Benjamin Monnig develops the iPad user interface for airplane cockpits during the day, but he’s spent the past five months working evenings and weekends building up SportsPage, a mobile app that is essentially a hybrid of Flipboard and ESPN.
The idea is simple: users can pick from over 700 teams and sports they care about and see custom news for those selections displayed in a magazine format.
“I am a big Flipboard fan and grew to yearn for an app that was like Flipboard, but sports specific,” Monnig said. “There wasn’t anything out there like it, so I decided to create it, and that’s how SportsPage came to be.”
SportsPage, which is self-funded, presents news in a magazine format and aggregates from sources like Twitter, ESPN and team websites. Monnig says the app is differs from competitors because it presents visually appealing, sports-specific news without unwanted clutter.
“The social aspect has to enhance the news experience, not merely add clutter,” he said. “A Tweet of “GO MIZZOU” is great, but merely takes up space that a Tweet containing a news story could be shown instead. The news and information needs to be carefully selected to ensure the user experience.”
This isn’t Monnig’s first try in the mobile world.
The big sports fan and freshman basketball coach at Lakeside High School developed his first mobile startup called Tapose in 2011. The cloud-based app is a multifunctional productivity, multitasking and content creation resource that sells for $2.99 and has over 35,000 downloads.
It was his involvement with Tapose that caught the attention of the Boeing bosses. Monnig was originally hired as Flight Deck engineer, but once the company found out his rare combination of engineering and design knowledge, Monnig moved into a group called Flight Deck Mobile that focuses on iPad applications for the pilots during flight.
And while his mobile development knowledge helped in the workplace, his new gig at Boeing is providing insight on the startup side as well.
“Working on Flight Deck iPad applications is a perfect match and has been a great experience helping develop unique user interface guidelines for applications which have a unique use case,” Monnig explains. “The Flight Deck is a unique environment for software usage, and a lot of thought has to go into every pixel, color usage, and icons which can be understood no matter the pilot’s primary language.”
He’s hoping all the lessons learned from Tapose and Boeing will help make SportsPage the go-to app for sports fans using a mobile device.
The app will launch at the end of November with both a free, ad-based version and a 99-cent ad-free option as well.
Previously on GeekWire: Sports social network Fanzo enters a very crowded field