Monday, December 10, 2012

Gridiron Solitaire #32: Team History

In the last six weeks, we've had three hockey trips and a trip to Shreveport. It's going to kill me, if it hasn't already.

In spite of that, I got an idea in the car on the way to Dallas for the team history screen. In case you don't remember, the team history screen currently features small banners for each season, with the team record displayed as well as a small graphic overlay that shows you how far your team advanced that season. Here, take a look:

You can click on that image for more detail, if you're interested. That 0-15 season, by the way, came after I gambled on three high-risk, high-reward cards and lost on all of them.

I like that layout, visually, and I particularly like the little logos Fredrik created. And when I first designed the team history page, I thought I was adding flavor that almost no one would care about. I wanted it, but I didn't think anyone else would. I mean, how many people would even consider playing multiple seasons, let alone follow through on it?

In the first beta test, though, I found out that that most people actually wanted more information on that page. They did play multiple seasons, and they wanted a finer comparison of what happened.

I liked that idea, so I started thinking about redesigning the page. I knew that I wanted to be able to click the banner to get more information, but couldn't come up with anything interesting in terms of presentation.

On the way to Dallas, though, I had an idea.

Sports trading cards always show statistics on the back of the card, and they can summarize someone's entire career. What if I presented the information in "trading card" format? Plus, because the information lays out better horizontally than vertically, what if I made that trading card the shape (roughly) of a regular playing card?

Here's how it would work. On the front of the card--what you'd initially see when you went to the page--would be the season year, team record, and Fredrik's icon that represents how far the team went into the playoffs that season. It might also show the team ratings (in A-F format) on the front of the card. In terms of layout, there would be a thick stripe down the left side of the card for the team's primary color, with a thinner stripe down the right for the secondary color. Or maybe just one stripe on the left, but with two color bands to show primary/secondary colors (as I type that, I realize I like the one stripe look better).

If you clicked on the front of the card, it would flip, and on the back of the card would be all the statistics for that season. Separate statistics for simmed games versus played games (and your record in each type of game as well), as well as any flavor from the season I could toss in (maybe a few "best of" statistics, like most points, most total yards, etc.

 I won't be able to fit all 30 years onto one screen anymore, but 10 seasons a screen should work fine, and the extra information makes it worth it.

In terms of data, all the additional information is now captured in the team history file, so it's all available. I just need to come up with a layout that conveys the information at a glance and is visually pleasing. I'll share that layout with you when it's ready.

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