UX Nuggets Thoughts and advice on usability and user experience
August 9, 2012 |
I’ll admit that I’m not a sports fan. I couldn’t tell you the names of most sport teams or players, and even when I’ve heard of a team I probably couldn’t tell you where they’re located. But every other year for two weeks I’m a different person; suddenly I’m a fanatic. I was especially excited this year for the London Olympics since I heard full coverage and live streaming of the events would be available online.
For the most part I’ve been watching the Games on my iPad using the NBC Olympics Live Extra app. At first this app really excited me. Once downloaded and opened, I clicked the “Live Now” tab, selected the current tennis match in progress and BAM – I was front and center watching Roger Federer cream an opponent on the tennis court. Now that’s instant gratification!
But after using this app for a while, I realized something important was missing...
When you watch the Olympics on TV, these little vignettes occasionally appear, right in the middle of the competition. Sometimes it’s a highlight of an athlete that you have already heard of or it might be a “local” star who is a medal contender. Watching the athletes compete is much more compelling when you learn about their background. Although sometimes sappy and formulaic (talent recognized at a young age, sacrifices made, arduous training, etc.), I really think these background stories enhance the experience for the viewer. Perhaps that’s why I love user research, particularly ethnography, because you gain a richer, fuller appreciation for behavior when observed in context.
My hope is that NBC will decide to include this coverage in their app during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. I know I’m not the only one missing the story behind these athletes’ often difficult, but still inspirational journeys that lead to flawless performances and triumphant medal ceremonies. After all, experiences do matter.
Nicole Hill is a User Experience Analyst with strong user-centered design research skills. Since joining GfK User Centric, Nicole has been a part of several projects involving website usability, and formative and validation research on medical devices.