Sportsbet is Australia’s premier online bookmaker with a variety of wagering and gambling options on a vast range of Australian and international racing, sporting and entertainment events.
Working within a large project team, I acted as a Product Design Lead spread across multiple feature teams to design a native Android experience for Sportsbet. Leveraging the Material Design framework for the basis of the visual design, I was involved with a wider team helping lead the prototyping, ideation and testing through to defining the end to end experience and visual design for the mobile application.
In advocating a user-centered design approach across the project, the team of designers and engineers worked to create an easy-to-use and intuitive mobile betting experience.
Check out the visual case study of this project over on my Behance.com profile.
The need for a native Android experience
The previous version of the Sportsbet Android app (shown below) was a hybrid mobile experience that consisted of a mobile website contained within a native ‘wrapper’ app. The experience was quite slow and frustrated a lot of customers with the lack of features available in comparison to the Sportsbet iOS app. The main problems Sportsbet wanted to address were performance and enhancing the feature set for customers on Android devices and to provide them with a premium native app experience.
Defining the customers
The typical Sportsbet customer spans a wide variety of demographics and segments. In order to properly define who these customers were, the team created personas to help segment customer goals, behaviours and pain points. The personas were informed by previous research that was conducted prior to the kick-off of the project.
The personas helped us construct a narrative around the different types of customers so we could understand and empathise with with them throughout the entire product development process. The personas also helped us communicate some of the more detailed research insights to project stakeholders.
We held co-design workshops consisting of preliminary sketching sessions with Product Mangers and Senior Stakeholders on the project. These sessions gave the design team a broader understanding of the problems, potential features, layouts and also allowed other team members on the project to express themselves through rough scribbles, storyboards and detailed drawings.
The design team emphasized the importance of spending time in the ‘problem space’ to properly define what the actual problems were that we were trying to solve rather than jumping straight into solution-mode.
Wireframes & User Testing
In focusing on connecting customers to their favourite racing and sporting events as quickly as possible, we started by mapping out a detailed IA which formed the basis of the prototype. The IA allowed the design team to map out pathways where we explored flows that focused on speed and encouraging discovery through recommendations.
The design team also explored creating a range of different feature sets and page templates that mixed the Material Design Framework with custom UI elements. By utilising the Material Design Framework as the basis of our design, it allowed us to rapidly prototype large sections of the app which then flowed seamlessly into the visual design component of the project. These wireframes were then used across extensive user testing sessions with Sportsbet customers to gather further insights.
The design team explored a range of interactions and transitions between key screens as we wanted to emphasize the relationship between similar elements that were used across multiple screens. We also explored how to utilise micro-interactions to highlight key interface elements to provide the user with clarity around certain functions and actions. Using tools like Flinto, Principle and Framer, we were able to iterate ideas quickly and communicate these ideas to the development team with ease.
The Sportsbet brand is fun, loud and playful. Their irreverant TVC’s and marketing campaigns are instantly recognisable all around Australia. It was important to make sure the Sportsbet brand was evident throughout the app but not applied in such a way that it was overpowering and effected the user experience.
The new visual approach for the app was to use unique, branded illustrations where possible to reinforce the sports theme which helped to reinforce the Sportsbet brand in the marketplace.
Simplicity & Speed
Creating a fast and easy betting experience was a key factor when designing the app. Keeping the UI clean and simple with the enormous amount of features we had to fit into the app was quite a challenge. The design team knew that when customers want to get a bet on in a hurry, the bet placement experience had to be fast and easy. Simply select the event, choose your odds and away you go! Once you’ve made your selections just go to the Bet Slip, add a stake, hit ‘Bet’ and you’re done! Simple & fast!
Live Scores & Data Insights
Instant access to addtional data such as live scores, form guides, race results and speed maps are an important aspect of the betting experience. Any extra data provided for sports and racing events adds value for Sportsbet customers and helps them make more informed decisions when placing a bet.
Sportsbet customers have a comprehensive set of account management tools which allows them to keep track of bet placement, deposits, withdrawals, app settings and a range of other features. Customers have access to a detailed transaction history that allows them to ‘Cash-out’ early of bets and see where they stand with pending and resulted bets.