almost 3 million apps to choose from - so users need a very good reason to use them. Being able to find the app with related search terms is a good start. What’s in a name? Everything as it turns out. App naming is an essential part of its branding. Calling the app FIFA+ and not relating it to The World Cup means a time consuming and frustrating experience even before downloading. And the name certainly doesn’t leave us feeling warm and fuzzy. Advice? Put your own (and sponsors) needs aside – and put the user first.
2. Don’t build barriers
“I didn’t see any need for an account – it made me feel uneasy giving my details”
Setting up an account is a negative experience for any user, and a high barrier to entry.It’s a barrier that usually results in either a high drop-off rate - or frustrated and agitated users. Don’t create the unnecessary hassle – and even when it is required, create profile personalisation that justifies it. Data protection has become a bigger issue than ever and it’s been getting some pretty negative press for this very issue. Don’t make the headlines with your app for all the wrong reasons!
3. First impressions count
How is an app like a first date? Both are over very quickly if you make a bad first impression – and with an app this is more like 20 seconds. With 77% of users abandoning an app in the first 3-7 days of downloading, the clock (excuse the pun) is ticking to get it right!
And on this occasion, it was certainly a swipe left for the on-boarding experience. Aside from the need to set up an account, the permissions, T&C’s and education screens put users through an unnecessary number of poorly designed steps. Travelling through a minefield of misaligned buttons and partner logos, you finally arrive at the home screen. Game over for us.
4. Access all areas
“Where are the fixtures? I can only find today’s matches!” “So much scrolling to find anything”
Users will have very clear needs when interacting with any app. Unless you are serving these needs and expectations – an app simply isn’t fit for purpose. Forgetting search functionality is asking for trouble. Trouble, that is, for the user. The primary use of a World Cup app will always be fixtures, scores and standings - so function should be built around that form.
How's my team doing? When are my team playing? Who could they play in the next round (and beyond)? Where can I find stats, MOTM,Golden Boot winner?
Questions like these should be easy to answer. Don’t make them search for what they want in amongst what you want them to see. It’s not cool or clever.
5. Test. Test and test again.
“It was just so confusing – did anyone test it?”
The success of any app relies on thorough UX testing – before design, before development as well as after launching. This is where many minor problems can be effectively ironed out. There were lots of ways this app could have won us over that are easy fixes in terms of design and functionality.
Bad interface design and complex gestures won’t create memorable experiences for the right reasons. Unfortunately, this app will have to go down as one we would rather forget.
We’d love to know what you think! Football, tech, ideas and user experience – we’re here for it all.