Officiating hockey is difficult and organizations have trouble retaining officials beyond their first season. Skilled, seasoned officials are working towards retirement and there is a large need for lower level officials to improve their skill to be able to fill seasoned officials skates.
To help bring officials back and encourage existing officials to level up their skills I took steps to foster a more inclusive community environment, added resources to promote growth and made key information easier to locate.
- Stakeholder Interviews
- Cognitive Walkthrough
- Comparative Analysis
- User Survey
- Contextual Interviews
- User Research Sessions
- Interactive Prototyping
- Google Forms
To gain a baseline understanding of the potential issues I spoke with 2 officials with a combined 95 years of officiating experience who are currently in administrative roles. I learned that 51% of 1st year officials within the wider scope of USA Hockey don’t return for a second season.
I went through the existing District 6 website with a fine-tooth comb and made extensive notes on my findings that included a lack of hierarchy, wayfinding and navigability. There was also a lot of room for growth as resources to utilize on a regular basis were limited and there was nothing available to promote community engagement or growth.
During my comparative analysis I looked at additional resources for hockey officials across the internet at the National, State and Local levels. I discovered that most of the tutorials and helpful articles available for hockey officials are distributed at the National level and can be difficult to find and under-utilized by local officials.
To better understand other officials context of use I sent a user survey out to District 6 officials. I found that most officials use the website weekly, users love the add/remove games feature and most officials value what step level (skill level ranking to determine what games they can work) they are.
Ideation & Testing
Sketch Design Concepts
With my initial research complete I began to sketch out some early design concepts to work towards my goals of making resources more accessible, encouraging officials to improve and foster more of community environment with District 6 to help improve their retention of officials.
Contextual Inquiries & Design Evaluations
Once I had some rough design concepts sketched out I interviewed a couple of District 6 officials to get additional information I was unable to learn from my user survey as well as test my design concepts. I learned that my idea for an award ceremony could help foster a community environment and help retain officials but seasoned officials were unlikely to attend if it wasn’t kept light-hearted.
With my notes from the cognitive walkthrough of the existing District 6 website as well as my user insights and goal of making information more accessible I restructured the website sitemap and broke the current 21 homepage links down into 6 mains sections to point users towards the pertinent information.
I built an interactive prototype with Sketch and Invision to be able to test the updated website navigation as well as the updated pages and concepts For the sake of testing I built out the primary screens such as Home, Rating Levels, Community Forum and New Officials pages.
With my interactive prototype built I completed 3 remote user testing sessions using Zoom and asked users to perform a set of tasks on the website prototype to evaluate the updated hierarchy, wayfinding, navigation and new page concepts. I learned that resources to help officials increase their skill level was appreciated and users were able to more quickly locate the high level information. I also noted some small changes to make as certain parts of the prototype led to confusion.
I compiled all of my findings and crafted a narrative story to present my research and interactive prototype to a large group of remote viewers via Zoom and Facebook live.