TURNING DATA INTO
Visual design of the coaching app
Custom-built solution powered by SAP HANA
In 2008, the Womens Tennis Association (WTA) began allowing coaches onto the court during a match to consult with their players. While the insights exchanged during these brief teaching moments could help sway the outcome of a match, the coaches were limited to what they could observe from the stands.
As the distinction between professional athletics and technology has become increasingly blurred, the WTA saw an opportunity to advance the sport with exciting new data and analytics tools. What they needed next was a technology partner to realize this potential. So, the WTA enlisted SAP, a leader in innovative software for professional athletics that has worked with organizations like the National Hockey League (NHL), The National Basketball Association (NBA), The German National Team and City Football Group.
To co-innovate new technology that would improve the quality of play and enhance the fan experience, the two organizations mapped out the vision for the future – including allowing for the ﬁrst time in 2015 WTA authorized tablets equipped with big data and statistical insights onto court.
As a ﬁrst step to designing the new tool, the team from SAP's Design & Co-Innovation Center (DCC) immersed themselves into the sport to more deeply understand the intricacies of womens professional tennis. The team not only studied live matches, but explored diﬀerent aspects of tennis visual language and expressions by looking at how it is consumed graphically on TV, video games, and even within tennis-speciﬁc health and ﬁtness apps. The design researchers also conducted in-depth WTA player and coach interviews that helped identify key performance metrics that help optimize player performance.
From the research, insights began to emerge, and the designers developed various prototypes that were tested on-site with end users and revised based on their feedback.