Client: ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals)
Role: Lead Production Design, Mobile User Experience
The ATP is the governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuits – the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 62 tournaments in 31 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. In order to remain a competitor among top sports sites, the ATP needed a new strategy and design for their digital platform – something innovative with a more rhythmic approach. ATP looked to Lightmaker to help define a new vision for their digital properties after a working relationship had already been built on trust and confidence after the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals project. Lightmaker jumped at the opportunity to rebuild the site from the ground up with fully responsive features that weren’t even an option with the original website.
Lightmaker was inspired by the incredible graphical assets that ATP has to offer from its past tournaments and decided to go with a clean approach offering a flat design focusing on strong player graphics. The design supported the intention of bringing the images to the forefront and keeping everything clean and simple in the background. Many features are based around galleries on the site to highlight action-packed photos as tournament photographers upload pictures instantaneously.
Mobile First Approach
Unlike the traditional “Desktop First” approach used when building and designing websites, Lightmaker tackled the challenge and built everything with a mobile first perspective, moving to desktop once the initial version was complete. The new ATP website is built on Sitecore, the industry-leading .NET Web Content Management System. ATP is using Sitecore 8 which offered a major usability overhaul for ATP content editors. The strategic plan to use Sitecore 8 was put in place to ensure content editors had access to the tools needed for designing a user-friendly site with an advanced content taxonomy.
Lightmaker deployed a team of full-time developers and designers and two project leads that began development in early 2014.
Live Scoring & Player Profiles
For the first time, ATPWorldTour.com will have live scoring integrated directly into the site. One of the major goals for the new site was the ability to pull live scoring into the site, so Lightmaker became fully engrained in tennis in order to fully understand all ethics of the sport – how the scoring should work, understanding the scoring ins and outs, what happens when a player retires, what happens if there is a last minute opponent pull out and how to indicate it on the site. During the Discovery and User Experience phase, Lightmaker used Axure, an interactive prototyping tool, to develop rapid UI and UX prototypes, allowing the ATP to see if there was missing content and giving them the ability to visualize what it would look like if a player was added or dropped from a match, for example.
Making BIG Changes Appear Minor
Lightmaker made big changes to bring the site into a modern state without making it unusable for dedicated fans that have been using the site for years. One very important change is the way the ATP presents sponsorships online. Using new and exciting brand activations like the FedEx Performance Zone, Lightmaker was able to integrate key sponsor activity without being overly intrusive. Consistency was key throughout the site when designing around advertising content making it possible for the same advertisements to appear on desktop, mobile and tablet devices, which ultimately drives higher engagement and commercial value for the ATP.
After a well-deserved vacation, there will are a number of additional enhancements and new features ahead on the digital roadmap for ATP and all Lightmaker’s are excited to continue pressing forward on the success we have built so far.