‘R.U.L.S. – Refree. Umpire. Linesman. Signals.’ is a mobile app (paper prototype) that strives to decode the hand signals and gestures made by referees in sports. The app was designed as a part of my Cultural Relevance & Awareness class during my graduate program.
The rules for professional sports are unique and can be difficult to follow. Trying to figure out the hand-gestures or signals of the referees is a common problem for many spectators of sports – for newbies and even avid sports fans.
What: The mobile app RULS is designed to help explain the meaning of the ‘rule of sport’ that pertains or is represented by the hand signal or gesture. These signals may represent anything, including scores, fouls, violations, ejections, outs, etc.
If analyzed from the perspective of personas: For a newbie it would help them learn the rules and understand the hand gestures. For an avid fan who is unfamiliar with a particular gesture or who wants clarification on the application of a specific rule in a sport. RULS could also be used as a “cheat sheet” for referees looking to brush up on their knowledge
How: The app is designed for users to quickly and easily find the hand signal or the rule through several different methods – recording, gesturing, browsing or quick searching. It displays the name of the rule, an explanation, its representative hand signal, and a series of images demonstrating the signal, as well as links to video clips.
Using the concept of the Activity Theory Triangle I analyzed the different aspects surrounding the problem. From there I was able to visualize how a user might search for a hand signal, how I wanted to display information about the signal and the corresponding rule, and the breakdown/flow of the application (seen in the corresponding flowchart below).
The first iteration of the paper prototype captured a lot necessary functionality. After only a few observations and walking throughs with users, some major flaws and inconsistencies were brought to light. Below are some of the improvements addressed in the 2nd iteration of the paper prototype.
MBA/MA in Design Leadership
Cultural Relevance and Awareness
Date: June – July 2014