How we explored, defined, and planned a hydration personalization service

CLIENT

Gatorade

CONSULTANCY

Smart Design

MY ROLE

Digital Lead

THE BRIEF

Understand what individualized hydration could be and define a future cloud service to support it.

SUMMARY

Hydration and nutrition personalization is the next frontier in the world of competitive sport. In collaboration with its scientific division GSSI, Gatorade tasked our team to investigate this opportunity with teams of high school, college, and pro levels, starting with the Brazilian national soccer team. Our research insights would then inform the design and strategy behind a future personalization platform from Gatorade.

OUR TEAM

Program director

Digital design lead – me

Physical design lead

Software engineers

Research and visual support

MY ROLE

Content expertise

Interaction design

Field research

Service strategy

Vendor procurement

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Within three months, we designed and built a fully featured, hydration tracking prototype app.

The year began with a trip to England, where we met with sport scientists and fluid measurement engineers. Throughout our future collaboration, I captured and defined system requirements, including the data model shown.

We had to balance central app’s extensive feature set—it needed to aggregate, store and display all hydration tracking data—with the expedited timeframe of just three months. I architected, designed, and art directed the app, carefully applying standard iOS interface patterns and keeping the number of page types to a minimum.

Sample wireframe flow visualizes the process of setting up and running a session.

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Some of the features in the finished prototype app included: team roster management, dehydration and weight data capture, and real-time display of hydration intake, broken by nutritional components for each athlete.

Completed Prototype

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Smart Caps pair to tablet through Bluetooth and transmit hydration tracking data in real-time

Centralized app aggregates and displays all data without requiring an internet connection, a helpful feature for the research team

Pods of concentrated Gatorade were another innovation that we piloted in the field

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We then spent much of the year visiting and learning from high school, college, and pro teams.

Before leaving for field research, we conducted system tests with our colleagues. These practice sessions allowed us to iron out functional bugs, assign roles and streamline operations.

Our first visit was to the Brazilian national soccer team at their World Cup training camp. I coordinated prototype and observed its use by the athletes.

Gatorade produced a video about our World Cup collaboration with the Brazilian team.

We continued our field research by visiting public and private high schools, including an elite sports academy. Chaotic and cost conscious reality of high schools revealed opportunities and limitations for a hydration personalization platform.

As to be expected, college and pro teams were entirely different in their organizational structures and attitudes towards innovation. We synthesized and shared our findings in between research trips, balancing generalized observations with sport-specific considerations.

We also spent time with members of the Gatorade Sport Science Institute (GSSI). During our visits to their labs, we learned about scientific concepts behind sports hydration as well as their athlete testing procedures.

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Leveraging research insights, we then defined Gatorade’s hydration personalization platform.

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Communicated the Vision

Using scenarios, service maps, and product roadmaps, we gained alignment and approval from top leadership stakeholders.

Defined Platform Architecture

In collaboration with system architects and technology vendors, I specified platform architecture and component feature set.

Planned for Development

In addition to helping define future parallel workstreams, I managed the process of vendor selection, securing key relationships.

To find out how we build, launched, and evolved a hydration personalization platform with multiple hardware components, please continue to the Gx Platform story.

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