TOOLS FOR ENGAGEMENT
Ralph Sampson - the giant college and pro NBA star - liked the below Interactive Quiz App and challenged me to come up with a way to leverage his connections to universities and to solve the big problem of engagement at events. Colleges don't have big advertising budgets, but they do have stuff they can give away and a large glut of old photos and video.
Flexing my product muscle, I designed a custom skin-able app that allowed universities to easily create sponsored contests for their students, alumni and fans. For example, running an in-game contest that offers $2 off at the concession stand to the winner of a quiz about old players engages fans and creates opportunities to upsell excess inventory. Or add value to current sponsors by asking questions around existing sponsorship deals like "What is the vehicle ad on the main scoreboard?"
SIMPLICITY IS KEY
This required a very clean interface with a clear path to incentives for the user.
DESIGN FOR FUN
Users need to enjoy what they're doing or they leave. I designed this app to let users compete head-to-head using unique audio and visual questions that were actually fun to answer. Experimenting and testing out new interactions, question types and gameplay helped me discover questions people actually liked answering.
MONETIZATION THAT MAKES SENSE
All too often, monetization is not thought about from the start and when it IS added, it feels forced. With monetization in mind, sponsorship opportunities were created as part of the contest structure as well as baked-in sponsored questions that work alongside the regular questions.
Another factor that drove the design was the idea that advertising companies have old ads that they would rarely run again. But those old ads can have value in a pop-culture reference context. Creating an ecosystem where brands can get further value from their previous ad campaigns by using them as questions, became the basis for generating sponsorship.
WHY PLAY FOR NOTHING?
Sponsors could also host giveaways and discounts that doubled as contests. Users could compete to win the offered prize, creating positive interactions with the brand. This provided more sponsorship opportunities while providing value to the user.
FOCUS ON THE PRIMARY GOAL
Yardbarker has continually contracted me to handle their larger one-off projects. In this case, they needed to update their mobile web presence to increase consumption of articles.
YB didn't know quite what they wanted so I outlined a number of different options, optimizing engagement through scrolling and better page organization.
GRIDS ARE GREAT
Like most content-heavy sites, Yardbarker had to accommodate a lot of similar content but needed flexibility depending on that content's importance. I developed a grid system that allowed for multiple display options and maximum flexibility.
In the end - though I explored a number of directions - less was more and we went with a very straightforward approach that maximized image size without compromising headline length.
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