Contextual Inquiry-Group:Coach Class

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Contents

Team Members and Contributions

Brian Chin

  • Contributed to group discussion and interface design ideas, wrote the problem solution overview, analysis of tasks, and task analysis portions of the document

Jonathan Hirschberg

  • Interviewed two coaches, contributed to group discussion and interface design ideas, wrote parts of this document

Jordan Klink

  • Interviewed a coach, contributed to group discussion and interface design ideas, wrote parts of this document

Alex Sydell

  • Interviewed a coach, wrote parts of this document, contributed to group discussion and interface design ideas

Wei Wu

  • Interviewed a player, created all sketches in the assignment, wrote parts of this document, contributed to group discussion and interface design ideas

Target Users

We wanted to get a wide perspective both from coaches and players, and from different sports, on what would be desired in an iPhone application for coaches. We interviewed five target users, four coaches from various sports (basketball, volleyball, football, and soccer) and an ultimate frisbee player. Our interviews gave us a broad range of viewpoints, with some definite overlaps, on which we based our design decisions. Here we present the background of our five interviewees.

User 1

The first user we interviewed coaches high school basketball and volleyball. He chose to talk from a volleyball perspective when answering most of our questions. We found that his top priority was focusing on individual player development which he said then translates into a better team overall. He likes to take notes on his players and keep stats during games as well so that he knows which areas to work on with which player, and these are the things for which he would find a technological solution most useful. Although less important, another thing he was interested in keeping track of is the strengths and weaknesses of opposing teams to better pick strategies during a game. This coach prefers not to use a coach's clipboard and instead communicates with his players verbally. He also keeps the set plays that he teaches his players to a minimum, instead favoring individual player development and then allowing the players to decide what to do on the court, so he did not see a great need for an app which he could use to draw out plays.

User 2

The second user we interviewed is the head coach for a junior college basketball team. He also coaches soccer at a nearby high school. He does not own an iPhone and is not aware of other mobile apps that can assist him in his work. He watches opponents play and takes notes with pen and paper. To communicate his plays to players, he uses a whiteboard and a program called "Fast Draw" that creates plays and allows people to write notes underneath and email them. He has spent sixteen years coaching at this college, and his teams have won more than twenty games for most of the seasons he has been coaching there. Since he is very experienced and his teams are very successful, we believe he knows best about basketball coaching and would be able to best tell us how he does his work of planning strategies and how a technological solution can help him accomplish his goals.

User 3

The third user is the head coach for a junior college soccer team. He does not own an iPhone and is not aware of the other coaching apps that are available. He instead uses magnet boards, white boards, and uses a scouting program in Excel to manage player statistics. He holds the United States Soccer Federation “A” License, the highest coaching credentials in the US. He has been coaching for more than 25 years and is also a coaching instructor in a coaching school. He knows what makes soccer teams successful and it is important that we learn what he needs to do to coach his teams, and we need to incorporate that information into the design of our app.

User 4

The fourth user we interviewed is a coach and former player of recreational flag football. Although he doesn't coach traditional 11-man tackle football, he is still very familiar with the sport in general and actively watches college football and the NFL on TV. He has been active in sports all his life, and was one of the leading scorers on his high school basketball team. He is comparatively older than other coaches but at the same time is highly experienced. Although he did consider options about a coaching app for sports in general, he primarily focused on football during the interview. He is very old-fashioned and does not own an iPhone nor a smartphone, and traditionally used paper for any plays or records while coaching. However, he was still quite open to alternatives to his paper playbook as long as it had the mobility and same functionality.

User 5

User 5 is the team captain of his college ultimate frisbee team. While he is not the coach of the team, he is still very invested in the success of him and his team in the game. He has practice three days a week, but the length of practice varies between two hours to however long it takes. As a player, he has little role in designing strategies -- that falls under the duties of the coach. However, he must take directives from the coach and follow the plays that the coach comes up with, so it is very important for him to be able to effectively communicate with the coach. For any play, he must understand his position and movements relative to the other players on the field in order for a play to be successful. In playing the sport, his top priority is his individual performance during games. This is what he has to contribute to the success of the team as a whole, so he would like to keep track of statistics of his scoring, assists, fouls, etc. in games. He does not and has not ever owned/used a smartphone device.

We chose to observe and interview a player to get their perspective on our proposed application because they are the ones who have to learn the plays that coaches draw. We thought that it was important to understand from their side how they absorb plays and the key features they look for. In case there is a discrepancy between what a coach thinks is effective communication of a play and what a player thinks, it would be useful to consider what a player would find most helpful in a coach's drawing of a play on our application in our design.

Problem and Solution Overview

An essential role of any basketball coach is to create and diagram plays for his or her players to execute during games. When doing this, they need decide on the best play for the current situation, and then express what they want their players to do in a clear, concise way. However, the only current solutions for coaches to present plays in the heat of a game is through marker and whiteboard. This is inadequate in that white boards often become dirty with repeated use. Quick, messy sketches make it difficult for players to discern what the coach wants them to do. Also, coaches oftentimes use plays that they have pre-prepared, but white boards offer no way of reminding them how the play worked. Instead, coaches must rely solely on their memory when diagramming it. Finally, coaches have no way of knowing, statistically, which plays are more effective than others in situations. They are forced to rely on gut instinct in selecting a play for the moment. These are all problems that our project hopes to address.

Our proposed solution to the problem is to create a mobile application, specifically targeted at basketball coaches, that would help them diagram and explain plays to their players. It would be able to act as a white board, allowing for simple diagramming and explaining of a play on the spot. This will allow coaches to communicate, clearly and effectively, a play that they had just created on the spot for the specific situation. The app would also have the added functionality of being able to create "movies" of the plays, allowing coaches to demonstrate the timing necessary to execute the play. Finally, the app would allow coaches to input statistics on plays and individual players, and it would be able to use these statistics to offer suggestions on what plays to run given a situation.

Interview Descriptions and Results

User 1

This coach's teams were unfortunately not in season at the time of the interview, so we were unable to observe him at a practice or game. Instead, we spoke to him and asked him very general questions to influence his answers as little as possible. He gave us insight mostly from the volleyball perspective. What this coach shares most with our other interviewees is his desire to keep track of individual player stats and some overall notes, for example for his players, team notes, and notes about opponents as well. He felt that an application could be helpful in those areas, but was not interested in using technology for much else. His most unique viewpoint amongst our interviewees is that he is not very interested in drawing plays, whether on an old-fashioned clipboard or in an application. His rationale is that focusing on individual player development is much more important, particularly at the high school level, so he spends most of his in this area instead of working on overall team strategies.

User 2

Since school was not in session due to the President's Day holiday, and the user's college was far away from Berkeley, it was not possible to observe him at a practice or game. Instead, we spoke to him over the phone and asked him a series of questions about how he designs strategies for his team and communicates them to players. He emphasized that the primary factor in the success of a play is the player's intelligence and ability to understand the instructions. He focuses on facilitating communication with his players, taking advantage of each player's learning style, whether it is auditory, visual, or kinesthetic. His primary means of designing strategies is in observing other coaches' plays and learning from his opponents through video tape and tries to determine their weaknesses. He wants a technological solution that would help him diagram, save, and share plays with his players and his coaching staff, preferably in the form of an interactive video game that allows players to see plays demonstrated on screen. Statistics help for him, but he feels they are not as important as the abilities of the players in carrying out plays. He believes it is important to watch opponents play in person or on video and see if their strategies work against the opponent. He uses the coach's clipboard for time outs and to reinforce something that was already taught.

User 3

We ended up not observing this user either due to the President's Day holiday and his lack of proximity to Berkeley. We instead asked him a series of questions about how he designs and communicates strategies to his players. We found the following important points. He believes that player technique is most important, and spends much of his time monitoring player performance through video tapes and feedback. He needs a good scouting program to get player statistics for his own team and his opponents. Tactics or strategies are important to him, but they are not as important as technique. He also takes notes on daily strategy sessions and focuses sessions on issues their team had trouble with previously. He most prefers a technological solution to help with scouting players, which involves keeping track of players' performance statistics in games. Communication between coaches mostly involves sharing scouting reports and player stats. He wants to save video footage of player performance to examine player movements and give them feedback if they fail to do what is expected. His ideal app would archive notes and statistics from all of the daily training sessions so that he can call upon them and see what challenges they faced back then that they should work on now.

User 4

As it currently wasn't football season, we decided to meet at a restaurant and conduct the interview over dinner. He emphasized the importance of timing on and off the field, and showed very strong interest in the idea of an "animated" playbook, as all of his plays are on drawn out on paper and are hence static. In addition, he noted that he would only use such an app if it was quick enough to use on the field, since he uses his playbook during timeouts and during a timeout he only gets about 30 seconds to explain to his team exactly what they need to do. Although he does not use statistics frequently, he believed that it would be a huge advantage to him as a coach for an app to automatically select a play based on past statistics and current context (ie: 4th down and goal). He also liked the idea of a phone keeping records for him so that he didn't have to, especially specific stats such as the average amount of yards gained for a specific play. In the past he always used paper and index cards to keep track of plays but would consider switching to a virtual environment as long as he could take it wherever he needed and had all of the functionality that he was used to having.

User 5

Since it is disruptive to follow the contextual inquiry method for a player in the midst of practice, the user was observed throughout the length of his ultimate practice at a nearby field and interviewed after practice. The conversation after practice involved answering a set of predetermined questions, as well as clarifications on certain points of the practice, which illuminated our understanding of both the game and the needs of the player in terms of playbooks. A notable detail that the player revealed was that while there are many defensive strategies involving how players should cover the field, there were only four of what he would consider offensive "plays" in ultimate. In that sense, there is little room for creativity or diverging from the bank of plays that all players had practiced. Such details made us realize that the user demands for each sport are very different from each other, so it would be difficult to generalize an app that would be suitable for all coaches.

Also, he could describe clearly when a play was successful or not, but stated that he did not think his team would choose to run plays based purely on their statistical success rate. However, from a player's perspective, he considered individual performance stats very useful as it helps put into perspective his areas of strength and weakness, which is what other coaches we interviewed also deemed a good measure for team development. In terms of understanding plays, he suggested that animating a play would be very helpful and a huge improvement from the current whiteboard method he is used to. Timing is the most crucial component of an offensive play in ultimate, and a still image does not fully convey the intricate movements within the short 10 seconds that plays usually happen.

Summary

From interviewing people from different sports, we realized each sport had a very different set of rules, so that a strategy or a play meant different things to a coach from each sport. For example, the ultimate player said that his sport only involved a few offensive plays, and that statistics for play success rate would not affect how their team would act in a game. However, User 4, the football coach, had to catalog a huge number of plays for his sport in his head, which made choosing plays at critical moments overwhelming. Since every sport had such different requirements, we decided that making a generalized coach's clipboard app for all sports would result in a bulky, mediocre app at best--to cater to the needs of one sport, we would have to sacrifice the needs of another. Thus, we decided to focus on making the complete coach's clipboard for only one sport, one that would allow a coach to both draw plays and keep play and player statistics. We chose basketball because a basketball team relies on a balance of smart plays and individual player ability to achieve success. From our analysis, it demanded the broadest set of features.

We shaped the features in our app around the common features that were prevalent in all our interviews. All coaches and the player wished they could easily keep track of individual player performance during a game, as these stats help to expose the strengths and weaknesses of the team as whole. The coaches who utilized plays extensively in their sport also wanted more effective ways of demonstrating the strategies to their team that could show the timing. Animated plays, we concluded, would be helpful for this purpose. Lastly, all coaches wanted a tool for quick note-taking during practices, games, and running plays. This is a problem that could easily be solved on an iPhone.

List and Description of Tasks

Taking notes (easy)

According to our interviews with coaches, one of the most useful features for them in a mobile coaching application would be one that would allow them to take notes. Currently, coaches take notes during practices and games. They record their thoughts on everything from how a player is doing, to the strengths and weaknesses of a particular play against an opposing team. The current solution is relatively easy and simple to use. Coaches simply write their thoughts down using pen and paper. The solution in our application will be equally as easy. There will be a notes tab in the application and coaches will be able to type and save notes using this. These can then be viewed later.

Drawing a play (easy)

During practices or in games, coaches often will diagram and show plays to players. Oftentimes these plays are ones that the players have seen before, though sometimes coaches come up with unique plays on the spot for the given situation. The current solution involves marker and a whiteboard with the outline of the court on it. Coaches simply use the marker and draw on this board, indicating where players are, and what they should do. In our application drawing plays will be equally as easy. Coaches will be able to indicate on the screen where players are, and what they should do, using simple gestures such as tapping and stroking. This will create X's, O's and arrows on the screen, similar to what coaches draw on white boards.

Selecting a play (moderate)

At critical moments of the game, coaches must select a play to run, from memory. This can be a moderately difficult task, as coaches must be able to decide which play will work best for the given situation, and then remember and diagram the play while under great stress and time constraint. Memory is faulty, and coaches can make bad decisions about which play is best, leading thus to unfortunate outcomes. Our application will hopefully improve upon this current methodology. In our solution, coaches will be able to save and store plays, thus removing the coach's own faulty memory from play. We will also implement features to allow the application to use stored statistics to make suggestions of plays to run, given a situation. This will reduce the problem of bad decision-making by coaches. We still expect that selecting a play will be moderately difficult though. There could be many plays stored in the application, making choosing a specific one difficult. Also, coach's will still have to remember the name of the play to choose it from a list. Finally, the device can offer a suggestion of which play to run, but the decision itself still depends on the coach.

Play success tracking during a game (moderate)

Teams and coaches usually keep stats of which what plays are run and how successful they are during a game. This data is used to decide what plays are working, and therefore what plays should be run. The current solution is moderately difficult. It involves the coach writing down plays that are run and whether the play fails or succeeds. Then, using what he has written down, the coach attempts to make sense of the data, and make decisions based on it. This can be difficult at times, since the game of basketball can proceed rapidly, giving coaches limited time. Our solution would also be moderately difficult, though we hope easier than the current method. In our application, coaches would be able to select the play that is currently running, and then choose if it was successful or not. The iphone would then analyze and summarize the data automatically, should the coach want the data.

Demonstrating a play (difficult)

One of the most important aspects of a play is the timing. Players need to move in sync with each other in order to keep defenses at bay. Thus, one of the most difficult tasks for a coach is demonstrating and animating a play to a player, in order to show the correct timing of a play. It is usually physically impossible to do this with a marker and board, the current method. Oftentimes multiple players are moving at once and the coach can only draw one thing at a time. Therefore, he must rely on his drawings and his explanations to create a mental movie of how the play should be run, with correct timings, in the players' heads. This solution can become unclear with complex plays, and it may be hard for the coach to communicate all the details and nuances of the play to his players. Our solution hopes to make it easier for the coach to show a play with all the actions timed correctly. The application we are creating will allow for plays to be animated and then played back as a movie, showing the play as it should be performed, something a marker and board cannot do. The process of making this animated play, we expect will still be difficult, but the results should be a much more clear impression in players' minds of the play.

Player stat tracking during a game (difficult)

In basketball, there are a multitude of statistics that coaches keep on players. From points to rebounds to assists, these are all used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each individual player. During games, coaches must thus keep statistics on individual players. This can be extraordinarily difficult as there are many categories of data, and many events could happen on each play, each leading to a data point. Our solution hopes to make this process simpler for coaches, though it will still be difficult, given the fast pace of basketball. In our application, coaches enter in whether each play was successful or not. Using this information, coaches will then be allowed to enter in information on who scored and who assisted, in the case of a success, or who turned the ball over or who missed a shot, in the case of a failure, along with other data. This provides a more streamlined approach to gathering data on individual players.

Task Analysis Questions

1. Who is going to use the system? We hope that basketball coaches of any experience level will use this app. This includes coaches in the amateur, high school, college, and professional levels. The typical user will generally have a deep understanding of the game of basketball, more than the casual observer. They will also generally like the game and have a passion for it. Coaches in particular are also experienced in explaining and diagramming information, and are usually very busy. However, not all coaches will be extremely fluent with the use of smart phones.

2. What tasks do they now perform? According to our interviews, coaches perform a variety of tasks. They draw out plays and and plan out strategies. They also scout out opposing teams and observe the other team's strategies, strengths, and weaknesses. Coaches are also involved in the development of individual players. They keep track of the statistics of each individual athlete and help that athlete overcome his weaknesses while developing his strengths.

3. What tasks are desired? In our interviews coaches expressed a desire for a way to conveniently store all of their information together in one environment. They would like to be able to instantly pull up statistics on individual players and teams, demonstrate how plays are performed through diagrams or video, and be able to scout out opposing teams with a mobile device. Some have also expressed a desire for coaching-related information to be easily sent around on a single platform.

4. How are the tasks learned? Generally, the tasks in our application will be designed to be as close to their analog counterparts as possible. This is because coaches are very busy and do not have time to learn a completely new system. Therefore, the application will build upon prior knowledge that coaches already have. This includes their skill in using a clipboard or whiteboard to draw plays and their experience (or lack thereof) with smart phones.

5. Where are the tasks performed? Coaches work in a limited number of areas. Generally, games are played on fields or, in the case of basketball, on a court. When not playing a game, they will also work in practice facilities where the team trains. These environments are generally very well lit. They can also be very loud and boisterous, especially during games. Depending on where they are, crowds may be supportive or disparaging towards the user. Rituals involved in the game environment include cheering, and chanting, and occasionally singing.

6. What's the relationship between user and data? Coaches both acquire data and use it to their advantage. Some of the information that coaches will have in the app is private and only meant for the coaches and other members of the team. This includes information on plays and strategies. Therefore this data should be restricted. Coaches will also access common data using our application. The statistics of players during games is public knowledge and anyone can have access to it. Coaches may also want to have remote access to the data stored on the application. They may want to view it on a computer or other platform. Also, they may want to make this data accessible to other members of the team through remote access.

7. What other tools does the user have? The user will have a variety of other tools. These include the analog equivalents of the tools that will be in our app, such as a white board and marker. They will also have access to manuals and books on coaching, video equipment to watch their team and other teams on, and practice equipment to demonstrate things to their team. Coaches will be able use all of these in combination with our application.

8. How do users communicate with each other? Coaches generally talk to each other when they need to communicate. They may also use email or other forms of communication. The purposes of these communications vary, but may include the exchange of coaching techniques, plays, or strategies. In our application we intend to allow users to easily send any information stored in the application, such as statistics or plays, to any other user. This will thus allow users to communicate more easily with one another.

9. How often are the tasks performed? Coaches generally work everyday during the season that their sport is played, and less in the offseason. During the season, coaches will generally communicate with players and teach them about plays and strategies everyday. Also, coaches keep track of statistics during games, and these are played every few days during the season in basketball. How often coaches design plays varies from coach to coach. Some come in before the season with a set play book and use that. Others will develop plays as the season progresses and customize plays to suit the strengths and weaknesses of their team and the particular team they are playing against that day. However, all coaches will diagram plays, on the spot, in timeouts during games.

10. What are the time constraints on the task? The time constraints on coaches depends on the task they are doing. When designing plays outside of games, they have as much time as their patience will allow. They also have a large amount of time explaining plays and strategies to players during practices. During a game however, basketball coaches may have as little as 20 seconds to diagram and explain a play to their players during a time out. Keeping track of statistics during games is also very fast paced. Each basketball play takes at most 24 seconds, and during this time many events could occur, with many statistics to record.

11. What happens when things go wrong? The consequences of when things go wrong depend on the context in which they occur. If a coach diagrams or explains a play incorrectly during practice, it can easily be fixed and there is little harm done. Also, if a coach is designing a play outside of a game situation, he has as much time as he needs to work on it and perfect it. The consequences of things going wrong greatly increase during games. If a coach records an incorrect statistic, he may not have time to correct it until the next timeout. This pales in comparison to making an error while diagramming or explaining a play during a time out. During this time, coaches are under great stress. Their ability to diagram a play correctly and to accurately explain it to their players could mean the difference between winning and losing a game.

Interface Design Questions

Functionality Summary

Our application will allow users to do the following:

  • Drawing static/animated plays
  • Saving and viewing plays
  • Sharing plays (email)
  • Player roster entry
  • Player statistics
  • Play statistics
  • Notes
  • Automated play selection

The user can draw either static plays or animated plays. Static plays simply display the layout of the players and represent the movement with arrows. Animated plays, however, allow the user to see the pieces move on the screen in real time to display the sequence and timing of each movement. Either kind of play can be saved and viewed. Once saved, the play can be emailed. In addition to the functions associated with creating plays, the app will also have a player roster entry form in which coaches can enter players' names and allow the program to keep track of them. Once these players are added to the internal memory of the phone, the phone can display player statistics and allow the user to update them. The interface will be simple and contain only a few buttons to allow users to modify them quickly during a game. The user can also keep track of play statistics during a game by selecting a play from the list of plays stored in the phone and marking it as either successful or unsuccessful. The success rate of the play is the ratio of successful attempts to the total number of attempts. Another feature is a notes section for each play that allows the user to type in notes for the given play. The last feature we are considering is automated play selection, which allows users to choose a play appropriate for the situation by searching the play list for keywords describing the situation and return the plays that have those keywords in their notes.

User Interface Description and Sketches

UI Design Sketch

Our application will have four tabs, as we found that it has four core areas: a playbook tab for drawing and viewing plays, a game tab for a quick way to keep track of statistics during a game, a stats tab for viewing detailed statistics for a particular player or play, and a notes tab for recording notes on players and plays. Sketches of the four tabs are presented in the UI Design Sketch in this section.

Playbook

The playbook section will allow for all of the functionality that a paper playbook has and more. It will have three main components, in that the user will be able to easily create, edit, or review a play. When the user draws out a play he can place the initial starting position of his players, and then draw their routes directly onto the screen. When the play is finalized, the user can then review the play and see it animated in real time to get a feel for the timing of the play. Lastly, the user can then go back and edit the play to make any necessary changes and repeat the cycle.

Game

The game tab is for keeping track of statistics during a game. Because basketball is fast-paced, the interface for this section needs to be responsive and simple. We chose to use big buttons which are easy to hit quickly, and represent the major areas that coaches will want statistics for - shots, fouls, rebounds, and play success tracking. A substitution button is used to keep track of the five players currently in-game, so that the coach has a choice of five on the other statistics screens to speed up the process. The buttons then take coaches to a following screen to enter more details. For example, pressing the rebound button will show a second view in which the coach can select which of the five players made the rebound.

Stats

In the stats tab of our interface, a coach will be able to view various statistics about his or her team that have been collected over the course of the season. The user will be able to choose between individual and play statistics to view. In individual statistics, the coach will be able to choose a player, and then see that player's points per game, free throw shooting percentage, rebounds per game, and other stats. In play statistics, coaches will be able to select a play, and then see the success rate of that play.

Notes

The Notebook feature allows coaches to take notes about anything of interest that occurs during a play, game, or practice session. It mimics the functionality of the "Fast Draw" program described by one of our interviewers by allowing coaches to enter notes about a play. The notebook view lists all notes in chronological order and allows coaches to display and edit a note. Coaches can also add new notes by clicking on the "new note" button, and can date and save them when done.

Example Task Scenarios and Sketches

Drawing a play

The first scenario involves a coach relaxing in a park on his day off. He is enjoying himself when suddenly he has a revelation and comes up with an excellent idea for a basketball play. He quickly loads his coaching assistant app and hits the "New Play" button to begin bringing his idea to life. Immediately after hitting the button he's presented with a screen depicting a half-court and his players (denoted by position) in a default layout. He then places the players where he had imagined and draws out their respective routes. Happy with his new masterpiece, the coach double taps to bring up the menu and hits the "Save as..." button, where he then proceeds to name his masterpiece "Sears Tower." Lastly, he denotes the play as an offensive one, not defensive, and finalizes his work by hitting the "Save Play" button.

Image:groupc_ca_drawingplays.jpg

Entering player notes

The second scenario takes place in training sessions when the coach wants to write down his observations to find out weak areas that he needs to focus on in future training sessions. He first accesses the notebook tab on the main page. The main view of the notebook lists the notes that have been taken previously with dates displayed next to them. A user can touch the "New Note" button and begin typing in text for a new note. Once the user finishes typing, he or she can name, date, and save it.

Image:groupc_ca_takingnotes.jpg

Player stat tracking during the game

Our third scenario takes place in the middle of a game, when a coach is keeping track of his players' statistics so that he can point out the areas in which the individual players need to improve. When the game begins, the coach opens the game tab. As a player makes a shot, he pushes the large shot button, selects a 3-point shot, taps the player input and then selects from a list of five choices, and finally saves the statistic. The process is repeated when something happens in the game. During a time out, or at the end of a game, the coach can open the stats tab, select a player, and see his statistics.

Image:groupc_ca_stattracking.jpg

Analysis of Approach

One of the affordances of the iPhone is that it has persistent memory which is much better than that of a human. Our application takes advantage of this by allowing coaches to input statistics and notes on players, plays, and opponents, and then retrieve the information at a later time. Coaches would also be able to use the application to create and save plays, and then pull them up when needed without having to redraw them. This frees coaches from having to remember many minute details, instead using the iPhone to do the remembering for them, and focus more on working directly with their players.

A second affordance that the iPhone provides is a touch screen, which we use for all of our tasks from data entry to tracking statistics to drawing plays. Given a touch screen, we can allow coaches to create animated plays which are impossible using a coach's clipboard. We can also provide more intuitive stat tracking because we do not need to show all options at once as on paper, but instead let coaches follow the sequence of events in a game by showing them a sequence of options for entering statistical information.

Finally, the iPhone is portable and has a nearly ubiquitous online connection. This allows coaches to use our app in any place at any time and have all of the information we store for them at their fingertips. Coaches can also then share the data they record and plays they create with other coaches or with their players by emailing directly from within the app.

One of the cons of our approach is that the screen we are working with is fairly small, and we must fit a fairly large amount of data onto it. This will translate into some features that we can't implement due to the limited screen size. For example, we are reducing the amount of statistics that the application can keep track of to make it easy to record them during a game. A device like an iPad would probably be an ideal fix to this problem, and would be a great size for a virtual coach's clipboard. However, the benefit of an iPhone application is that the phone is more portable than an iPad or a coach's clipboard, so a coach using the app gets the benefits of a technological solution without having to worry about carrying an extra gadget around.

Another con of our solution is that it focuses on one sport, basketball. An application that supported multiple sports would have appealed to a wider audience. However, based on the answers from our interviews, we found that coaches of different sports wanted different things out of such an application, so we felt it would be best to provide a great solution for one sport instead of a mediocre solution for several different sports. This becomes a pro in that basketball coaches get an application tailored to their needs.



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