Iterating on the UX at the World Cup

Practical solutions come via both high and low tech

Some are purists, such as the French and how they fight to keep their language from evolving and taking in words from the global melting pot. I am all for tradition, but if you don’t evolve you die, and I am very glad to have seen real user experience improvements show their face in this years World Cup.

What has been exciting is how the solutions have been both high and low tech.

High Tech

Remember Tennis before we could see if the ball was in or not? Or American Football (the one where you rarely use your feet ;) without the yellow 10 yard line?

There are still arguments regarding goals that were, or weren’t based on if we think they went in the net or not. It is really hard to tell from a lot of footage, and a goal in soccer is a big deal, and can easily change the entire match. World Cup’s themselves have been lost over this.

Today we got to see the goal line technology and how it works:

Goal-line technology FTW

Yup, where can we use it next?

Low Tech

My favorite “duh!” addition is the low tech variety. With one referee on the large field, it has been very easy for players to sneak a few yards with a ball, or inch up on the line. Thanks to “vanishing spray” (a.k.a. shaving foam-ish) that can be kept at bay.

Stay back!

This of course just leads you to think, what next?

Stop the acting

The biggest problem in the game is the acting in my opinion. Whenever you see it, it makes you squirm with frustration. You see the diving to get a penalty or someone sent off, or clutching your body in agony, to then quickly see the person shake it off as though it was nothing (because it was). This has to be stopped, and I think we can offer some low to high tech solutions:

  • Low-ish tech: replays. During the game if there is an obvious abuse, you can get the player swapped out. After the game you do a full review and cheating ends up with a severe fine (out for a bunch of games). You have to get brutal to get it out of the game.
  • High tech: pain detection ☺

What else can be changed? (really, add a comment!)

Some solid additions to the World Cup. Here’s to more in the future as the beautiful game evolves.

It is good to have a reminder that FIFA is to football as the Catholic Church is to Christianity. Sickening. But, back to the amazing sport :/

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