UX design in fantasy football leaves much to be desired. Over the past 10 years, both technology and design have evolved tremendously, unfortunately, fantasy sports hasn’t really kept up. Here are 3 ways UX could make improvements to the fantasy football world.
1. Jakob’s Law
It’s probably best to first explain what exactly is Jakob’s Law. It’s a heuristic law in the world of user experience design, meaning that it enables users to learn something on their own.
Definition: “Users spend most of their time on other sites. This means that users prefer your site to work the same way as all the other sites they already know.”
Fantasy does apply this law in a way, the problem is it follows itself and fantasy sites have rarely evolved over the last 20 years. A lot of fantasy sites today, especially football, still look like they were developed in the early 2000’s.
The opportunity is to look at the user base and understand the products they use for any particular function and find ways to replicate the experience. Millennials and GenZ now represent the majority of players in fantasy. While their favourite apps can differ slightly, there is an overlap, and understanding how they interact with each of these apps is a better path forward than continuing to simply improve upon its own designs.
This is why the evolution of fantasy sports websites has been so painfully slow in an age of incredible technological and design advancement.
2. Customer Centric vs Product Centric
One of the biggest problems that exists in fantasy sports is that everything revolves around the product, not the customer.
Fantasy might benefit to move towards customer centric and start thinking about how to improve the user experience within the application. Most applications in the space offer no value beyond hosting the league. Sleeper has done a rather good job in this regard, there’s more reasons to be in their product than simply checking the scores on Sunday. But much of the industry has failed to provide add-value beyond the hosting services.
A customer centric fantasy experience may very well be the next major shift in growth for the fantasy sports market, and catching up with the rest of technology and design to implement better experiences to compete with substitute products that fight for screen time.
Customer centric design could be many things in fantasy. The key is to examine how can we bring more value into the product and consider the customer’s experience & journey.
3. Peak-End Rule
The final is a law in cognitive bias called the Peak-End Rule, which states that people judge an experience largely based on how they felt at its peak and at its end, rather than the total sum or average of every moment of the experience.
The current onboarding experience in fantasy is rather arduous. Most sites have a reasonable signup process, but league creation and even reading rules and settings can create a massive barrier to entry.
The end of the season also presents massive opportunities to provide an experience. We can learn much from the video game industry here, like providing a summary report of the year, highlights, or how well you place amongst the world, not just your league.
Fantasy has a long way to come in terms of UX design. We’ve seen some improvements from a small number of platforms over the years, but for the most part, the experience hasn’t changed much and it’s hurting the industry’s ability to grow and adopt the next generation of players.
If you’re interested in these types of arguments, please share and help me voice opportunities that exist in bringing fantasy sports to the next level. You can also follow my Twitter and be part of the change as we build Doxa Fantasy Sports.