During the first session on the Products & Innovation track – sponsored by Betsson Group – at the CasinoBeats Summit this summer, panellists explored how operators can manage the UX when they are mostly deploying products developed by third parties.
The session was entitled: Slots: Managing the user experience – sponsored by Tom Horn Gaming –and moderated by Aideen Shortt, founder and CEO of Lilywhite. Shortt questioned Gil Rotem, co-founder and CEO of Avici A.I., whose company operates independently whilst also designing for bet365, how his firm works with betting operators in addition ensuring the development of titles goes seamlessly to the user.
“When you look at the user experience, or slot user experience, different users are supposed to have different experiences of the game. They expect a different user journey or different hit rates.
“There’s different target audiences, are you trying to target the high rollers who like higher volatility or are you targeting the recreational players?
“At the end of the day, you develop the slot game. From an operator point of view, you want to build on top of that which will enrich those experiences. On the game development side, you want to offer something else because you get the prominence because right now it’s hard to get if you’re an independent studio.
“Combining all of those needs usually requires some analysis, understanding what user journey you’re trying to achieve, and then building a game from it.”
Following on from Rotem’s point, Shortt turned the audience’s attention to Stephan Apap, UX research manager at Betsson Group, and asked the process of how a company, that receives around 30-50 titles a day, selects the best titles for the user.
“It’s not easy to pick one or two. We have a multitude of games for our users so they have a vast selection that also relate to the users. Artificial Intelligence is coming into play these days and we need to listen to what feedback the user gives, in regards to what they’re playing and being able to recommend games which are similar to the interest of the user.”
Interjecting Apap, Shortt questioned the UX research manager’s comments on game recommendation and asked if companies that use this method run the risk creating a circle of titles which are based on similar titles from the users history and asked how companies incorporate new titles to users.
Apap responded: “Game discovery is very important. We make sure that customers are being exposed to new games as well. There’s new game sections which are being promoted on site. If you go onto the game lobby, we make sure customers are being exposed to other game types or ones they might want to be exposed to.
“Taking a look at Netflix for example, you can see a section where you can see what other people are watching but you also have things which are of interest that you might like. We need to make sure that the customer is in the position that they actually see the games and have enough information on the game to make that decision.”
Shortt then turned towards Erica Spiteri, head of design, Acroud, for a marketing and affiliate perspective and asked how Apap’s comments work with new users, who know what they are looking for.
“As an affiliation, ours is new users. What we do is triggers, we get the ability to show and play the games for fun and then we will send them to the casino and they can play the titles there.
“It’s important that the user can try and experience the new game. Of course you will have the popular games which are there and have high RTP values and will always be there and at the top. But the new ones, you always have to put an advertisement and make the user try them to see how the games are.
“You let the player try it and they will judge.”
Moving forward, Shortt noted that historically, the industry has segmented and targeted players based on socio demographics, pointing the question towards Rotem. The Lilywhite CEO and founder quizzed his guest on the importance of behaviour in terms of driving user experience.
Rotem noted: “This is the key. First, what is a good game? Is it a turnover of x amount or is it how many spins they do? What’s the difference between a game in which the player plays 100-150 spins compared to another game which 300 spins was played on average.
“There must be a difference and the user experience is the difference. Then, if you look at the players’ experience on touch points of the game. How does the player react for a bonus, how do they react for a big win or a streak of losing spins.
“This is exactly the area you look at and it’s not about net loss. Most companies now will look at the game and the first thing they will want to see is the turnover and how much money it’s making. That’s fine, we’re all in the business to make money but how can you improve the experience for the player within the game whilst playing to enhance the session and the turnover.
“For that, you really need to look at the game data, the events that happen during the game and how it affects the players.”
The panel continued to go into more depth in regards top UX management through operators’ collaboration with third parties and how UX informs game development process.