Supporting coach-player communication in organised sports teams with rockEnroll
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Situations frequently occur where players on organised sports teams do not show up for scheduled activity without having notified the coach in advance, as it often requires extra effort from the coach. This happens despite the fact that players have a vast array of communication technologies available, and should be able to efficiently communicate their intended absence in a heartbeat. This thesis is intended as a starting point for research on communication between player and coaches, and how information technology can contribute in this context. The goal of the research was to understand how players and coaches currently communicate, to investigate if a specialised, novel information technology could improve communication, and to provide design guidelines for future development of similar information technolo- gies. In order to achieve the research goals, a prototype web application, rockEnroll, was developed. The prototype was developed in two iterations. Web surveys were administered to investigate the current situation and gain a greater understanding of the user groups needs. Heuristic evaluation was used to improve upon the first version of the prototype, while a usability test was carried out after development had been completed. In addition, an extensive field study involved testing the prototype on real users. The results showed that Facebook and SMS is currently the dominating technologies of communication, however, it was discovered that these current technologies seemed unsuitable to automatically aggregate information from players and provide a visual overview over attendance for an activity. The data collected did not conclusively estab- lish that rockEnroll improved communication, but suggested that improved versions of rockEnroll has the potential to greatly improve communication. Making the technology the solution of least effort, designing an accompanying native or hybrid app and (or alternatively) providing Facebook integration is recommended in order for an extension of rockEnroll or another novel system to successfully improve communication.