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Helping High-school Coaches Handle Sports Concussions

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Project Type:  Product design

Roles:  UX designer & researcher

Team:  F. Ren, L. Jiang, C. Luk, S. Wang, B. Xu

Timeline:  Fall 2016

Design Challenge -
Handling Sports Concussions in High-school

There is over 380,000 sports-related concussions in the US. Unlike professional sports teams, middle school or high school teams don’t often have medical professional on the team, so coaches are the front line to make the right judgement if an incident happens. Also, even if the incident doesn’t lead to a concussion, all pre-medical information should be recorded because they are very important to doctors.

64% -76.8% football players have ever suffered from sports concussion (Image Source)


As a group of 6 designers, we started our 3-month research-based design process to build a product to help high-school team coaches make right decisions and keep all pre-medical data when a player gets hit. I worked as the lead designer for web interface. I also participated in the design of mobile app, the user research, and usability tests.

The Research

In order to know more about our users, sports concussion scenarios, and if there is any related regulations, we kicked off our research and discovered valuable insights.

User Research

The first step is to user interviews. We talked with two coaches who have been high school coaches for over 10 years. Interestingly, they both also have children who played in high school teams, so they also shared their experience as parents. Here are the major findings:

Then We built two primary personas for coaches and one secondary persona for parents.

Inexperienced Coach

Experienced Coach


- Insights

Regulations Research

Since concussion is crucial to brain health, which is a serious issue, we started to look into some federal regulations that might influence our product. In our research, we find three major legal regulations:

- Insights

  • Parents play an important role to update students' medical records
  • Coaches need to know when a player can come back to court and manage the different teams efficiently

Assessment Tools Research

Now that we know coaches need assistance in assessing if a play is in concussion or not, we looked into various assessment tools and their pros & cons:

- Insights

After comparing the different tools and talking with coaches, we decided to adopt the 5-min assessment tool and build it into our product.

Duo-platform Experience

Key Features

After the research, we found that most coaches have a smartphone and carry it with them on court. They also often have computers in their office. Therefore, We decided to put the more sophisticated team management tools on the web platform, while the mobile app covers the assessment tool.

Team Management

Player Records

Concussion Assessment

Web - Team Management & Records

The web app is mainly designed with emphasis on information management. Coaches will be able to view all players' status and previous assessment test results. In addition, coaches can print out reports based on his players' status.

App - Concussion Assessment & Quick Access

The mobile has an emphasis on the assessment tool exclusively. To simplify the process and save time, the coach will be able to quickly access the assessment tool on the main page and then select the player associated with the test.

The Design

Streamlined Team Management

The dashboard page serves as a central information hub. Coaches can manage (view, edit, and delete) all the teams.

The team page shows the list of players in this team. Coaches can change team names and add/delete players.

Organized Player Information & Records

A player's information can be divided into two parts - demographical information and test results. The coach will be able to edit a player's demographical information as well as view or export all previous test results.

Standardized Assessment

After finishing all assessment questions with 3 minutes (less than 5 minutes), the mobile app will determine whether the test is passed or failed. If the test is failed, our product will advice the coach to immediately send the player to medical professionals for further diagnosis.

Testing with Users

After finishing the prototype, we did two usability tests with coaches and iterated our design based on the user feedback.

Group Players by Status

In our first version, we use the alphabetical order for the player list. But we later changed it to order by status to better group the information.

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Adding Names to Team Dashboard

Also from coach feedback, teenage player may look similar on small profile pictures. So in order identify players, we added names identify each player.


Player Info & Test Results

Coaches can access player information and their previous records via the mobile app.

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5-minute Assessment

Coaches can also use the 5-min concussion assessment to check if a player is suspicious of concussion and needs to be removed from play.

gif of player information