At WWDC 2018, Apple introduced iOS 12 with a slew of new AR capabilities. Seeing an opportunity to enhance PGA TOUR’s fan experience, the team set out to utilize these new platform features in a creative and engaging way, not just on the course but for every golf fan.
As with any new technology, our team set out to learn everything we could in order to deliver an idea that would both push the new functionality and enhance the overall experience. As this was a completely new direction for TOUR, our first determination was that we should release this feature as a completely separate app in order to best isolate the experience for testing and proving fan interest. After our initial approach was agreed upon, our first step was to map out each experience scenario. Early in our team discussions, the concept for an on-course and off-course experience became clear as we wanted to provide the maximum number of users this new and exciting engagement. From those two experience sets, an MVP feature set was created for each experience type in order to provide the most relevant experiences based on use case as well as track towards our goal of using the tech to its fullest. As this was an experimental undertaking, it was also important that we be respectful of our budget so as not to impact our existing product roadmap. It was also important that the product being released did not feel like a “prototype” or test market app. After landing on a unique set of experiences for each feature, a full application map and wireframe set was created. Unlike many of the apps designed and built by our company, this endeavor was going to be a joint venture between the local team and our 3D gaming division located in Budapest; daily syncs and collaborative workshops were critical to the success of the project. Before the final release of the app to the store, real-world testing was conducted on the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course using historical play data as well as live play data during the current tournament, ensuring the app functioned well in all scenarios and that the experiences exceeded expectations for both our team and the client.
With the app built and released to the store, audiences loved this new way to experience their favorite sport. In fact, the app was featured as “App of the Day” within the Apple app store. Through the AR app, TOUR was also able to create new corporate partnerships and sponsorships, bolstering their own investment revenue. Lastly, in addition to rewarding their fan base, our app was also able to gain Apple’s attention, leading to the PGA TOUR AR app being featured in WWDC 2019. To assist our client with the marketing requirements, the design team crafted a full suite of materials, promotional shots, and finally video to be used during the presentation.
As with any project I work on, I strive to create an experience that creates joy and boosts a clients reputation in their field. With the success of this standalone experience and the recognition from Apple, it became clear our new functionality would complement the flagship TOUR app. One of the most rewarding parts of a design career is to see how an idea evolves, grows, and expands into a new life with lasting impact. The journey from small standalone app, to a fully immersive feature blended seamlessly into the home for golf fans remains one of my favorite accomplishments.
New Technology Insight
Audience / Customer Experience Approach
Augmented Reality Experience Guidance
Development Team Collaboration
Client Marketing Collaboration
Feature Plan and Design Strategy