Sparking community among former competitive athletes




Research, UI, UX, Product Strategy,
Design System, Development

Finding a shared community and purpose

Leaving college is hard for everyone, but for collegiate athletes, it can be especially tough. After years of being part of a team with a shared sense of purpose, it’s no surprise that many athletes feel lost and disconnected after graduation. That’s where ADAK comes in.

ADAK is a mobile platform that helps former athletes reignite their passions by connecting them with like-minded people in their community. Whether they’re looking for a friendly pickup game or eager to meet new people who share their interests, ADAK’s proximity-based networking makes it easy to find the perfect match. With a curated list of local athletic events and the ability to submit event ideas, ADAK aims to become the go-to central hub for athletic communities nationwide.

Not just another social platform

ADAK approached us with an exciting vision for their platform and brand identity. Through collaborative workshops, we identified core features and gained valuable insights into the experiences of former college athletes. As we dug deeper, we quickly realized that our job wasn’t just to create another social platform. Our mission was to design an experience that would not only connect like-minded athletes online, but also inspire them to get out and build meaningful connections in the real world.

Our answer to this challenge was Beacons – a key feature that would empower users to connect with similarly skilled players nearby. This is the core feature that sets ADAK apart from other social platforms.

Mapping complex flows in low fidelity

In addition to Beacons, proximity-based people discovery and curated events were other key features we wanted to include. Given our ambitious feature set, we knew it would be important to detail product behavior and development requirements early on in the design process. As we created low fidelity screens outlining each user flow, we took care to include annotations for each screen outlining interaction behavior and impacts on back end development. This helped ensure alignment between ADAK, our designers, and our development team as we worked together to solidify our vision for the final product, and prevented delays to our project timeline later on during development.

Designing social features for all sports

Conducting usability testing with potential users was crucial to ensure that ADAK’s core features would provide an effective experience for athletes of all types. A large focus during testing was Beacon creation, where users specify their preferences for other players to join their pickup game or meetup event. Input from former collegiate athletes helped us better understand real-world scenarios for a variety of sports. We incorporated these insights into our final high-fidelity screens, making sure that the Beacon flow provided users with more flexibility and opportunities to express their intentions.

What’s next?

As we worked to bring ADAK to life, we meticulously focused on each detail to deliver a uniquely valuable experience to athletes. Our hard work is now ready to make a difference to real users, as the platform gears up for a private launch serving athletes in the Los Angeles area. We’re eager to see the experience we’ve built create new connections and reignite passions, instilling a renewed sense of purpose in those who share a love for sports.