Behind the experience design: TNT score clock.

Creating a dynamic data centre that guides sports fans through the hidden depths of the game in real time.

Driven by the strategy of being right by the fans, we created the TNT sports clock to give them their game on their terms. There’s so much more to the sport than the scoreline - fans want to experience every moment as it happens, at its fullest. We spotted an opportunity to add a new layer of experience on top of the live action by giving fans instant snapshots of data and insights as the game unfolds. 

Redefining the scoreboard.

Our first step was to stop thinking of it as a score clock. Instead, we approached it as a data centre that delivers the different facets of sport.  

After reframing our thinking, we began looking at key moments throughout a game and mapping those out on a timeline, which gave us a framework for when to add details. We looked for comparatively low-octane moments and took those as opportunities.

This gave us two different ways to bring the strategy to life: adding context to game highlights and showing how these key moments affected the league table, and offering key insights into teams and players when there was a lull in the game. 

A multi-tool built into the brand. 

Sport is unpredictable - that's what makes it so exciting. So we had to make sure the clock has a function for every moment of the game.

Our first step was to map out the timeline of a game. This gave us a framework to pick out the highlights and develop the different aspects of the clock around these key moments.

The biggest challenge was making sure that everything in the system added something to the experience. Since we were designing this clock in tandem with the rest of the brand, it was tempting to try to pack as much of the brand into this device as possible. It was about finding the balance between the core personality and creating an additive experience. We had to constantly step back from the work and put ourselves in the minds of the fans.

Bringing live dialogue into the game. 

We added a layer of social conversation to the data centre that brings the fans, pundits and athletes onto the same level. The clock does that by highlighting comments from social media, showing how the world is reacting to the game in real time with predictions from pundits and reactions from fans.

Choreographing the multi-layered motion.

Our core motion theory pulled every element together. We use the motion principles to pull out key stats above the clock, and review game highlights to the right of it.

“Once we established our core behaviours and design system, we took them into motion to choreograph the moments into a symphony, making sure that each moment could flow seamlessly into the next one.”

– Tom Pelling, Senior Experience Designer

The Viewfinder, our framing device for the brand system at large, activates the different states of the clock. It acts as a visual shorthand for the TNT brand, bringing deeper insights and data to the viewer. Once triggered, the layers of the clock reshuffle into their active states, with axial rotations and parallax hinting at the AR-inspired 2.5D visual language which is present throughout the rest of the broadcast graphics.

Emotive and editorial typefaces.

The custom serif and sans serif typefaces gave the brand an instantly recognisable look, so we wanted to incorporate them into the clock. Combined, the two fonts gave our displayed data and insights a much more raw and editorial feel, reflecting the spontaneous nature of the sports themselves. The typefaces also let us create a hierarchy that didn’t rely on size or colour, which would have cluttered the clock too much, given the limited space.

“The serif typeface allows viewers to glance at the screen over someone’s shoulder or from the back of the pub and instantly recognise it as TNT.”

– Tom Pelling, Senior Experience Designer

More than just clockwork.

Every element went through rigorous testing, from the clock position and colours to the type size and infographics hierarchy. We had to think about every fan, whether they are watching on their phone, TV or a projector in a pub. No matter what device they’re watching on, or how long the game is, we had to make sure the viewing experience is as seamless and layered as possible. We even tested our designs to make sure none of the information would be lost in a crowd shot or stand out too much against the grass.

At the heart of the system.

The clock sits within the wider brand system as the centre of data. Like the framework around it, the clock can flex from subtle to expressive, so that it captures the game for the fans at every volume, in every moment.