In an exclusive interview given to totalBarça’s Hady, FC Barcelona Board of Directors member, Didac Lee, who is responsible for all technology related divisions, was kind enough to answer some of our questions regarding the club and its use of technology, specifically the Club’s new site design and future plans. Very interesting answers were given by one of the most active members of the current board of directors at Can Barça.
totalBarça: What was the inspiration for the new FC Barcelona website design? What were you thinking of while constructing the website?
Didac Lee: The new web platform is an answer to one of the necessities of the Club, to situate itself as a leader in new technologies. To grow we needed a strong base and that is what we built. The project is not done yet, neither will it ever be, because a web platform always needs to be in a process of constant evolution, but the first brick is now placed.
totalBarça: Why was the project kept so quiet until the big reveal?
Didac Lee: Barça is a Club which generates much expectation in everything it does. The creation of the new web platform was not a secret, but it is certain that until the moment of the publication we didn’t want to highlight the news. We preferred that it was that same platform who spoke for us.
tB: Can you tell us a little bit about Barça’s web staff, specifically the team that is behind the new site design? How long was the project in development?
DL: The online department is a multidiscipline team that gives series to various other departments of the Club. In reference to the design, we centered all our forces in giving relevancy to the audiovisual part, leaving the interface to the content services team. On the other hand, the utility and the scalability of the project were also worked on.
tB: How long was the project in development?
DL: Around 10 months of intense work, a record breaking time if we keep in mind the complex nature of a Club like FC Barcelona. We are a unique case in the world and for this, our proposition was such as well: presenting a web universe, multi-lingual and with various professional sports.
tB: Are we going to see more original content, meant only for the web?
DL: The web and such is a perfect contender in globalizing the Barça trademark, at the same time we would be exporting our values, our manner of viewing things, and our philosophy. In this line, evidently, new original web content is being worked on.
tB: It was noted that last year, of FC Barcelona’s website’s total 106 million views, 60% of the traffic was for the English language site, while only 10% was to the Catalan one. What do you think this percentage difference means? Does it further solidify the club’s need to enhance its global impact?
DL: Barça is universal and the web is a reflection of this reality. We feel especially proud of the fact that it is not necessary to renounce races to export the blaugrana sentiment to the whole world.
tB: The club has a socio-political-cultural history which is a vital part of its identity and you mentioned about digitizing the archives. Can you tell us a bit about that?
DL: We are a Club with more than a century of history. Since 1899, there is much to tell. We are lucky to have at our disposal a unique historical archive of great value and with the web the possibility of presenting part of this documented treasure to the world. With this interest, we have digitized more than 12,000 photographs and we are hoping that in the future, this number will grow exponentially.
tB: What are your views on the players who are active on social media like Twitter? In your opinion, will social media help or hurt their careers?
DL: The players know perfectly the role that the social media plays. They are responsible people who know that more than representing themselves, they represent a Club and they always act in consequence of this responsibility. Evidently, the social networks give them a great microphone, which is very potent for the good and for the bad, but never do we plan to exercise a control over their presence in the network.
tB: How do you feel about being one of the only multicultural board members of FC Barcelona? Do you believe this is a testament to the “more than a club” motto?
DL: I think that it is part of the times we live in. I was born in Figueres (a municipality in Girona, Catalunya, Spain) and my parents founded the first Chinese restaurant in that city. Perhaps back then it was weird to see someone with an oriental appearance in Catalunya, but now it’s not. This country is a magnificent welcoming land.
tB: What role do you think technology will play in the future of football?
DL: Technology is already the present of football, equally as it is in our day to day life. Today, one of every three socis of Barça (FCB club members) already has a Smartphone and a few years ago we didn’t even have mobile phones. The experience of enjoying a football match is evolving and our challenge is being permanently the leaders in this evolution.
tB: How did Barça influence your life personally and professionally?
DL: Barça puts you in a privileged position. Forming part of this Club is an honor and a responsibility which is hardly superable. My professional and personal life continues to be more or less very active because of my job as was accustomed and from the same mode that I feel very fortunate to be a director in FC Barcelona, I am very thankful to my family for their unconditional support.
You can follow Didac on his twitter @DidacLee and Hady via his twitter @Hady19 …