Track160

Track160 is quantifying performance and tactics metrics in soccer. Using AI deep learning techniques to track and identify the players throughout the match as well as track the ball's trajectories from a single viewpoint video.

No product, No customers

I started to work with Track160 in a very early stage, when there was only the tracking technology and a demo. The demo was an analysis of a soccer match with a video and 2D representation of the match. The first market to tackle was european lower tier soccer clubs. The product strategy was to enable coaches to analyze a game from a tactical point of view, and allow fitness coaches to analyze player’s performance.

The process

Strategy
Research
Ideation
Usability
Testing
Design


Business Model

Track160’s target audience is the long tail of soccer clubs, specifically in Europe, which consists of hundreds of 2nd-5th tier clubs and thousands of teams. The model is annual subscription, and once upgrades are available, move to tier based subscription, when the end user is the team and the customer is its club.

Research

Track160 being a new kid on the block, my research strategy was to:

  • Analyze competitors (both direct and indirect), and see what features they possess and see if their applicable to Track160.

  • Dive into the soccer analysis world and rub against its members in the different twitter groups, forums and blogs.

  • Do some reading of academic papers and research done in the field.

  • Watch Moneyball.

I accompanied our cameraman to soccer matches to see how the video footage is taken. During these recordings I had the opportunity to interview coaches and fitness coaches over their main pain points and better understand the potential the technology has in store for them.

Match analysis at a football club
Match analysis at a football club
Scatter chart of attacking efficiency. TMI according to interiewees.
Scatter chart of attacking efficiency. TMI according to interiewees.

User Research

After interviewing several coaches, both local and from abroad, we’ve distilled our users into 4 personas which hold various roles within a soccer team.

The teams budget varies and so their coaching staff; sometimes there will be a dedicated staff member who is in charge of analyzing matches and producing reports, and sometimes the head coach will share these roles with his assistant.

Key Insights

Comparative advantage

Track160 offers the complete package: video, 2D representation and data based on x and y positions of the players on the pitch. None of the competitors offer such a robust toolset with such an accurate dataset.

Context

Competitors offer lots of data, however none of it is organized or relevant to the user, be it the coach, sport scientist or fitness coach. So our top priority was to offer contextualised data and avoid overwhelming the user with “nice to have” statistics and data viz. Context is king.

State(s) of mind

Tactical Analysis is different than Sport Science Analysis; Fitness Report is different than Player Performance analysis. Looking and showing the same data from different angles is key here. Track160’s product needs to help coaches reach tactical insights, sport scientists to learn new insights and fitness coaches to train better players.

...while Track160’s data is more accurate, its accuracy alone doesn’t solve the user’s problem.

So what's the problem

Framing a design problem is the first step in a human-centered design process. It prioritizes the user and the purpose they desire to accomplish. This means that the initial round of user research is revolutionary in uncovering deep-rooted desires.

The problem Track160’s potential users have is not necessarily the inaccuracy of their data, or the “low” number of data points. Competitors focus on accurate data and abundance of ways of displaying it, and while Track160’s data is more accurate, its accuracy alone doesn’t solve the user’s problem.

The problem we set our selves to solve is the framing of the data into actionable insights.

Ideation

Group creation process sketches
* Group creation process sketches
Timeframe selection process sketches
* Timeframe selection process sketches
Video states sketches
* Video states sketches

Design

Timeframe selection process sketches
* Tactical Viewer offers video, tactical and data views of the match, allowing for a broader context.
Group creation process
* Array creation process
Group creation process
* Midfielders Array's spatial data
Timeframe selection process sketches
* Timeframe selection process screen
Group creation process
* A specific timeframe offers a more context;
exported clips help players review their performance
Video states sketches
* Different video states allow for a flexible viewing experience
Group creation process
* Analyzing video is a differnet task in a different mindset
and requires a different UI

Personal Thoughts

Track160's biggest challenge is framing information into actionable insights. I personally think that the first important steps were taken to tackle this challenge, however only an ongoing relationship with its userbase will ensure this goal is achieved, and kept this way.

The expansion into mobile devices and different sports is only natural, and I hope the mission will stay the same throught this expansion.

This project is an ongoing one, so expect updates in the future. Peace out.