UDisc: Measure Throw Redesign

Tyler Mazurek
5 min readJun 4, 2020

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Title card which reads “UDisc: Measure Throw.”

Disc golf has become a passion of mine over the past year. I love being in the fresh air, throwing discs, and hanging with friends and family. Disc golf is a great sport with a growing fan base.

Let me back up a little before I get too much into my journey with UDisc.

What is Disc Golf?

The Professional Disc Golf Association describes disc golf as a sport that is

"played much like golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, though, players use a flying disc or Frisbee®.”

Pretty simple; but wait, there’s a little more to know. The PDGA continues by describing the gameplay in detail:

“A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target, which is the “hole.” The hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is an elevated metal basket. As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive throw from the spot where the previous throw landed. The trees, shrubs, and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer. Finally, the “putt” lands in the basket and the hole is completed.”

Of course there are many more rules. If you’re curious you can find them located here: https://www.pdga.com/rules

Guarded basket at Snyder Park in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Disc golf is very similar to regular golf, though in my case you’re more likely to hit a tree with a disc. There are a few big differences between the sports, and besides the obvious use of a disc vs a ball, the cost of play varies greatly. Disc golf courses are almost always located in public parks and are usually free to play, unlike in golf. This makes disc golf accessible to everyone.

UDisc

This app is the official app of the Professional Disc Golf Association. It has everything a disc golf professional, amateur, or newbie could desire. The app has rules, leaderboards, player profiles, events, maps with disc golf courses across the world, scorecards, putting practice, and much more.

One feature that I have played with a lot as I build my collection of discs is a feature that allows me to log the discs information (weight, plastic, flight numbers, etc.). This feature has been useful for me because it gives me the ability to quickly glance at whatever I need without taking a single disc out of my bag.

Paired with this feature is one of my favorite and most used features: Measure Throw.

Measure Throw

This feature allows you to measure the distance that you threw your disc. To use it, drop a pin from the point that you threw your disc and then walk towards the spot your disc landed. From there, you are prompted to assign the throw to one of your discs and add more information about the throw. Afterwards you will be presented with an image of the tracking and the option to share.

While it is never 100% accurate, it’s a great tool to track progress and see how far you can throw. This feature is great for everyone and the professionals have fun with it too!

Simon Lizotte trying the Mile Challenge. Simon uses UDisc to track the distance of his throws as he sees how many throws it takes him to throw a mile.

The feature can be accessed on it’s own or while a scorecard is being edited. I use it mostly while I’m on the course to track my best drives. It has been very helpful to me to show progress over time as well as just testing my abilities.

There is one breakdown however that trips me up every time. Once you finish tracking your throw there is no way to easily return to the scorecard. The only way is to hit back, and then back again, and then yet another back.

Three clicks doesn’t seem like a lot, but they add up after a lot of use, especially if you consider additional 5–6 clicks it takes to save a throw. This is too many clicks.

Additionally, every time that I hit back I wonder if my distance actually saved.

Measure Throw Redesigned

My frustration is shared by several others, and I set out to create a solution. Fumbling with the current navigation while hiking through the forest is not only annoying, but is potentially dangerous and harmful too.

Customer Journey Map and Persona

I began the redesign process by creating a persona. By doing this, I allowed the focus of the redesign to be centered on the user, in this case Mark Palmer.

A persona of a fictional Mark Palmer.
This is a persona of Mark Palmer, an average user of UDisc.

The fictional Mark Palmer is from a small town in Georgia and spends lots of time with his family outdoors. His family likes to go on walks in the park, camping, boating, and of course playing disc golf together.

A customer journey map that outlines Mark’s experience as he sets out to play disc golf and record his progress.
This customer journey map outlines Mark’s experience as he sets out to play disc golf and record his progress.

With Mark in mind, I created a customer journey map. This is a great resource for locating stresses that a user may encounter, as well as highlighting their feelings throughout the experience.

This map begins with Mark’s experience searching for a disc golf course. After arriving at the course and beginning to play, Mark crushes a disc and wants to measure it. He experiences friction after he measures his throw. Seeing this as a major point of frustration, I confirmed my desire to redesign the feature.

Measure Throw Prototype Sketch

I came up with several different versions. Originally I thought of a pop-up or a modal that would give you the option to navigate through the app. This was hardly better than the original though.

I also considered removing the share button, but felt this was unnecessary to condense into an icon. That left me with buttons, and the next step was figuring out how to fit them onto the screen.

The image on the left shows the current application along with some ideas for a redesign. The image on the right is of several sketches of redesigns.

I sketched a design and then moved to Adobe XD to finish it out. I took the same information that filled the original screen and condensed it, so that it only took up a quarter of the screen.

Measure Throw Redesigned: Final Product

A before and after of the UDisc measure throw feature. The new version features the use of buttons instead of back buttons.
A before and after of the UDisc measure throw feature. The new version features the use of buttons instead of back buttons.

Condensing the share screen allowed for plenty of room for the 3 buttons that I needed to reduce the number of clicks. My design only takes one click to go from the share page back to the scorecard. This design not only looks cleaner, but will greatly improve the user experience. Try out the demo and watch the video!

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