Just a few hours ago, Matt Triplett and the fine folks at SparkPlug released a site called TeamSnap.
It is quite simply the bees’ knees.
TeamSnap is an application built on Rails designed to help people manage their amateur sports teams online, and it’s one of the best executed pieces of communication design I’ve seen in awhile. Not only is the site beautiful but everything is exactly where it should be. Within seconds, you know exactly what you can do with TeamSnap and exactly where to click in order to get started.
There are just so many things the site gets right that it’s hard to know where to start:
- Feature set — Not only can you do the basics like publish a calendar of your team’s games, but you can even coordinate who’s bringing “refreshments”. For some reason, the team chose to make the beer icon blue which I don’t quite understand, but whatever. A lot of thought has gone into exactly what needs to be organized in sports leagues and these guys are clearly designing from experience.
- Tour — The walkthrough is easy to follow and the screenshots are crisp and illustrative.
- Testimonials — Everyone knows testimonials are often suspicious and overly pithy so TeamSnap created satirical ones instead.
- Beautiful iconography — Every icon exudes a cohesive, friendly tone that makes me want to click.
- RSS Feeds — You can follow all of the latest developments with your team not only via email, but also with your newsreader.
- Structured data — TeamSnap ships with support for 24 sports (including “Dragon Boat”) and one of its important capabilities is storing structured statistical data for each sport. This means, you’re not just uploading a Word Document with play-by-play in it. You’re actually entering stats for all players on your girlfriend’s beach volleyball team (and then hopefully explaining everything in personal sessions later). Hugely powerful.
I’ve always thought the most interesting social networks out there were not pure social networks but rather networks built around an existing subject matter. While TeamSnap may look on the outside like a beautifully executed organizational tool, it’s actually social software built around one of the most technologically dormant (and ripe) social constructs around: recreational sports.
I expect TeamSnap to do very, very well once it’s out of beta, and I give Matt and crew a huge thumbs up for designing an excellent product at an excellent time. I will also be hiring Sparkplug the next time I need something awesome designed.
Well done you!