Design Thinking Improves the Way the NFL Collaborates


In the world of professional sports, the National Football League blitzes the competition. The $9 billion organization oversees America's most popular spectator sport, acting as a trade association for 32 franchise owners. Among the league's functions, the NFL governs and promotes the game of football, sets and enforces rules, and regulates team ownership. So how does the NFL oversee America’s most popular spectator sport and communicate among teams and players? A member only platform and native app. 


ikonic was tasked to overhaul their team management resource iOS app and online collaboration platform to support heavy usage and bring information to people quickly and effectively. We applied design thinking methods to find the desired experience and deliver content to athletes, coaches and team owners quickly and securely in a format that is easy to consume.


NFL Sign Up Page MockupNFL Sign up page mock up


During the initial four-week exploration, ikonic sized up NFL’s needs, designed and ran custom activities and interviews, collected quantitative data, and finalized a proposition to enhance the platform with human-centered thinking. We engaged in two ideation activities that included collage and creative worksheets. Each activity led to in-depth conversations that delivered valuable insights, uncovered in half day-long team synthesis. From this research, we confidently knew what to include or remove from the platform so we created interactive mockups and documentation for the engineering team. During the build phase we worked closely with developers to QA test and refine the platform before the major update. 

ikonic's final product was a welcoming aesthetic and refined interface across the desktop and mobile experience. To help new users with onboarding, we designed an interactive tutorial that intuitively helps users identify how they want to use the app and connects them to the tools they feel are important in the app. 

NFL Mobile App Composition


Distributing information securely and effectively across a robust platform requires continuous tweaking and updating to satisfy performance expectations. Rather than moving untested features into the live version, we've facilitated design sprints to bring prototypes to test users before moving to development and release. These prototypes have proven invaluable in helping prioritizie features which otherwise would have been swayed by opinions about designThe result is a solution that goes beyond just helping the NFL collaborate—it provides a safe and secure communications channel betweeen the NFL and stakeholders 24/7. 


cowboys helmet


The National Football League is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams.