College life involved lots of new experiences, football being one of them. It all started off with late night FIFA matches in the hostel, culminating into nail biting frenzy over watching matches which often extended till 4 am. I was surrounded by passionate and highly knowledgeable fans who knew their teams and players well, and got into heated debates defending their clubs. Over the course of 4 years, I got used to friends talking about their favourite teams and players, and subsequently found myself in a vortex of updates from them.
However, everything changed after graduation. No longer did I have the unfettered access to the constant feed of filtered updates. As time passed on, I found it difficult to follow football leagues despite Twitter and Facebook. The need of the hour was an app that sent me reminders prior to the start of a match. Not for all matches, but only for the ones that I was interested in, and so I trudged into the overbearing waters of the Play Store.
I fished out a few apps, like OneFootball, Fotmob and such. At launch, the apps forced me to pick my favourite team and my favourite leagues, what followed was a stream of clickbait and articles from the rumour mills. With a large chuck of the smartphone screen’s real-estate occupied by analytics driven content, not to mention the incessant barrage of irrelevant notifications, I’d had about enough of it. For someone who is not an avid follower of football, these came across as major pain points that didn’t make sense to exist in the first place. It was at that time that I had an epiphany — Popularity does not always correlate to usability and/or usefulness. After spending many a month pondering (and procrastinating) over the idea, I narrowed down on the most essential features of the app—
- View upcoming fixtures
- View current position of teams in the league table
- Subscribe to reminder notifications for upcoming fixtures. (The app sends notification/s 5 minutes before match/es.)
Popularity does not always correlate to usability and/or usefulness
Footyfollowr was in training since July. The official kick off was on October 3rd with the first two features. Since then, I have been on the receiving end of a steady influx of feedback from some amazing users, to both improve and add more features to the app. The reminder notification feature was added on November 4th, after a fortnight of rigorous dribbling in the training grounds. Footyfollowr is a web app that weighs only a few kilobytes. You read that right — a few kilobytes (KB) and not megabytes (MB). It can also be added to your home screen as a standalone app if you’re using Chrome or Firefox. Now I’ll let the screenshots do the talking. Check it out if you really want it to talk to you.