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You might think that headline is hyperbole. It isn’t.
The new FIFA app, created by Monitise Create, is reviewed very favourably in the app store, with users unanimous in giving the app five stars.
I must say, I quite agree. The UX is basically flawless, and information is presented elegantly and simply. The imagery, the formatting, the type, the transitions, the icons; it’s all pretty.
It compares very favourably with (is better than) other ‘match centre’ apps such as Sky Sports, but offers lots of other content, too, notably news, World Cup content, FIFA rankings and interactive games.
With the app tipped to become the most popular sports app download, I thought I’d put it through its paces. Take a look at my review of one of the most beautifully designed apps I’ve used in ages.
One nice touch is three slides showing how to use the app, launched on first use.
One doesn’t see this very often but it’s definitely helpful even if, for many users, these kind of buttons are intuitive or long since mastered.
Homepage like Tumblr
The homepage is reserved for news. In this app, the news is presented in a format that I’m starting to see as standard for many app home screens.
The large scrollable pictures are reminiscent of Tumblr’s app and are increasingly the best way to engage readers that are getting used to the pictorial landscape of social media and HTML5.
Accessibility and shareability
When one clicks on a news item, the content loads quickly. It’s simple text, but there are options of three text sizes (useful as you can’t pinch and zoom) and a sharing button to spread the news.
I think this sharing function will work very well as it’s the clearest call to action on the page.
One can search with the search facility, but it’s actually most powerful as a filter. One can filter the news to show only photos, video etc.
It’s not immediately clear from the search icon that this functionality is offered, and perhaps this could be improved.
The menu is fairly dynamic when one launches it, with the current news page barely peeking out from the side of the screen.
The options are clear, with the nice touch of a ‘live’ badge next to the match centre, making the user aware of dynamic content.
The World Match Centre: data and personalisation
This is a pretty impressive bit of UX. One can scroll through matches in play right now, or narrow down to a particular league.
I selected the Barclays Premier League and I get an aesthetically pleasing list of results, with the current standings and top goal scorers listed beneath.
All nice and slick and a delight to use.
At the top right of the match centre is an icon of a football shirt. Tapping this leads me to my ‘favourites’ which has been automatically populated with England and the Premier League, based on my location. I can edit these favourites if I wish, changing which matches appear topmost in the match centre.
Some really nice touches abound. When I hit the pencil ‘edit’ icon in my favourites, the interface apes that of iOS and allows me to delete preferences, the pencil changing to a tick icon, so I can click to say I’m done. It’s these kind of touches that make an app enjoyable to use.
World Cup - tons of content, sliced and diced
This section is again really, really well done.
There’s a countdown to the final draw for the group stages. When I click into this, there’s an icon allowing me to add the draw date to my phone’s calendar.
There is a list of the teams in the draw and the empty group tables ready to populate.
Back in the main World Cup menu, I can view ‘teams’, ‘match schedule’, ‘qualifiers’ and ‘destination’.
Each section, and I’m not prone to hyperbole, is beautiful. See screenshots below.
FIFA Ranking - great UX
Like every section, this table is very nicely formatted, and there’s a lovely UX touch showing I can swipe left to reveal the Women’s rankings. Again there are invitations to share and my favourite nation is highlighted. One can filter the table for a particular continent, which is again a great touch.
Explore FIFA - silky skills and games included
This section is perhaps the prettiest. Great imagery and great transitions. But the content within is the most stunning. Each section explores a different part of the FIFA mission. There’s a little blurb on that particular aspect, then an interactive game launches, based on that particular theme.
Download the app for free and see if you agree with me.