TennisOn! Is an app designed to help individuals in cities with overcrowded tennis courts easily find tennis courts in the area and see live wait times at any time of the day.
How might we make the experience of getting a tennis court seamless for young working age adults in cities with a big tennis community so that they continue to return to a long lasting journey in tennis?
Raquet sports have become increasingly popular and continue to gain influence amongst new and veteran athletes alike. News articles, social media, and retail stores have all brought light to the sport of pickleball, but where do you play? The tennis courts. Tennis courts are now shared amongst avid tennis players and new pickleball players leading to increasing wait times to get on the court.
Finding parks is easy. However, finding which parks have tennis courts and how long of a wait time they currently have has become overwhelmingly time consuming. It can be especially difficult to know where to head to when there are no accurate wait times enforced or known. Currently, the only way to approach this is to pick a park and drive to a tennis court to then see if there is an empty court or if you are now in the queue behind others who are all waiting to play. You then decide, do I stay and wait it out or do I drive to the closest tennis court in hopes that I do not arrive to the same situation.
User Pain Points
I conducted 5 user interviews and used a survey questionnaire to gather quantitative feedback.
To address this problem I conducted user interviews to be able to ascertain the pain points of recreational tennis players in cities with big tennis communities in the way that they decide when/where to play tennis and what they do when courts are not available.
I was able to group the main issues into 2 categories; non-existent waiting system, and no way to remotely check for court availability.
During the user interviews conducted I found these main pain point tennis players have and any solutions they have tried to date.
Non-existent waiting system:
- Players stay on court for long periods of time
- Players hold courts for their friends
- I never know how many people are waiting
- A guessing game when it comes to wait times
Court Availability remote check in:
- Lack of visibility
- No way of getting on the wait list
- Wasting time waiting
Preliminary user research done with big city tennis players let me know which pain points were more important than others; leading to me identifying which pain point to focus on.All of the pain points showed that everyone values their time and wants playing tennis to be easy.
Landing on the Solution
Based on the user pain points, I wanted to focus on the following solution and features. Allow users (tennis players) to have visibility on accurate live wait times, and allow them to know their place in line. Allow users to have access to data regarding all courts within a 10 mile radius(lights,hitting wall, court condition). All within one app.
I learned from speaking to 5 different users and interpreting data received from surveys that this problem might not be as big as I anticipated. I will return to the user research phase of this project on my own to discover what the true problem space is; if any at all. Tennis players do have a problem with waiting for tennis courts, but they see it as part of the game and do not necessarily want to take part in changes. Why? Because once on court, they also find themselves not wanting to hop off and allow other players to come in.
Product Manager Learnings:
I learned that it is important to have good user research methods and questions. Incorrect questions can lead to misguided data and misrepresent user pain points. I learned that I need to spend at least double the time I did on this portion in order to ship an MVP. I can also say that sometimes the problem you originally focused on can turn out not to be the core; forcing you to pivot.