Whether you’re a developer, UX designer, UI designer, or graphic designer, your approach when starting on an online casino project is unlike that of any other project. Industry-specific requirements and legislative elements need to be accommodated – and it also needs to be able to sell.
Carlos Norberg, chief technology officer at cvasino.se brings his unique take on exactly what to keep in mind when designing an online casino site.
The bedrock of online casino design should be simple navigation. UX design, especially for players from Sweden, needs to live and breathe minimalism. The design trend of Scandinavian minimalism appeals to not only Sweden but also to the wider Nordic region which are all profitable markets for online casinos. While many Swedish players are simply looking for casino bäst utdelning, an easy-to-use, well-designed site is also a factor that new customers consider.
Players are looking for a site that is easy to use and where they can find what they’re looking for in a flash. The industry standard is to have a welcoming landing page with the casino’s verticals (Sportsbook, Slots, Vegas, Keno, Bingo, Live Casino, etc.) positioned prominently. New users need to be able to enter the sign-up funnel as quickly and easily as possible.
More casinos are now implementing the use of an age-gate to bar underage players from gaining access to the site. This is worth bearing in mind as it not only safeguards against appealing to underage players, it also puts your site on favorable terms with gambling policy makers such as the UKGC and the MGA.
Responsible gambling is the most important liability of every online casino. Gambling design techniques need to incorporate as many tools as possible that can support vulnerable players. Responsible gambling tools could include the following:
- Time out feature
- Play duration reminder.
- The option to self-exclude.
- Cool off period options.
- Bet limiting options.
- Notifications regarding the potential dangers of gambling
Game tiles or promotions that feature people who look under 25 years old are strictly forbidden by the UKGC and any images that appeal to players under the age of 18 are also banned. The simplest advice is to stay away from images that contain cartoon characters or anthropomorphic animals. Anything that looks even slightly cute is something to completely avoid.
Many casino sites take the “more is more” approach to online casino design – more colors! More games! More payment options! More verticals! While this may seem appealing on paper, the truth is in fact the complete opposite.
Research has shown that individuals when faced with a decision that involves too many options go into cognitive overload then end up choosing nothing at all and subsequently bouncing off the site. This is called decision paralysis. The way to avoid decision paralysis is to give the user as few options as viable while still giving the player enough choice.
This doesn’t mean culling the game collection to accommodate this, but rather presenting it in a way, through categorization that breaks it down into easily digestible chunks.
Designers have done this successfully by categorizing games into themes, alphabetical order, color palettes, and maximum/minimum bet sizes.
From debit card and credit card options through to e-wallets and cryptocurrency payment options, straightforward payments need to be introduced to users in the most simple way possible, while incorporating the highest security standards.
Online casino visual design also needs to be able to sell. Creating market-specific designs that work in unison with seasonal campaigns is a huge part of the online marketing process. Graphic designers with local knowledge of target markets are worth their weight in gold.
Whether graphic designers are creating assets for a Christmas promotion, a campaign based around the Premier League, or Midsummer celebrations, they need to know what brings the most aesthetic appeal to a design.
By doubling down on localized content, designers provide players with visuals that appeal to an intimate yet broad demographic which in turn boosts conversions.
It’s an exciting time for design in the online casino industry. While competition is fierce but friendly, operators are willing to stick their necks out and try out new design approaches. Studio managers and department bosses are more open than ever to receiving innovative design concepts.