6 reasons the iGaming sector has taken to User Research

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The iGaming industry is more competitive than ever before. Success belongs to those that continue to create experiences that delight customers. Historically, companies haven’t always fully understood the tangible benefits that User Research can bring to their bottom line. However, working with a few gaming companies now, we can see that this perception is changing in the industry.

Suppliers and operators alike are starting to see the benefits of collecting and utilizing customer feedback and here’s why:

1. The need to validate new product concepts

Companies in the iGaming industry are continuously developing new products and offerings as they strive to stand out from the competition. User Research is important when it comes to testing new product concepts and ideas. It also allows people within the organisation to test assumptions and concepts before investing millions of pounds in building a product that customers may not engage with. Don’t wait until your product is live before finding answers to these important questions:

  •   Do people want it?
  •   Do people like it?
  •   Will people use it?

By getting early feedback you learn whether your future product will actually be meeting the needs of your target audience and what aspects of the product your users don’t understand or like. This helps eliminate the risk of taking a product to market you’re uncertain will resonate with your customers.

2. The need to validate design and development decisions

Often sites, apps and games are designed assuming that users will interact with the site in a rational, logical order. This is often not the case and actually seeing a user struggle with your product or games is an eye-opening experience. By conducting regular user research at different stages of design and product development, companies are able to achieve ROI benefits through increased conversion rates and improved user experience and satisfaction. Integrating User Testing throughout the design and build process would enable gaming companies to test concepts, wireframes and prototypes and thereby help inform the design process by uncovering unknown or unexpected issues. This can also help prevent costly end-stage failures.

Within the iGaming industry the clear desire for operators to share their feedback with suppliers on game design has been apparent on several occasions. Poor design and in-game features are some of the biggest blunders that cause games to perform poorly.

3. Lower costs

Feedback from User Research is also crucial in validating design decisions before committing resources. It becomes progressively more expensive and time-consuming to make changes to products.

“Fixing an error after development is up to 100 times as expensive as it would have been before. This is why User Testing is so important in ensuring the company is focused on the right things.”

-Susan Weinschenk, Chief of UX Strategy, Americas Humans Factors International

Another reason that companies in iGaming have done little user testing in the past is due to lack of available funds. Budgets are often allocated for marketing or towards building even more features. Companies have soon realised that if your their product doesn’t provide a good customer experience all marketing efforts will be in vain and targets will not be reached.

4. Operating in multiple markets

In the betting sector, most companies operate in multiple markets. The customers in these markets vary massively and when designing a product offering it is hugely beneficial to test the product across the key markets to determine the different customer perceptions and needs. From our experience, even seemingly small features like how betting odds are formatted can keep customers away from a site that is not personalised to their needs. User Testing can give you this information at a stage in product development where it is still inexpensive to make the necessary changes.

5. The growth of Agile

With most betting companies adopting an agile approach, the integration of User Research into their processes has enabled companies to gather and make use of customer feedback in an agile way. User Testing was previously regarded as too expensive and done occasionally before a big product launch once every couple of years. Today, Many iGaming companies operate within an Agile framework and incorporating User Testing into this framework is one of the best ways to achieve remarkable results.

6. Social Media

The emergence of social media has given customers a stronger voice where if they are unhappy with a product or customer experience they will share their complaints online. With the amount of e-gaming forums available online as well as the transparency of customer reviews in the app stores, operators and suppliers in the e-gaming world are learning how damaging a poor experience or product can be for their brand. User research can positively impact sales, leads, customer satisfaction and retention.

Conclusion

When User Testing is done correctly companies can expect cost savings, efficient use of development resources and a positive impact to the bottom line. If the value gained from user research is that high, the cost is negligible in comparison. What’s really expensive is to use development resources to build products and then rely solely on analytics to tell you whether it was the correct thing to develop and whether it’s resonating with customers.

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Posted by Pooja Capellos

Pooja is Head of Product and Research at Gutsy Ninja. She has a driving passion for creating beautiful, innovative products that customers love. Previously, she was a product consultant with News UK and prior to that has led product and design teams of various shapes and sizes at Unibet. She strongly believes that success belongs to those companies that leverage user research as part of their decision making process.