Degree 53 has been working alongside Betfred, the UK's largest independent bookmaker, for over five years. Betfred first approached Degree 53 to enhance their online mobile business. They wanted to launch a bespoke sportsbook which would replace a third-party off-the-shelf mobile product. The solution needed to be relevant to Betfred’s regular customers, as well as appealing to new ones with its fun and vibrant look.
FOCUS ON THE UX
Betfred required a feature-rich product and it was crucial to offer an enjoyable user experience from any type of device with a variety of betting options. Degree 53 developers decided to create a web application for a more flexible gambling experience. It needed to be able to operate on mobile phones, so they created container versions for iOS and Android apps. This required taking into account platform-specific features and behaviours, such as Touch ID and Face ID for iOS or a different ‘back’ button for Android.
To understand the desired product and its objectives, Degree 53 carried out extensive customer research. This helped to identify essential areas to simplify the customer journey and improve the user experience. The team focused on creating a smooth and user-friendly UX to help customers find specific betting options as easily as possible. The team have been providing continuous support to the operator to improve the usability and customer experiences in the app.
A FRESH LOOK
Betfred wanted to modernise the design of the new sportsbook and the Degree 53 designers identified common patterns to further improve its usability and brand recognition. They worked on each section refreshing the design to modernise the look and feel of the product. Degree 53 worked with Betfred product teams to revitalise the Sportsbook image to make it engaging and appealing to the users. The designers also optimised the navigation to help the entire experience more efficient.
DATA FEED INTEGRATION
A sportsbook is a database for sports results and betting options involving various games that users can choose from. It pulls all the information from a number of data feeds, which are often external and need to be integrated separately. It is important to be able to manage this process correctly without compromising on product performance.
Degree 53 utilised a large number of complex data feeds for internal and external sources to be included in the Betfred Sportsbook. Developers went through a data feed integration process to be able to display different sports results and information. To optimise product performance, they carried out analysis and testing to ensure that only the required data was shown. A bespoke system was built to manage and process that information, which reduces the risk of overloading the app and helps to display results quicker.
Throughout development, the product was under constant review from both Degree 53 Quality Assurance teams and the client. This allowed them to identify further areas for improvement and provide the client with confidence that the Sportsbook fully met performance, load and usability requirements.
Sports betting operators are constantly updating their products and adding new features to enhance their customer experience. Degree 53 has been continuously improving the personalisation of the Betfred Sportsbook to enable customers to tailor it to their preferences.
For example, one of the key features that Degree 53 created was the bet builder - PickYourPunt. It allows customers to customise bets, creating specific bet types compared to the simple, readily available options. This offers a much more exciting betting experience and a great way to bet on customers’ suggestions. This also involved integrating feeds with Betgenius.
For horse racing enthusiasts, the Degree 53 team implemented a custom race card builder which allows customers to pick a number of races to build their own view of the day’s races. It also tracks races as they take place and is updated when they finish.
Degree 53 also created an option for customers to personalise the start page of their app so they can land on their chosen page without having to navigate to it from the homepage. For example, they can select the Horses page to be the landing page.
Similarly, Degree 53 have added an option to favourite sports which are then displayed at the top of the list to allow customers to get to their favourite pages quicker.
INTERACTION AND ENGAGEMENT
To create more interaction on race cards, Degree 53 added a live virtualisation of ongoing horse races to enable customers to keep up with the ones they bet on and watch the simulations if they’re unable to watch the actual events. This is a great UX practice to offer customers a visualisation and more engagement while they’re betting.
SECURITY AND COMPLIANCE
The online gambling industry is very strict when it comes to complying with security and licensing standards, which means that Degree 53 always need to follow the latest updates and keep up with the UKGC requirements for the operators. GDPR rules and marketing preferences were implemented into the Betfred Sportsbook to allow customers to manage these parameters and allow Betfred product owners to manage these settings accordingly.
Degree 53 have also been continuously working on security updates, ensuring customer personal data is fully protected to prevent any incidents.
THE FINISHED PRODUCT
Degree 53 developed and designed a full-featured sportsbook for Betfred. It is essentially a mobile web application with container apps for iOS and Android using native functionalities. The Betfred Sportsbook includes the following features among many others:
- Native functionalities, such as Touch ID and Face ID login, push notifications, geo-location and mobile tracking
- Sportsbook key features - In Play, Virtual Sports, Lotto, Goals Galore, Totepool, Poker and more
- In Play Scoreboards for all major sports
- Horse and Greyhound racing sections integrated with Racing Post (a daily newspaper) for the latest information and results
- Watch Live video streaming for live sports events and horse racing virtual simulation
- Integrated eGaming products – games, casino and bingo with a single sign on
- Integrated third-party PCI payment providers for secure transactions
- Rich inbox and push notifications with personalisation for tailored marketing and information messages to individual customers
Betfred Sportsbook is a complex, strictly regulated platform that provides customers with extensive betting opportunities. The majority of the bookmaker’s customers now use it for every day betting and tracking of the results. It is considered to be one of the best solutions thanks to its ease of use. It has provided Betfred with a stable base product that they can constantly add new features to.
Degree 53 has been working with Betfred on this project for the past five years and continue to develop it as the technology and online betting trends evolve. It is important to be agile to modernise the system and review the functionality to deliver a great product that the customers want.