ESPN Tournament Challenge

Welcome experience for #1 bracket game app.

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About
ESPN Tournament Challenge App is a place for basketball fans to make their picks for March Madness. It is #1 bracket game for NCAA Men’s and Women’s college basketball tournaments.
Numbers
#1 App in the App store in March, over 9M players in 2023.
Challenges
Collaboration between multiple departments, engineering constraints.
Timeline
May - June 2023.
The Problem
Business Need
The welcome UX and UI was outdated and didn't follow current Tournament Challenge brand guidelines.

In addition, the current experience didn't fit into the updated One-ID account sign in flow intended to unify the experience across all Disney brands. Sing Up / Log In / Sign up Later CTAs didn't make sense for the new experience focused on locating the user's email first.
Solution
Create an updated modern sign in experience in accordance with the latest Tournament Challenge brand guidelines and new Disney account creation flow.
Previous TC app experience
Research
Insight
Competitive analysis has shown the current trend for elevated and exciting welcome experiences with lots of motion. Most companies allow users to experience the app first before asking them to create an account. Another trend was for unification of sign up / sign in buttons under one CTA "Get started" or personalization flow.
Some of our direct and indirect competitors: Sleeper, Bleacher Report and NBA
Design
1. Aligning with stakeholders
Welcome experience is especially important in the app like Tournament Challenge, because most users in March either download it for the first time or have to fully update it. I had to make sure that my product partners and design partners from other Disney departments are fully on board and support this design direction. I created a chart of various welcome experiences on the market and explained how we can use this to better fit the new One-ID sign-in flow that was being launched by Disney while at the same time creating a better expereince for the user.  
Creating visual charts usually really helps in communicating with stakeholders.
2. Defining UX flow.
Together with engineering partners we defined three stages of the welcome experience.
Stage 1 - splash screen with a flat image
Stage 2 - app loading with continuous looped movement
Stage 3 - intro animation ending with CTAs
UX Flow, defined after feedback from the development team
Three stages of welcome experience
3. Collaborating with Motion & Graphic Design
In order to create artwork and motion sequences for the suggested concept I had to collaborate with my fantastic and very talented co-workers in Graphic Design and Motion Design.  My job was to explain the concept, the requirements, provide storyboards and align on aesthetics.
Planning out the visuals
Mocking out prototypes from existing graphics and assets
Creating storyboards for possible artwork ideas
4. Finalizing artwork
I collaborated with our Graphic Designer & Motion Graphics Artist  to finalize artwork for the home feed finalize lottie files in the intro.  
"Empty Court" concept - from idea to final design. Collaboration with graphic design team.
Prototypes
Visual reference
As we were moving along in the design process I would often make prototypes to make sure all teams are aligned on where the design was taking us.
Delivery
Working with design systems and engineers
Delivery included redlines, motion specifications, lottie files, video and clickable prototypes.
Some sections of delivery file
Live Build
Results
The new experience is modern, engaging and answers the need a unifying One-ID flow. There was at least 30% jump in entries compared to last year!
Check out new ESPN Tournament Challenge app for yourself! 
Download the App
ESPN TC Welcome Experience