Because this project had so many moving parts, a detailed discovery process was necessary. In order to gather all of our requirements, I traveled with my team to the Varsity corporate offices in Memphis, Tennessee where we met with the project stakeholders and held breakout sessions for all of the different business areas within the company. Our broad discussions outlined the scope of work for this project as well as the importance of flexibility and opportunities for the future growth of the site. In our breakout sessions, I was then able to drill deeper into the specific goals and needs of each division.
One of the most important things we needed to nail down was who were all of the personas using the website. We settled on our core user types: Athletes, Parents of Athletes, Coaches, and Gym Owners. Within that set of personas, they were also split into 2 clear buckets: School (high school and junior high cheer and dance teams) and All Star (private dance and tumbling gyms). We found that their goals within the site were vastly different for each persona and layered into that – the vibe of School versus All Star was completely unique. Because of these discoveries, we knew we needed to create a uniquely personalized experience for each user.
Key Areas of Business
- Camps & Competitions: Many varieties, held annually and run by Varsity’s Legacy and All Star Brands. Major source of revenue.
- Brands: Subsidies of Varsity Spirit that maintain their own personality and run a wide variety of events for both School and All Star teams.
- Fashion: Varsity is the leader in cheer and dance uniforms, shoes, and accessories nationwide. Major source of revenue.
- Varsity TV: Live streams and commentary on Varsity camps and competitions, runs as a separate web entity but needed to be woven into the new site.
Additional Business requirements:
- Ads: Varsity needed a system of internal ads they could strategically place throughout their site. These ranged from new product releases to camp signup announcements. These were a key component I had to keep in mind when crafting the design system.
- Contact Routing: The goal was to create one singular contact form for the whole website that would route form submissions based on a series of self-identifying steps.
- Salesforce Integration: All Camps and Competitions lived within Varsity’s Salesforce instance, so we needed to be able to dynamically pull out the information as real-time data and display it on the new website.
- Permission Levels: The backend of the website needed a series of login permissions that gave certain tiers of users limited capabilities. For instance, a super admin would have access to an entire brand or even the entire site, whereas the marketing team for that brand may only have access to add or update blog posts.