Gambling sites are currently prolific online and there seem to be new ones added almost daily. While some of the old established high street names such as William Hill, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power are represented, there are also companies who seem to be predominantly (if not exclusively) online providers such as Cassava and Nektan. A lot of the supposedly different online sites you see (especially the bingo sites) are likely to be run by one of these enterprises.
User Experience on Online Gaming Sites
User experience design isn’t as developed in this industry in comparison to others and, consequently, a lot of the sites are not well constructed and extremely difficult to navigate. There don’t appear to be any conventions for where stock items such as buttons for menus, logout and home pages are located and the functionality and loading times of pages are often compromised and slow. All in all user experience is not top of the priority list; the focus seems to be more focused on the process of monetary transactions.
However, the market is growing ever more competitive and the lack of consideration for the user experience could be the difference between success and failure so the gaming sites need to be aware of this. They at least need to get basic elements, such as online forms, right and also make sure that the glitches that exist on their sites are fixed quickly so users don’t encounter the same problems over and over.
These sites could also be more proactive in assisting and holding users; for example, good practice would include providing users with lists of games they have played and other similar ones that they might like to play. Some gaming sites do this but by no means all. Site owners could also make sure that important buttons for navigation are large and clearly marked so that users can find where they are going easily and readily – and, importantly for the site owner, get to where they wish to be quickly.
Betting companies are often old established businesses and can to be slower to innovate and adapt which could help to explain the poor level of user experience design on their sites. The better designed sites generally perform better and apparently 84% of users say they would switch for a better experience, which is a warning shot for the underperformers in the market. The gambling industry is not renowned for customer focus and being user-driven but now, with many challenges to the industry emerging (not least from government and regulatory sources) it might be a good time for them to start researching and listening to their users.