THE STARTING POINT
The mission for this project was to redesign the whole website, to update its interface and to develop the product and incorporate the new trends on the market and the trends that we found related to the existing users of this website. It was a task that took more than one year to deliver and it was an amazing experience so this time it will be quite difficult to be concise about this project. You can read here a few reviews found on some specialized blogs written after the launch campaign of the redesigned website. What you can see underneath is the status of the website at the moment when I started to work on this project and this is important because it carry all the design arguments for the new layout.
First of all, rebranding. Rebranding is most of the time a concept promoted by the small agencies as equivalent to the logo redesign and it’s a wrong assumption even if the logo redesign is or could be part of the rebranding process. Think to the brand as “personality”. Rebranding means a reshape of that “persoanlity” done with a reason to reposition your business on the market. Rebranding is strategy. You can read more about branding here. But to be concise I chose to start this presentation with the logo redesign as part of the big story or rebranding process because it will give you a first idea about the story. An important element that I targeted through my rebranding strategy was the idea of continuity, like a fluid reshape in something better. This was the main message that I wanted to transmit through my design strategy: continuity. With the new logo design I tried to preserve something from the initial state of the design as that one made history first but to adapt it to something more relevant to the market and much easy to remember. That’s why this time I also added that graphic element to the logo: the GS. On the web you need to be concise with everything you do. Too much information will supercharge the user’s attention and the natural response will be to reject your content. So I tried to focus everything on the orange bullet with GS that during the design strategy will play an important role.
BRAND IMAGE CONCEPT
After defining the strategy and creating the logo I created this brand image concept as a visual output about my design strategy. As you can see I focused everything on the graphic element, the GS element, because as I told you, I intended to focus more and get rid of the unessential details, and in the second plan I added the idea of gaming through the iconic images of some slot games to define the area of the brand. Because as you will see later, an important element in the brand development and strategy would be data collection and analyses about the slot games, I created the strapline: “Smart Gaming” as a way to reposition in the mind of the users from a platform of general slot games information in the past to a “specialized” platform about slot games in the future.
A fully responsive experience of gaming across all devices.
IMPROVE THE GAMING EXPERIENCE
During my research I tried to figure our ways of improving the user experience. An important element about GamingSlots was that users came to this website to test/play for free new slot games and then if they liked that game went further to a casino to play that game for real. So improving the experience of the gaming would improve the overall experience of the user. From this point of view, on each game page we had two important elements for the user: the game itself and the links to the related casinos that had that game. So once the intention of the user was to play that game I wanted to create a more immersive sensation of the game and focus on the links to the related casinos. Thus I created the “Turn off the light” feature that allowed the user to focus just on this two elements: game and links to the related casinos and in this way I obtained two important things: a better game experience for the user and a better focus on the links to the casinos that potentially translated in a better business revenue for the GamingSlots.
EXAMPLE OF “TURN OFF THE LIGHT” FEATURE
“Slots Finder” was another brand new feature that I created for GamingSlots: a search tool for the slot games. When you think to a brand strategy you have to think globally, for the overall product/service and try to spot in its past and present ways of become in the future. “Slots Finder” was an example of naming or branding for a feature that already existed in the original website in a incipient form. It is about the top section of the original website that was used by users to find easier their favorite slot games by choosing a provider they loved. Once we decided to remove that top section in the future design I had to find a way to keep that information still “available” as I understood that it was an important element of the user experience in the old web site. On the other side, once this feature played an important role, it means that users are interested in ways of finding easier slot games. Branding an element inside GamingSlots had the advantage that in the future they could develop more this concept so I recommended the acquisition of the related domain name as a way of preserving this concept for the future.
“Slot Analytics” is another example of branding for a feature inside GamingSlots. As I told you, data collection and analyses about the slot games intended to be part of the new brand positioning in the future. So, we had lots of data to present to the users but the question was: how to present that concept of data about slots and then how to present that data in a format that will make it accessible; how to present it in a way that will make it valuable for the users from the accessibility point of view but from a ROI perspective too so to monetize it. That’s how I coined the concept of “Slots Analytics”. So my immediate recommendation was related to the acquisition of the related domain name that was also free at that moment as a way to preserve the potential development of the concept during the time according to the feedback from the market. Data is everything now when you create a new product/service but I also thought that in the future the new gamer profile will be more “analytical” too, a more data driven gamer profile.
EXAMPLES OF “SLOT ANALYTICS” FEATURE COMPONENTS
HOW TO MONETIZE “SLOTS ANALYTICS”
An important question about the new data that GS intended to present to the user was related to the ROI: how to monetize this new feature? A paid subscription? Maybe. But would that be helpful in our brand strategy and development and more than this, would someone pay a subscription in this moment for this service? And so on: many other questions. But our intention was to build a stronger brand around GamingSlots and open new paths for future developments. We had lots of ideas but how many of these ideas would actually work? How many of these new features will be really helpful for the users? We had a product: GamingSlots, we had the existing users, limited data about these users and most important a limited budget too. So the decision about “Slots Analytics” was to make it available to all users as a preview and to “monetize” that feature through a fair exchange: the users had to create an account to GS in order to access this new feature. In this way GS would be able to evaluate the interest for the new feature and plan its development in the future according to the user’s needs.
MOBILE AS PART OF THE MAIN DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
MOTION DESIGN SKETCHES
Part of the rebranding process was related to the short GS video presentations for the slot games they presented on their website and on their YouTube channel and these videos played an important role in the GamingSlots strategy. For this reason I created branded intros and outros for their videos. You can see underneath two sketches for the animations that I created as part of the rebranding process. In the first one you’ll find the initial idea that I presented earlier in the brand image concept: GamingSlots as a web platform dedicated to slot games while the second animation is a sketch for the outro of the videos and focus on brand name itself.
404 PAGE DESIGN
I chose to present here a 404 page design as an example of creative elements that I designed for GamingSlots. Its text was targeted to the existing audience. It presents an empty bag and the message: “Whoops, it seems that some of our staff bet on it and lost it”.
GamingSlots was a very important project for me and one of the first steps that I did inside the amazing iGaming Industry. About this project and more you can read here.