1on1 with ContentSquare’s Duncan Keene: A journey in UX

1on1 with ContentSquare’s Duncan Keene: A journey in UX

Wednesday, December 28, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
How to work on getting the UX right

The user experience is the lifeblood of the gambling industry. Get the UX and the UI right, and the rest will follow is perhaps the mantra. One company working with gambling companies in this area of ContentSquare, an online user-journey specialist which recently started working with PMU in France helping the company with pain points in aspects of its registration process.

Totallygaming.com spoke to Duncan Keene, managing director of the company’s UK operation, about the importance that should be placed on customer journeys and why getting the UX right is the first step towards establishing a brand presence.

TotallyGaming: Why is UX so important for gaming operators?

Duncan Keene: UX is one way brands can differentiate themselves, especially in gaming. Gamblers tend to frequent multiple sites and services at once, so operators need to do all they can to ensure that their service feels unique and easy to use. The key challenge that gaming companies face is finding the best ways to structure large amounts of information. By nature, placing a bet requires users to process various pieces of information in order to come to an opinion or action. Gaming operators have to find ways to present this information so that users can read and understand it quickly and easily - this is especially true on mobile, where our data suggests the average user has an attention span of just two seconds.

TG: Do you think digital operators fully understand why customers interact with their sites the way they do?

DK: No - digital operators have a lot of tools at their disposal to tell them what exactly is happening on their websites, however there’s far less understanding of how and why it is happening. Digital operators seem to be more advanced at measuring the performance of desktop, and lag behind on mobile. Given mobile is a more recent development for the industry this isn’t surprising, but is a critical error that needs to be corrected. According to ContentSquare data from over 300 million sessions, mobile users take 21% less time to interact with the first page than desktop users. What digital operators need is insight about this fast-growing segment of mobile users: why exactly do they take 21 percent less time, and what can be done about it? The problem is that most online gaming companies are essentially testing in the dark. They understand the need to continually test and improve online products, but testing without adequate insight to form the right hypotheses risks wasting time without a guarantee of good results.

TG: Can you explain the concept of journey managers?

DK: Online journey managers aren’t so different from casino managers - they’re employees whose job it is to ensure that all visitors are adequately catered for and that they’re moving through the various processes involved in placing bets and playing games correctly. A journey manager oversees particular personas or groups of users. Every online gaming company will have these: the VIP that spends large sums, bets frequently on only horseracing but nothing else, the fleeting visitors that come and go frequently, or the newcomer that has never visited before. It’s not enough to simply recognise that these different segments exist - operators have then got to act on that insight by beginning to tailor the offers and on-site experience to these segments. This is no small task: it represents a big technical challenge, especially on mobile where our data suggests that users are four times less likely to sign in to their accounts. This is where I see the role of UX journey manager being key: operators need these internal advocates to bridge the gap between product and marketing to make sure that each user segment is getting the best experience available.

TG: How is big data impacting with issues around UX?

DK: Big data has really changed the game for UX: where previously it was difficult to measure certain aspects of UX, firms are now drowning in huge amounts of data, all of which can be indicative of ways the UX of their site is performing. The problem that I’ve seen from my conversations with businesses from a wide variety of sectors is one of data literacy. There simply aren’t enough data scientists to go around, and many of the analytics tools on the market are too technically difficult to implement and monitor without that expert knowledge. This is one of our key concerns at ContentSquare: we focus on translating big data into easy to understand insights communicated in a highly visual way, enabling the product and marketing teams who are actually producing the user journeys and promotions to understand how their users are behaving, and why.

Totally Gaming says: As customer retention becomes ever more important, operators are looking to maximise the customers that comes through their door. UX is a vital part of that and it is fascinating to see what levels of thought need to go into the process.

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