I led all phases of UX research and product design for a new fantasy sports mobile app.
My Roles
UX Researcher
UX Designer
Information Architect
UI Designer
December 2019 - Present


In 2020, I conducted all phases of UX research and product design for a fantasy sports mobile platform that I created called IronFan. By rooting the design in user research, I discovered opportunities to serve the user by alleviating pain points commonly found in popular products throughout the industry.


Traditionally, the phrase “Fantasy Sports” refers to virtual game platforms in which participants assemble teams of real players of a professional sport. These teams then compete based on the statistical performance of those players in actual games.

The Problem:

Many users complain that the growth of fantasy sports has reduced the modern fan experience to focus only on individual player performance and not team success. My initial goal was to design a product that could translate the passion associated with traditional team sports fandom into a modern fantasy sports experience.  I was excited about this product space and couldn’t wait to get started.

Here’s how I did it.


Who Are We Designing For?

To gain a better understanding of users in this product space, I dove into secondary demographic research and found valuable insights about who I was designing for. Insights included:

Target Demographics *

  1. 81% of users are male
  2. 50% of users are between the ages of 18 -34
  3. 67% of users are employed full-time
  4. 47% of users make more than $75,000/yr

Primary Reasons for Playing Fantasy Sports **

  1. Entertainment Value
  2. Social Connection

*  See Appendix (1)

** See Appendix (2)

What Are The User's Needs?

I had a baseline understanding of the target user, but decided to conduct user interviews with individuals who fit my target demographic to gain a better understanding of their pain points, preferences, and behaviors.

User Interview Highlights

I organized my notes from the user interviews into an affinity map, which I used to create an empathy map and two unique user personas. These tools helped portray a more realistic picture of my target user, their frustrations, goals, and desired features.

Refined Problem: "How Might We ... ?"

After concluding the research phase, it became evident that I needed to redefine the problem to better reflect the needs and preferences expressed throughout my user interviews. My new goal was to provide solutions to the following questions:

  1. How might we design an experience that requires less user time and management?
  2. How might we improve the social aspect of fantasy sports?
  3. How might we foster deeper fandom and interaction with familiar and/or unfamiliar sports?

Solution: Team-Centric Design

I designed IronFan to be built on a team-centric design, meaning that users draft teams rather than individual players. This allows the game to be played throughout the year as it is not limited to one sport/season. This alternative structure also solves our “How Might We Questions” in the following ways.

  1. Reduces management time required to manage since there are fewer roster transactions.
  2. Provides a medium for users to stay connected with friends throughout the year.
  3. Provides users teams to cheer for throughout the year while also providing an introduction to unfamiliar sports if desired.

User Flow:

Once the solution of team-centric design was identified, I mapped out a user flow to get an idea of the user’s journey and the screens required for the minimal viable product (MVP).

I determined that MVP functionality included Account Creation/Login, Create or Join a League, Draft Teams, League Home, View Roster, and Drop/Add Teams.

Sketches to Wireframes:

To begin my screen designs, I quickly sketched out screen layout ideas. I then used Figma to transfer my sketches to low fidelity wireframes to use for Guerilla Testing to get early feedback on initial designs and information architecture.

UI Design: Clean & Consistent

As I moved towards a high fidelity prototype, I needed to establish design elements that were consistent with the brand attributes (Innovation, Strength, Community) and brand personality (Modern, Athletic, Intelligent) that I had created for IronFan.

I also needed to consider the target audience (young professional adult male) and their tastes. With this in mind, I chose a sophisticated, modern design with a simple user interface that remained clean even while displaying a lot of information such as team stats or player information.

I created a moodboard to organize inspirational images/UI designs and then documented all design elements in a style guide for future reference.

Prototype & Usability Testing:

For the next phase, I created a high fidelity interactive prototype on Figma, constantly referencing my style guide to ensure consistency across all screens.

My prototype continued to evolve as I conducted an initial round of remote moderated usability tests (using Zoom video conferencing) with five participants. With each usability test, the screens improved as issues were continually identified and resolved. Since the first round of usability tests were so successful, I decided to conduct a second round with five new participants. Usability tests were vital in the complete evolution and maturation of IronFan.

Without usability testing, it wouldn’t have been possible to create a frictionless IronFan experience.

Final High Fidelity Prototype Example Screens

Results: Goals Achieved & Lessons Learned

In its current state, I am confident that the IronFan MVP prototype successfully achieves the redefined goals I set out to accomplish. As a unique solution to fantasy sports, it provides a refreshing experience that is also familiar and intuitive. IronFan wasn’t the only thing to evolve during this process.

Throughout this journey I’ve learned many lessons, most notably being:

  1. The problem you initially seek to solve may not be the only real problem for the user.
  2. It’s crucial to obtain user feedback throughout the entire design process.
  3. Just when you think you’re done, it’s probably time for another usability test.

I am very proud of my work on this project and am excited to partner with a development team to launch the first release of IronFan on iOS in the near future.