16 weeks




Service Roadmap
Experience Map
User Flows
UI Design
UI Kit

Redesigning Brazil’s most beloved fantasy game, with a little help from our friends

Cartola FC is the #1 fantasy football game in Brazil, played by over 2mi users back in 2015, when Globo.com – the internet branch of Brazil’s largest media conglomerate, owner of Cartola – called us to team up with its own design team to revamp the app experience and think about the future of the game.

Our assignment was to redesign the mobile app, while Globo’s design team worked on the responsive version of the game.

Brazil is a country that loves and breathes football, where nearly everyone considers him/herself a football expert – including ourselves. :) But to get an accurate sense of how people really related to football – and most specifically to Cartola – over the season, we humbled ourselves and went out to interview a few of them, so we could gather valuable information and get some insights early on.

With all that information and some insights and hypotheses to test, we were then able to set up our Fjord Rumble™

We put both teams from Fjord and Globo.com in the same room so we could collaboratively get everyone aligned in the same vision and direction, talk about potential risks and opportunities for the project, ideate on some key features for both the app and the responsive version of the game and also prioritize those ideas in a first draft of our service roadmap – all disguised as a regular football talk. It was a hell of a day full of hard work and serious fun.

Shaping the new Cartola FC

With the whole team well aligned on the same objectives, new drivers to guide our solution and a solid roadmap of collaboratively prioritized features, it was finally time to go hands on and start working on the brand new experience of the app.

We split the navigation in two separate menus to reflect the information architecture and the app hierarchy.

Then it was time to start sketching some flows and experimenting with interface elements. While some of the visual aspects of Cartola were already well stablished by Globo.com design team prior to the beginning of our project, they were more than open and kind enough to let us add a few touches and increment on their work.

This sense of mutual collaboration and openness to design critique and feedback was a key part of the process as we were two teams remotely working on the same product at the same time.

We were happy to have had this kind of relationship with such a talented team. As a result, we ended up learning a lot with them, and giving back a little bit of our knowledge and experience as well, as an exchange.

Players info at a glance

One of our biggest challenges in this project was redesigning the Player Card component. There is a lot of valuable, decision-driver information that we couldn’t just leave to a secondary page, so we designed and guerrilla-tested a few versions of the card so we could quickly get feedback and move on with our design.

Viewing and
assembling your squad

At Fjord, we like to break things. And we found a good opportunity to do so when assembling your squad on Cartola.

Previously, Cartola featured a Marketplace section showcasing all the players from all teams, ordered by some user-configurable criteria. It was considered the most important section of the game. Well… we decided to kill it.

We figured – backed by research data – it was just easier for users to just have their squads showing empty states of their open positions, so they could just tap them and have a list of all players that would fit that position – no more having to filter on a list with hundreds of players just to see the 20 possible options you have for your goalkeeper.

Introducing Leagues

The new Cartola introduced a freemium model and brought to the table a new gameplay mode: paying users now have the ability to create short or long-term leagues to challenge their friends. The leagues work as side-games throughout the season, to bring some freshness and an extra dosis of surprise and competition for players at the end of each round in the season.

In only 3 simple steps you are able to create your league, set the rules, invite your friends and start competing for the glory.

There’s also the sponsored leagues, that award their winners with goodies from brands like Nike and Adidas.

Cartola is even hotter now

Aside from glancing people interacting with the app and having warm discussions around Cartola at coffee shops, busses, bars and all kinds of places, we watched the app’s numbers at a close distance – mostly because it is a Globo.com product after all, and their metrics are a valuable business asset – needless to say most of it is confidential.

But from what we know, the number of active users is escalating quick, and so is the engagement throughout the whole season – historically, the second half of the season was always a churning point for players, as the game tended to become repetitive and boring.

In the first 2 weeks after the new Cartola was launched, there was already over 20k paying users, more than twice the expected for the whole pre-season period – 2-3 months, usually.

That year also marked the historical record for assembled squads in the first round of the Brazilian League: 2.7mi squads assembled, over 54% higher than the previous record, one year before. The current record for assembled squads in a single round is now way over 3.5mi, and it was achieved in the second half of the last season – goodbye, churn!

The dream team
behind Cartola FC

Thiago Cassola
Interaction Designer, project lead

Jader Rubini
Product Designer, project lead

Rodolpho Henrique
Visual Designer

Emiliano Chinchelli
Design Director

Bruno Perez
Service & Interaction Designer

Danilo Marcondes
Interaction Designer

Filipa Silva
Business Designer

Christina Cassens
Program Manager

But don't take my word for it

Download Cartola for iOS or Android,
have fun and start getting addicted to it.

Download from the App StoreDownload from Google Play

Feel like talking?

There’s a lot more about this project that I would love to talk you about, so don’t be shy.

Drop me a line