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Category: Design

It was a hot, sunny Thursday morning — not a cloud in sight. The smell of sunscreen hung in the air. The music pounded, shaking the ground. Hundreds of parents, friends, and fans filtered onto the sideline, anxiously awaiting the players to take the field.

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Understanding how users interact with your product is a key to lean software development. Seeing people trip over your navigation or completely turn around your expected use case may be cringe inducing, but it’s critical to understanding if what you built delivers. We’ll take a look at software we’ve used at Hudl to see exactly how a person uses an app in a non-intrusive manner. It’s not only saved us loads of time but also greatly increased our sample size.

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One part of Hudl I frequently have to explain to people outside the company is the structure of our product team. Fellow developers at other companies, friends I graduated with, and plenty of people in between want to know how Hudl works—and as it turns out, there’s a lot to talk about. We’re constantly evolving and learning more about how to keep our heads on straight, and as we do, we want to get the lessons learned on the table.

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We’re working on a brand-new basketball product here at Hudl. It’s an extremely exciting opportunity for our company—we’re creating a whole new way of capturing, consuming, and analyzing basketball video. The 2013-14 basketball season was my first beta at this scale, and I’d be lying if I told you we had a flawless strategy and executed perfectly from every angle. The team and I learned some valuable lessons during the course of this season that I’d like to share with you in this post.

Find out what we learned »

We’re systematically redesigning the Hudl web app in a mobile-first, responsive fashion and we’re using one fancy Sass mixin to handle the lion’s share of the work.

Read on to learn how we're doing it »

Process is important to have but don’t let it get in the way. We have come so far and we have so much more to learn. Talking to your users is the best way to learn about your product.

Getting more from user research is easier than you think »

A usability test can derail very quickly. Sometimes too quickly - you never get to see the feature you want to test in action. The users navigate strange paths or get hung up again and again on screens or tasks you never even considered. It’s going to be OK. You’re learning.

Step away from the ledge and learn why this is a win »

Few people except my wife know how lazy I am. If I imagine the dread of a chore for more than a minute, I’ll avoid it completely. I’ll only be moved to act if I discover some shortcut, tool, or timeline investment that will save me a ton of time down the road.

Fixing Hudl’s bloated, out-dated information architecture (IA) has felt like a chore to me for over a year. The problem is that our app has two pages, “Library” and “Manage,” that have become dumping grounds for every new feature we release. Five years ago when we first built Hudl, these two pages made sense. But, over time, our product has outgrown its original structure.

Instead of just guessing at new ways to organize our content and features, we wanted to do it right. We discovered a user-centered research tool that could help us–online card sorting.

How to start fixing your app's broken IA »