Walk into any Las Vegas casino, and you’ll be instantly met with a picture of glitz and glamour. But it hasn’t happened by accident. Casino designers work meticulously to plan and develop resorts that appeal to gamblers – everything from the way the casino floor is laid out to the colour of the carpets. It all counts, and when your commercial interests depend on gamblers enjoying their stay, every detail matters
In the same way the casino floor is the commercial centre of the casino resort, online casinos rely on their website design to convert traffic into players, and to encourage players to get involved.
But it’s no longer good enough for casino websites to think in desktop ̵
Mobile-first design is now a prerequisite for casinos or in fact any business that wants to capitalise on the shift to mobile. Whether through casino apps, or increasingly through their mobile browsers, players are choosing to head off to online casinos sites on their smartphones. This demands a focus on the user interface for mobile, and a site structure that gives players the best experience no matter the device they are using.
Online casinos need a steady flow of new players to grow. That means converting traffic to their website into new accounts, and then ensuring new players deposit to get started. This all depends on the website, which is the sole interface through which online casinos operate. But offering a desktop experience to smartphone players is a recipe for disaster. Whether it’s the screen resolution, the size of buttons and links or site navigation, it’s now critical designers think with a mobile-led approach.
The shift to mobile isn’t just confined to the casino sector – it’s right across the board. Most of us now use mobiles as our main way of searching for information, buying online or doing pretty much anything else. Web designers working across every industry have found themselves increasingly forced to serve smartphone users first, as traffic patterns continue to shift mobileward.
But acutely for casinos, the cost of promotion and traffic is such a significant expense that there’s no room for design limitations. Marketing is one of the biggest costs for online casinos to cover, which makes design failings potentially very expensive. By failing to serve mobile users first, casino designers are in effect burning the casino’s marketing budget for potentially months and years to come, not to mention upsetting their players by offering a less than optimal experience.
A mobile-first casino design ensures players sign up, enjoy their gaming session responsibly, and hopefully become loyal punters for a long time to come. Get it wrong, and the casinos face revenue leaks that can make all the difference between commercial success and failure.