Setting the stage
Last October, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to join Golf AI, a startup using machine learning and computer visioning technology to provide golfers with instant swing analysis. I had worked with the rest of the design team on creating an experience that allowed golfers to record their golf swings and get feedback.
Users would be able to see the angles of their different body movement (ex. hip rotation or shoulder turn) at the three main parts of their golf swing, so that they could determine how they needed to improve. As designers, we had really focused on taking that feedback and making it more digestible and more intuitive.
However a low number of app users, and correspondingly, low app sales had caused us to take a step back and ask ourselves if the feedback that we were giving to users was actually valuable in the first place. This case study is the in-depth story of how I led our product thinking and design efforts to look past our app as just a swing analyzer, and instead create a personalized coaching experience.
The Need for product positioning
Part of the problem with the design process we had used was that we designed around a “golfer”, but we had failed to ask ourselves this question - what kind of golfer would actually use our app, and why?
There wasn’t as much focused on trying to help golfers, especially newer ones, actually improve their stroke without having to pay for a coach. Since this seemed like a promising audience to target, we now came up with a new mission of creating a cheaper alternative to coaching within a golf app.
Understanding how to hit our target audience better
We needed to understand the characteristics of a wide variety of golfers, and especially the less experienced ones who wouldn’t necessarily want to pay for coaching. This way, we could be much more intentional in how to create an experience tailored to a more specific audience. To do this, I worked with our UX researcher, Darin, to lead the creation of a survey with the two other designers.
We were able to get feedback from 89 golfers and 16 former golfers, with responses from golfers of all ages, income levels, experience levels. Some of the key insights that stood out: