A mobile and web app that provides transparency and access to real time information about public sport facilities.

Client: Huge Inc.

Team: Tomi Adewale, Jocelyn Chuang, Kevin Hertel. Advisors: Mitchell Hart, Natalie Be’er

Role: UX, UI

Dates: July – August 2016


I spent summer 2016 training at Huge Inc.’s UX school in Brooklyn, NY. For our main project, we were given 6 weeks to uncover an issue and design a feasable solution for it.

My team’s prompt was short and broad:  Better Cities. 

After canvassing NYC and talking to residents, we focused on the issue of access and availability of public sports facilities for the common New Yorker. We found that though these facilities are there to serve all New Yorkers, there were actually many factors that stood between many and opportunities to play.

There are problems with access to sports at the individual, community and citywide level.  There’s a permit system in place which unintentionally puts the casual player, who isn’t inclined to join formal and costly leagues just to play ball, at a disadvantage with access to space. There are also issues with wheelchair accessibility, amenities and maintenance across different facilities.


The city makes a lot of data about conditions and availability of sports facilities publicly available but not easy to find, navigate and understand. In addition, the information is not in real time – it is possible to know when a court is permit booked, but not if it’s empty or in use the rest of the time.

Those were the main gaps we decided to address through a design solution. We realized that a system that gathered the relevant information from its’ different dispersed sources and made it easily accessible across different channels, could save a lot of time and money for many New Yorkers; and could also generate valuable and actionable data for city officials as a broader implication.


We conducted interviews, observations, surveys and a card sort to get a solid understanding of the problem and our users. We also conducted audits of the current system and a competitive analysis. We brainstormed, sketched and wireframed concepts to test with users, and canvassed public sources to gather data.

We defined our guiding design principles: communicate clearly, make it flexible to user needs, integrate with existing sources and think mobile first, but not smartphones first.

Being able to make spontaneous, on the go decisions about where to play was important to our users and we struggled with figuring out how we could provide them with real time information about court occupancy. We ultimately realized simple, affordable PIR (Passive Infra Red) sensors placed in strategic locations in facilities could generate the data we were looking for. We experimented with a few sensors to prove our concept and integrated them into the proposed system design.

As we designed the interface, we modeled the interactions on patterns from popular navigation and scheduling apps like Google Maps, OpenTable and Yelp, to make the experience familiar and intuitive for the users.


We created a total of 4 iterations of the app, creating prototypes in Principle and Framer (integrated with a Mapbox map interface) for two of the iterations and to test with users.

The main value of our app for users, as became evident in the testing, was its' ability to provide real time information about sports facilities in an easy and intuitive delivery. It brought immediately relevant data to the hands of the users and allowed them to filter and view the information in various ways, to suit different comfort levels and use preferences.

We also made sure that the interface would be adaptive to users' changing needs by integrating dynamic defaults like Night or Heatwave modes; planning for SMS functionality and use on LinkNYC citywide kiosks so it was accessible to users without smartphones or internet at home.

Feedback we got in testing was very positive and many users wanted to be informed when the app became publicly available.