Last updated on:

December 27, 2023

The Dugout

An online platform for Man v Fat football members to access healthy lifestyle content and football club information

Work type

In House - Thrive Tribe & Man v Fat

My contribution

Product design, Product strategy, User research, Design system


Health service

The team

1x product owner, 2x product designer, 4x developers & 2x QA tester


MAN v FAT Football is a unique network of weight loss football clubs across the UK, exclusively for men who have a BMI of 27.5 or over. Players can score goals both on the pitch and off the pitch, as weight loss progress directly impacts their team’s performance.

The company now wanted to increase the value of membership for members on the waiting list for teaming, who have already signed up and paid their membership fee. The idea was to create an online members portal called ‘The dugout’ that allows them to begin their journey immediately.

The challenges were:

  • Users who are on our waiting list to be teamed or for a league to launch are being charged membership for extremely little value
  • Users waiting to be teamed are given no indication of when they are due to start play
  • We have no go-to place for users to access member-only content


Research & feature prioritisation

The process began by doing some further user research with man v fat members to gain insight and discuss their desires in the online platform. This also included research with the business stakeholders. This was done together with the product manager and me. 

Both players and business stakeholders were incredibly positive about their weekly football sessions but would like to get more support outside their club nights. Particularly, players have expressed a desire for more nutritional support, lifestyle content and recipe information.

After analysing all the research and running the workshop. Some key decisions were made to focus the release on these below:

  • Personalised club information - Once in The Dugout, our players will be able to see information relating specifically to the club they have joined. This includes upcoming fixtures, an overarching league table and the ability to drill into scores.
  • Fresh and engaging article content - The Dugout has 200+ articles for players to browse through. These cover topics relating to nutrition, exercise, well-being, alcohol, sleep and football including a lot of content geared towards a member that’s just joined the programme (what to expect from a club night, what type of kit to wear, etc.)
  • Recipe content - Players have access to 100+ healthy recipes within The Dugout, spanning breakfasts, mains, snacks and desserts. Each recipe comes with nutritional information, method, ingredients and health benefits.
  • Access to other useful resources - Players can benefit from downloadable resources such as exercise and recipe books and also have links to useful resources such as the MAN v FAT Gym.

A key business requirement was to capture emergency & mandatory data of our players - Being a weight loss programme geared around playing football, having next of kin and health information for each of our players is super important. We’ve been missing this data for 24% of our players and much of the data that has been provided to us is likely to be out of date. Part of the account creation journey for The Dugout asks all members to confirm their latest info.

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Design phase

Next, I designed and thought about the user experience for the dugout by leading a design workshop with product owners, content writers, and designers. This was to generate ideas and get their feedback.

After the workshop, I created a sitemap and generated my thoughts on what each screen of the app should look like from a content point of view. Next, I created wireframes and high-fidelity designs, which we then tested with users and presented to business stakeholders.

User testing

A series of usability sessions took place. 10 participants in total. The key findings we had got:

  • All participants were impressed with the product offering.
  • As food and nutrition are so important to users maybe we need to make this more prominent or rethink information architecture so it's easier to find.
  • Make sure we are making the gym and the exercise book clear and accessible to players.
  • The average task success rate was 82%
  • The average satisfaction rate was 4 out of 5.

Overall the feedback and task completion rate were very positive. With some changes in the wording mainly.

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Over a period of 10-11 months, after a lot of hard work, The Dugout was launched. As of now, we have around 5,000 users waiting and playing. We will monitor The Dugout's performance over the next few months to see how users engage with it. Based on the stats and player feedback, we will determine what improvements and new features we will add to The Dugout in the future.

Let’s chat

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