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Golf Guru

Updating an existing mental performance training app

client project


Golf Guru is a mobile application that specializes in improving the mental game of golfers, and consequently their athletic performance, by enhancing mental strength and focus. The app offers a library of audio sessions for the user to choose from and listen to at their convenience, as well as an updated selection of relevant articles and other emerging tips from professional golf-related sources.

My role

As a designer, I focused on updating the app’s existing audio feature as well as taking on any other task given by the stakeholder. In addition to designing, I conducted baseline research, analysis, and user testing.

The Task

Golf Guru’s interface had not been updated since its initial launch. The client approached our team with a request to reimagine the audio experience, one of the app’s most essential features, and bring it closer to something more “intuitive and modern.” Additionally, we were also tasked to conceptualize designs for the app’s new “rewards” feature.

Solution Preview
This new update brings Golf Guru a fresh new look and efficient mobile experience:
  • Reimagined audio pages that prioritize essential information and organizes necessary interactions
  • Thoughtful course reflection feature to motivate users and foster a sense of improvement
  • Stimulating rewards feature that incentivizes customer growth and increases user engagement
  • Refreshing design system based on real feedback that brings Golf Guru’s interface up to date
1. Research

Gathering context

Getting to know the brand and the app to help build empathy and better comprehend the user experience.

Before solving any problems, I needed to familiarize myself with the app and Golf Guru’s mission. I read through their brand identity, goals, and user stories in order to build up empathy between myself and the users. My team and I also spent time going through the actual app to assess the experience for ourselves.

Golf Guru's Mission

We took note of the company and product’s core values and mission to help its users in a proactive and impactful way. I took note of these points so that they could both inspire and be incorporated into the design.

Golf Guru App Observations + Pain Points

By surveying all of the app’s functions and features, I was able to gather some important notes and areas of interest to explore further:

Golf Guru App Observations + Pain Points

Following the app evaluation, the other designer on my team and I surveyed other sports meditation apps to examine how similar products worked and what other strategies they used to enhance the user experience. By comparing and contrasting each application, we better understood how Golf Guru set itself apart and in what areas it could grow. Here is a summary of the findings:

While many of these other platforms excelled in places that Golf Guru lacked in terms of functionality, Golf Guru differentiates itself and offers a unique value proposition in that it focuses solely on one sport and can provide more niche and specific help.

Research Synthesis

After our research period, we conducted a synthesis activity and team mind-mapping activity in addition to verbally discussing our research findings. These activities helped us identify and prioritize the product’s most urgent pain points:

With these pain points solidified, we could formulate our project goal:

Project Goal

How might we reimagine the Golf Guru interface in an engaging and organized way to bring about a more efficient user experience?

2. Ideation

Exploring new directions

With a more wholistic understanding of the product and its place in the market, our team was able to begin thinking through a variety of different ways to update the Golf Guru experience. 

Sketches + Low-Fi Designs
Audio Feature

Now with insights from research, I turned my ideas into sketches and reviewed them with the rest of the team. I wanted to check in with the developers to discuss which ideas were feasible so that we could make use of our time strategically and avoid unecessary changes. After agreeing on the basic concept, the developers had a foundation to work from and the design team could move forward with creating low-fidelity designs.

The other designer and I then turned our sketches in low-fidelity designs so that our client could better visualize the general layout.

Rewards Page

At a later point in our process, the client gave an additional task of conceptualizing a design for a referals system. This feature would enable Golf Guru users to achieve rewards by sharing their own unique referal code with family and friends. After reading through the client’s criteria for the page and the feature, I sketched out some rough ideas to share with my team.

3. Testing + Prototyping

Identifying areas of growth

The preliminary designs were presented to the client and approved, along with some small changes and suggestions. Due to the rush to development, our client asked that the frames be converted directly to a high-fidelity prototype as our next task.

A/B Testing - Audio Feature

Because we didn’t want to design solely from our own preferences and the requirements from the stakeholder, A/B tests were conducted to gauge the general public response to our interface design concepts. Participants were asked to choose between two images of a single Golf Guru page, each styled different from the other. From this A/B test survey, we received feedback on different styling options and color preferences that helped us to update Golf Guru’s current design system.

Below is a snippet of some of the elements that were tested, along with their results:

High-Fidelity Prototype
Audio Feature - Usability Testing

Per the client’s request, the next step was to convert the static designs into a functional prototype. A/B test preferences were incorporated and tweaked accordingly as dynamic elements were put into place, making for a more cohesive look. The prototype was presented to the client during a progress check-in meeting and was then sent to the development team to get them started on the changes.

Although the client approved, the other designer and I requested to conduct usability tests to assure that the design and experience were intuitive. With the client’s permission, we were able to conduct 9 usability tests before our next deadline.

These were the pain points that came up during those tests:

Unclear “skill focus” icons

When users were asked to identify the skill represented by the icon, they either came up with no answer or attempted to tap on the icon to learn more. We were not able to change the design of the icons, so we iterated on those reactions and introduced info pop-ups for each icon.

Confusion with tracking progress

Initially, progress circles were introduced as a marker for completion of a session. We noticed that users would tap directly on these circles when asked to select an audio, so progress bars were introduced to better communicate the user’s status with sessions.

Accomodating for longer session names

A member of our development team brought up the concern of a possible scenario in which a session name would be too long to fit on the screen. To remedy this, we made long titles dynamic so that users could read the full versions.

Understanding course reflections

To help capture honest reactions and prevent unnecessary rumination, users are not allowed to revisit questions. Our test subjects, however, still expressed anxiety over potential accidents since the survey would automatically advance once a selection was made. So, the option to tap “next” when satisfied with their selection was added.

Rewards Page - Usability Testing

Because the task to conceptualize a rewards page was given around two weeks before the end of the project term, the jump from sketches to a testable prototype was almost immediate. With some time to spare, I conducted a couple usability tests to measure the page’s effectiveness. 


The only pain point that came up during the tests had to do with the shareable code. In our first iteration (pictured on the left), users would tap on the button and it would turn green with a checkmark to indicate that it was copied to the phone’s clipboard. When asked about the function, users were unsure what the confirmation meant, so in the final iteration we included a written confirmation instead of relying on a color.

Iteration #1
Iteration #2
4. Final Solution

Finding an exit point

After making relevant changes based on our usability test findings, our small design team of two managed to produce our final prototyped design. The rush to hand off the design to development caused our design team to reach an exit point at around halfway through our 12 week term. Additionally, the task of designing a rewards feature actually came around two weeks before the update launched.  

Course Menu

The “Course Menu” now gives a comprehensive overview and preview of course content. Users can preview the available audio sessions and also learn more about the skills they will work on during the course. Additionally, users can now easily keep track of their status of completion with the new progress bars.

Session Details + Audio Session

“Session Details” provides all of the information and small details needed to understand the purpose of a session, like ratings and equipment needed, at a glance. Users can tap to read a longer description of their session or even view other sessions they might like to better weigh their options. Lastly, the “Audio Session” page is now accented with a relevant visual and collapsable menu, allowing the user to enjoy and utilize the space to their liking.

Session Reflection

Accompanied with each audio session is a chance for the user to reflect on their thoughts and mental state in relation to the exercise they were just led through. This revamped feature gives the user an opportunity to decompress and also provide useful feedback to help improve the experience for Golf Guru users.

Rewards Page

The “Rewards” feature (yet to be implemented), encourages users to share Golf Guru with their family and friends with the promise of a reward for their efforts. The page itself is a space for users to track their referrals, learn about the system, and claim their rewards. Users can easily copy and paste their unique referal code with the tap of a finger, making the process simple and seamless.

5. Reflection

Looking back on the experience

Upon completing the design and handing it off to development, our team presented our work to our organization.


Participating in this project exposed me to working with both a cross-functional team and real client for the first time in my design career. While I got to put my knowledge of the design process into action, the added layer of ensuring the stakeholder was satisfied with my work, as well as the developers, challenged me to grow in many aspects. I found that my comminication skills improved by the end of the term, as maintaining consistent contact with team members and the client was key to achieving our goals and completing deliverables in a timely manner. Additionally, I also learned how to work around time zone differences, as the client was based in London.


Despite our timeline being sped up and having a last-minute task to complete, our team was able to reach an exit point that both us and the client were satisfied with. I’d like to thank our client Golf Guru for giving us the opportunity to contribute to the growth of their product and for trusting our process. Lastly, I’d like to thank my teammates for all of their hard work and spectacular attitudes throughout the term. It was a pleasure working with and getting to know everyone!

Thanks for reading!
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