The online gambling sector is very big business these days. Two decades ago there were just a small handful of companies pioneering online real money gaming and the industry was worth next to nothing. Flash forward to 2019 and it’s worth billions of pounds, with the UK in particular having a well-developed online industry that accounts for around 39 per cent of the industry as a whole thanks to a couple of factors.
One, of course, is the fact that the UK has historically had a relatively unrestrictive legislative environment around gambling. Ever since the 1960s successive British governments have allowed, and therefore taxed and controlled, gambling.
That has left online gambling platform operators to grow and develop their businesses in the relative security of an accepting legal environment, where in other territories the legal grey areas around online gambling have made it more difficult for platform holders to operate.
The other, of course, is the technology used. As encryption has improved, internet speeds have gotten faster and web design has become more sophisticated it has become ever easier for online casinos to offer safe, reliable and enticing online gambling portals.
The problem, of course, is that with lower barriers of entry online gambling has become a very crowded marketplace. Strong design has become more important than ever when it comes to cutting through the noise and reaching potential customers, with platform holders taking a number of different approaches.
Case Study: NetEnt
NetEnt is a company that offers back and front end gaming solutions to online casino operators. Its services include providing games, offering a service that tailors a customised experience based on player profiles, access to some of the online gambling industry’s largest pooled jackpots, licensed games featuring branded content and back office tools that help with management of all of the above. The company’s gaming systems handled upwards of 41.2 billion gaming transactions in 2017, making it a mammoth supplier with deep levels of experience in online gaming.
Finding British Casinos from NetEnt is easy due to the design, it enables potential users to find the best offers when they’re looking for somewhere to play. It’s a way of cutting through the noise in a very crowded marketplace and offering users a direct route to the best deals without having to spend a lot of time sifting through endless google results on their own time.
There are some aspects of web design that particularly lend themselves to the gambling space. Let’s take a look at some of the elements of NetEnt’s British casinos page that have been used to give this casinos page an accessible design.
Layout and page structure
These are the most obvious elements of the page design, but also perhaps the most crucial. Navigation is particularly important for casino webpages because users often land on them looking for quite specific information such as withdrawal information and bonus terms, and overwhelming page design full of flashy graphics are all too common when it comes to online casinos. Users need to be able to get what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently. Presenting them with the information they need as fast as possible builds trust, and if designers don’t do that swiftly the customer will vote with their mouse and click away to another site.
NetEnt lays out its page in a very straightforward and approachable way. At the top, information is provided about licensing in a way that’s aimed at reassuring the user and building that important trust. It then does exactly what it says it’s going to – help you find a variety of UK Gambling Commission approved casinos. The information about what each one offers is clearly listed, as is a rating and a link to the site.
As more and more people access gambling sites through mobile devices, it’s crucial that page design is responsive, shifting to accommodate smaller screens of varying sizes and dimensions. Mobile is convenient for players, enabling them to access content on the go and giving the operator many more times of day to engage the user.
The NetEnt page shifts quickly to accommodate either a change in the size of browser or a mobile screen.
Fast page loads are crucial in the world of online gambling. Not only are you going to lose your user’s attention with loading screens that drag their heels, as you would on any other website, but time really is money when it comes to online gambling. Transactions can happen fast, and time users spend waiting for pages to load is time they could be using to play games. Whether you’re providing live gaming or not, this approach travels and gambling pages need to be light and fast.
The NetEnt page loads quickly, minimising the time a potential customer has to wait and speeding them along to their ultimate destination.
It’s tempting to see online casino pages as overbearing bastions of excess, but in fact carefully thought out design is crucial in all aspects of their build.