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Overcoming design problems in gambling

Jade Sahota, head of design department at Degree 53, believes that the Internet gambling sector still lags behind other sectors when it comes to vital aspects of the (UX) experience and the user interface (UI), and should focus on other areas of the online world for inspiration.

The online gambling industry has overcome a long way in terms of adopting new technologies and expanding ways of interacting with the audience. Despite this, it still lags behind leading brands outside of gambling when it comes to UX and UI upgrading.

There is great potential for changes and innovations, and providing more experience to users is critical. When creating gambling products, developers are still faced with a huge number of difficulties.

Industry standards

Gambling applications and websites traditionally present a lot of games, promotions, ads and much more to encourage users to register and play. It may be difficult for designers to find some logic in this and make all these functions visually attractive and tempting for users.

In addition, online gambling is a strictly regulated industry, therefore designers must adhere to specific principles to accept and release the final product including data protection, responsible attitude to gambling and extensive registration forms.

These relatively small but important elements can influence the design and require a thoughtful placement on the page to achieve the right balance between attractive design and standards of the industry. That's why, as the final result, many products look pretty similar and very oversaturated.

Slow innovation

As for innovations, there is a disadvantage of new products in the industry that differs from the rest ones. Usually, sports betting products or casino websites look similar, and offer similar functional options.

Repetitions or copying aren't also uncommon in the industry. Whenever one operator launches a successful new feature or product, for example, Cash Out, many others follow its lead. This means that innovations are rather limited and slow in gaming, and companies tend to use proven solutions instead of implementing changes themselves.

This can be a real challenge for operators in terms of attracting and retaining customers. It will always be a difficult task to keep the loyalty to a brand. However, if there is no real leader offering something absolutely new, customers will continue to monitor the promotions and opportunities from many brands but not from several favorites.

Displaying gaming content on a single page or a small screen can be quite a difficult challenge. Designers should find a way to display it without overloading the site, so that users can learn it and find what they need easily. Being designers, we must cope with this task using new approaches. This means creating a product outside of gaming.

An example of other well-known brands which interact with users daily is an excellent starting point. Analyzing the experience of the best companies such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Spotify, you can get new ideas for gambling products.

Attraction and retention

Getting clients is one of the most important activities for any operator. The registration process can take a long time, be boring and difficult. Clients find it difficult to explain why they need to share a lot of information. If the form doesn't offer an easy way for filling out, users can simply refuse it and go to another operator.

To attract customers, developers need to provide a clear encouragement for acting on each page of the form, and use the best practices of UX to facilitate this process. For example, a confirmation in each field will help users to understand whether the information entered is correctly and whether they can move to the next steps. Customers will be calm if they are provided with a clear explanation of what this data is used for. This is especially important given the forthcoming changes to the General Data Protection Regulations.

Product improvement

While the gambling industry is gradually introducing the latest technological and design trends, it still lags behind especially in the changing process to provide content to user. The next challenge for product owners and designers will be the improvement of gaming products to a level where they will be comparable with other well-known brands.

Finding inspiration beyond gambling can be exactly what operators need. Giving the fact that more and more services are focused on delivering qualitative UX, it's high time for the gaming industry to innovate or update certain elements. This does not mean that you need to change everything, as this may only scare off customers but small improvements may lead to great success.