Sky Sports F1 channel was launched on the 9th of March 2012. A channel dedicated to the Formula One season covering every race in the calendar. As part of this exciting channel launch and in keeping with Sky’s dedication to pushing new technologies and adding value to the subscription model, the Sky Sports F1 companion was commissioned as a second screen experience on iPad. Over 180,000 people use the Sky Sports F1 app, on every race weekend.
Create value for the Sky Sports subscription and enhance the viewing experience of Formula One through a second screen in conjunction with the on air broadcast. The challenge defined by the client and stakeholders was to create ideas and design features that would complement the sport of Formula One and push the boundaries of the technologies available.
We had to push both the capabilities of the hardware and at the same time distil the needs of a Formula One fan. In some respects this required some trial and error prototyping of components to establish what was actually possible and also taking into account the added pressure of knowing that the deadline was unmovable so the product had to be ‘shippable’ for the start of the F1 season.
Creative and Development
Once the core features were agreed and the visual house style created the challenge was to marry creative ideas and features with front end and back end development. The team focussed efforts together to work towards a revolutionary frontier app. This was managed through an Agile process and in respect to the more complex features an iterative approach was needed to gain knowledge and decipher what was actually possible within the technological and hardware capabilities. A huge learning curve was undertaken to get the most from the end product but within the boundaries of a short deadline.
We pushed the capabilities of the iPad; incorporating the live broadcast feed, multiple camera selection, split screen, edited race highlights and live data feeds. All of which needed to be automated through a CMS system and various APIs and streaming servers so the editorial team at Sky could manage them.
The F1 companion experience is used by over 180,000 unique users over any given race weekend. Many use it to watch F1 on the go as well as a second screen experience. Sky Sports is also perceived to give more to its subscribers than other competitors through its investment to new technologies. Due to its success other sport companion experiences have subsequently been commissioned.
Examples of wireframes and user journeys
Examples of visual design for ipad app