The Chicago Cubs are in the middle of a historic run through the playoffs. Between having the best record in the regular season and mounting one of the biggest comebacks in playoff history agains the San Francisco Giants, the Cubs are poised to make history in October. But not everything about the famous team is perfect. Particularly when it comes to the user experience numbers of their brand new jumbotrons.
Fortunately, two web designers, who also happen to be die-hard Cubs fans, have come up with a few solutions that could make user experience at Wrigley Field that much more enjoyable. Mark Baldino and Ben Ihnchak are the cofounders of Fuzzy Math, a company that does user experience design, so they know what they're talking about. Check out what improvements they would make to the historic ballpark's jumbotrons:
Enhanced In-Game Experience
When you're in Wrigley field, it's hard not to get swept up by the history and excitement of the legendary ballpark. The ivy on the outfield wall, the vendors screaming about how cold their beers are, and the rowdy fans ready to fly the W. But as the third inning rolls around, the novelty has worn off and you're ready to get into some serious baseball.
“The boards show nothing unique, unexpected, or terribly interesting during game play and there is an opportunity to do that,” said Ben Inhchak, cofounder of Fuzzy Math to Tech.Co. “It looks like a baseball card but doesn’t take advantage of the in-game experience. They could show player stats, quirky information about the player at bat, and other information about the relationship between player and hitter”
While the newly installed jumbotrons have done a good job of providing stats to fans, you can always do better from a user experience stand point. Providing dynamic data and interesting facts could make Wrigley Field that much more enjoyable.
The information on jumbotrons is vast and expansive. But if you don't have the right information in the right place, Cub fans could be missing out on some fascinating stats that would improve the in-game experience more than anything.
“Right now you have to strain to scan through all the information,” said Mark Baldino, cofounder of Fuzzy Math to Tech.Co. “But you can apply the same design aesthetics to the video boards as you would to a website. Ensure proper contrast ratios and appropriate font type and site to ensure readability.”
Baldino and Ihnchak believe that a little user experience flare could do a lot in this department. Changing the font, altering the coloring, and even changing the size of stats could help fans see what they need to see when they need to see it. And by ensuring components of the scoreboard are aligned and organized in a way that makes sense, these jumbotrons will become part of the game rather than a distraction.
As every die-hard Cubs fan knows, the old school scoreboard is one of the only hand-operated scoreboards in the entire league. Not only does this piece of nostalgia make baseball fans of all ages feel a warm, fuzzy feeling in their stomach, it's also well-documented that vintage sells. Never lose that big beautiful scoreboard, no matter how many people disagree.
Photo: Flickr / arianravan