NBA UX Analysis: A Mobile Slam Dunk By Stefan Bhagwandin

nba app analysis

Did you enjoy our previous analysis of NFL Mobile? Today, we’re continuing our sports app UX analyses with an overview of the NBA mobile app. The app is packed to the brim with features and functionality, but how does its user experience fare under scrutiny? Read on to find out.

User Onboarding

nba app

What the NBA App Does Well

This app starts out strong with a dedicated onboarding flow. To the left, we see the initial call-to-action that entices new users to customize the app. By tapping “Get Started” or swiping to continue, users are asked to bookmark their favorite teams and players. These questions will personalize the content shown in the app so that you’re not greeted with news about a rival team.

This flow is especially effective for two reasons:

  • It’s partially skippable. Tapping the “Not Now” button lets users jump past the personalization questions. This helps avoid frustration for users who just want to click around before committing to the app.
  • It doesn’t ask you to create an account until the end. Often, new users don’t want to deal with typing in their email address to create an account. But after adding bookmarks, it’s more obvious that making an account now will save time and effort in the future by syncing across devices.

Finally, progress is indicated by the circles at the bottom of the screen. This is a key feature of any onboarding flow because it shows users how close they are to finishing.

One Way To Improve

nba app onboarding

The NBA app’s location prompt appears during the onboarding, and it’s accompanied by text that explains its value. This would be a good move if it only appeared during the full onboarding, but the app still shows the prompt to users who tap “Not Now” at first launch.

Furthermore, the prompt doesn’t appear to be skippable — if you want to access the app without sharing your location, you have to tap “Use Location” and then deny the system prompt.

The app is on the right track with this location prompt, but it would be more effective to delay the ask for users who tap “Not Now.” Since these users are trying to skip the onboarding, they might be more inclined to share their location after they’ve explored the app.

Games, News, Videos

nba mobile

What the NBA App Does Well

The core app content is very well organized. Users can easily browse game results, news articles, and videos from the main screen.

The app wisely remembers your scroll position when you watch a video in the news feed, so you don’t lose your place when you hit back. The video section is further split into subcategories, making it easier to find relevant content. Once you’ve bookmarked a team, the “My Games” tab displays games only for that team. The “All Games” tab can be a bit overwhelming, so it helps to filter out results if you’re in a rush.

There’s even more information tucked away in these menus than meets the eye. Tapping on a specific game brings up all sorts of details, as shown below.

nba ux

From here, users can watch video recaps at the top of the screen or browse game statistics down below. There’s more content here than you can ask for, yet the screen doesn’t feel congested.

One Way To Improve

My only issue with this part of the app is that videos autoplay when you open a game’s details. Autoplay can be distracting, especially if the device’s volume is turned up and it catches you off guard. Luckily, the placement of the video makes it easy to pause, but the UX would be smoother if the menu didn’t require that extra tap.

In-App Store

nba store

What the NBA App Does Well

The NBA store has a couple of different layouts, depending on whether you’re viewing the full store (left) or a specific team’s store (right). In either case, the goal is the same. The store displays plenty of text and graphics to click on, all of which will take you to a different subcategory or a specific item listing.

There are a lot of listings in the store, but they’re well-organized. Users can browse by team, item category, sale items, and more. And with so many calls to action, the app does a great job of asking users to convert.

One Way To Improve

The main issue with the NBA store is actually outside the store itself. The store is effective as a standalone component, but it’s surprisingly hard to access from the rest of the app. The only link I found was buried in the “More” menu.

nba app ux

The store is already well designed; the easiest way for the NBA app to earn more conversions is to link to the store from more screens (such as the team pages).

The NBA App’s Mobile User Experience

I’m happy to say that the NBA’s mobile app hits the target in more ways than one. Both the core app content and the store are very well organized, with submenus and horizontal scrolling elements to keep the screen from feeling cluttered. The onboarding is also smooth for the most part. With a few extra tweaks, the NBA app can drive more traffic to its store to earn even more conversions.

For more in the UX Analysis series, check out our posts on NFL Mobile, Etsy, Airbnb, and Soundcloud.

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