US Open Virtual Entourage

connecting players with their entourage virtually

The Virtual Player Boxes brought players' Entourage virtually to the courts  to support the players during the US Open 2020 games.

Background

The US Open games are usually packed with fans, and a very lively event with multiple games held on various courts throughout the tournament. As a tennis player myself I've been to the US Open games and remember the energy first hand. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 games were unique in that it was fan-less and had stricter restrictions on the player entourage admitted.

The Challenge

Players are often supports by their entourage in the box a the court during games. The entourage of coaches, family and friends are huge for many players but for the 2020 games it was restricted to 3 people. How might we create that support for players virtually?

The Outcome

The US Open Virtual Player Box allows players competing at Arthur Ashe Stadium to invite guests to be part of the experience through the LED boards inside the venue. It allows for live interaction during select moments to create an interactive experience for the players and a compelling experience for viewers at home.

My Role

UX Designer

Our Team

Product Owner
Product Manager
Engineering

Scope

1 month

Our Process

discovery

Research to understand and empathize with user needs and behavior

Process maps

IDEATION

Brainstorm potential solutions to the pain points identified

Brainstorming, sketching

Design

Design the interface to visualize the solution in various fidelities

Wireframes, Mockups

TEST

Test the design and iterate based on findings

QA Testing, stakeholder feedback

The Experience

How it works

Players competing in the games were able to invite their entourage to the experience. The entourage received an email including a link to their box per game. When they clicked on the link they are taken to the landing page to enter into their box. Once in the box the entourage were able to interact with the players during moments such as changeovers.

My role in this project was designing the landing page and the emails.

The experiences we created

Players like Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, Karolina Muchova and Novak Djokovic interacted with the Player Box. Players were able to get moral support virtually, and viewers at home got interesting inside looks into the conversations at the Box.

Takeaway and Confirmations

QA diligently

The nature of the games being a tournament style meant that matches were announced the day before. Our landing pages for each email per match per player entourage had to be absolutely bug free to reduce errors. As with any project QA was an important process for the deployment of the project to ensure a seamless user experience.

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