Quickmatch

The University of Waterloo Badminton Club (UWBC) hosts regular casual badminton sessions. UWBC ensures that players get fair playing time while matching similar skills together and respecting individual preferences.

Quickmatch Admin Screen

balance
In January 2014, I designed the web platform for game matchmaking for a Software Engineering Final Capstone Project which was implemented by four Software Engineering students from the University of Waterloo. In the spring of 2014, the project was displayed and presented at the University of Waterloo Engineering Symposium.
balance

I began with talking to the UWBC President, a couple of executive leaders, and some of the regular members of UWBC to understand each of their pain points. I learned that every 15 minutes, players are rotated onto courts to play badminton. Players are assigned a level based on their playing skill and may have preferences for singles or doubles games, and players they want to play with. UWBC must ensure that players get fair playing time while matching similar skill levels together and respecting individual preferences.

balance

Matchmaking Errors

Game matchmaking at UWBC was performed manually by the club executive members, which was highly prone to human error and bias. The execs had to move nametags on a physical board to indicate which players were playing and who were going next. With up to 84 players per session, it was easy to mix up which players had already played with those who hadn't. Furthermore, the executive member also needed to consider skill levels when setting up matches.

balance

Crowding Around Boards

Another problem with using a physical board was that at any given time, there were people crowding around the board to check if they were going to play next. Players could knock off other nametags and place themselves on. It was a constant stressor for players.

balance
I developed two hypotheses to solve the problems around human error in matchmaking and crowding around the boards:

Automated Matching

A customized game matchmaking algorithm will ensure that game matches are balanced and that all players will have equal opportunities to play.

Large Digital Screen

Replacing the physical board with a large digital screen monitor and a clear layout will reduce crowding and rigging of the matches.

I designed two screens: the Admin Screen is for the executive member to set up matches on a computer, and the Public Screen is designed for a large screen monitor for club members to view at a distance.

Admin Screen

Executive members can perform matchmaking or changes to the system.

Admin Screen

balance

Public Screen

Other members can view this screen to easily see matchmaking arrangements.

Public Screen

balance
I created design specs for the engineers to implement. Here is an example of a design spec I made for the Public Screen.
balance
balance
In the month before our final presentation, we built and tested the matchmaking system in partnership with UWBC. It received favourable feedback from the club and the players. Finally, we presented the project at the University of Waterloo Engineering Symposium in the spring of 2014.
balance