Big Idea Research

 The Idea 

Since it’s boom in popularity, Twitter has been like an open forum for fans of most things, ranging from discussing how annoying the male presenter of Homes Under The Hammer is, to celebrity stalking and all the way to sports like football, which is the subject I will be focusing my big idea upon.

My idea is to create a website which specialises in collecting information on players from the furthest corners of the planet, which currently, is a difficult thing.

For example, if a club was linked with a player from another country who the vast majority of fans are unfamiliar with, there aren’t many websites which they can visit which will provide them with in depth information on this player, ranging from his career, to statistics and listing the player’s strengths and weaknesses.

How would this information be collected? Taking influence from the variety website turned television show, HitRecord, created by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it would be created entirely using consumer created content. This content can range from standard articles to compilation videos to statistics.

Initial Secondary Research

The first question I had to ask myself is whether there would be an audience for this sort of thing.

One handy website I have found is www.digital-football.com, which writes articles which mostly relate to the relationship between football, football teams and their popularity on social media websites, especially Twitter. 

According to Digital-football.com there were as many as 43 million Twitter users who followed a football club in 2012. Since then I have no doubts that that number has increased dramatically, when you take into account that the same website states that – On average, 3 million Twitter users are following a club every month.

Using THIS article from the said website, I have been able to create a table showing the research they have carried out, as well as adding my own research. Because the information in this article was last valid as of July 2013, I decided to look at the official Twitters of the teams mentioned and complete the table so it’s valid as of February 2014.

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As you can see the “Feb-14” column shows that the number of people following these Twitter pages has increased once again, showing an appetite for football on Twitter.

A site not too dissimilar to my idea is WhoScored.com, who collect statistics in the top leagues in Europe. According to www.freewebsitereport.org,  as of 30th September 2013, the site attracted just over 86,000 views daily. Add to that WhoScored’s 219,000 followers on Twitter and the 46,000 on Facebook and this shows there is a market for a site which compiles football stats, as well as other useful extras.

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Some other facts from freewebsitereport.org for WhoScored

Initial Primary Research

The first piece of primary research I carried out was in the form of a survey on the website, Survey Monkey.

When I asked people to do the survey, I specifically targeted people who I thought or knew had at least a passing interest in football, as people without that interest wouldn’t be useful to the research.

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As these results show, the majority of the people who completed the survey were between 20-29 years of age, with 10-19 being the next highest result. This suggests to me that the majority of answers from the survey will be the views of these age groups.

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Due to the fact that I solely asked people who watched football to do my survey, the results of this question seemed pretty much expected.

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From these results you can see that the people who have completed this survey have a strong interest in football which means that the views will mirror those who also have the same interest.

The second group of questions were designed to see what the demographic of the people who completed the survey thought about the idea of a website of this nature, without going into any specific detail, which will be explored in a second survey.

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The first question was designed to see how most football fans react to hearing that their favourite team is linked with a new, mostly foreign player from another league who they have never seen play. As you can see, the majority opted to look for articles, which is handy as this is something I hope my idea can bring to them.

Interestingly, nobody selected that they didn’t care about transfer rumours, showing me that they may be interested in a site dedicated to bringing them information of players linked in the transfer window.

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As I have already stated, I asked the people whether they would or would not be interested in a website such as this, without going into too much detail and 80% of those asked said they would be interested.

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For me, this was the most interesting collection of answers as it shows me what the individual people who have completed this survey want to see in a website or what they have already seen, which is even more key.

The Domain Name

The domain name will be an important factor in my big idea. It will become the brand, what people hear and automatically think of my website. Looking at names such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc, you see a pattern where their brand names are short, catchy, sometimes made up and memorable.

My initial name idea was OnTheBall. On the ball is a football term, as well as a term used in everyday life for somebody who is doing their job/task in the right way and if this site was to be successful you can only imagine the puns that could be created; “This website is ‘On The Ball’ when it comes to transfer news” etc.

Unfortunately though, after a quick search on domain website, One.com I saw that this name had already been taken:

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Results on One.com, and the websites which already have this name. .com (L) .co.uk (R)

My next domain idea was Get In The Box – Another football phrase. My thinking behind this name is the use of the word “Get in”, which would suggest that the reader is getting involved, and the box could be the penalty area which in this case could be the website itself.

This name was a lot more successful, although the dashes between each word could be slightly awkward to input:

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Without the dashes, no websites appear when typing the domains in, which would suggest that they are not being used. On another domain website that I was linked to when looking for these websites myself I found this information:

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This shows that if I was to postpone launching the website then I would be able to take this domain if the current owners chooses not to renew ownership come June 2015.

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Unlike the other domain, this doesn’t give me a great deal of information but it tells me that it is set to expire on a closer date – December 14th 2014.

On the same website I see that getinthebox.uk.com is available, which would be a better alternative to multiple dashes in the name:

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Website Design

Before I started looking to design my website, I looked at the websites which would be the competition:

1. SoccerStats.com

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2. Whoscored.com

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3. Squawka

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For the first website, SoccerStats, while it is comprehensive with the information is provides, it doesn’t look great like the other two sites. My favourite layout is Whoscored because it looks good and the bar is interactive and allows you to go into more sub content. Because of this I have chosen to base my layout on the Whoscored website.

I first designed the layout with a site map:

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This is a pretty basic idea of how the website will be laid out.

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While designing the website on Photoshop I referred it to the type of people who would use this type of website, however, at the time I didn’t think about recording the conversations so I had proof of this.

The feedback was mostly positive though, Jared noted how it was a “crisp” design.

Class feedback

During one lesson we showcased our websites and got feedback on our designs.

The feedback that I received was mostly positive, with the main plus points being the professional look it has, as well as the evident branding. The reiteration of the website message with the photo of the world was also a good point.

One criticism was that the article text was too small and too hard  to read, but this was expected as I am still experimenting with the main website article texts.

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