The digital world has become the central focus of many gaming companies. Since the internet boom of the 1990s, more and more companies are trying to figure out how to profit on — and in fact, are becoming built upon — the digital space. The audience for online gaming is growing; there are between 2.2 and 2.6 billion people playing games around the world, with the global software market predicted to grow from $137.9 billion in 2018 to an estimated $180.1 billion by 2020.
These incredible figures are reflective of consumer demand — the popularity of online gaming is growing and growing, year on year. And many industries around online gaming have grown too, as a result of its rise. With so many high-quality games being produced, the platforms that host them have needed to be upgraded in quality, too.
Here are some of the biggest things that companies, and individuals need to consider when designing a gaming website.
Take it from the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, to say it best: “Most business models have focused on self-interest instead of user experience.”
UX is just what it sounds like — the user’s experience. It is the process that design teams use to create products (i.e. websites, apps) that provide meaningful and relevant experiences for its users. This includes everything from branding, usability and function — as well as efficiency, enjoyment and of course, fun.
UX design for gaming websites is incredibly important, as of course for its users, it’s all about the fun. A great UX design will make the user’s journey — their experience on the website from start to finish — feel seamless. For a gaming website, this will include everything from signup, to download time (if required), to actual game play — and when it comes to gambling website, things like deposit and withdrawal of funds. It eliminates any unnecessary steps that might hinder players from getting the best gaming experience possible.
It’s really an all-encompassing term for designers, with the focus of the product, and it’s end user, at the heart of it all.
Branding is one of the most important elements of designing a gaming website. The world revolves around big brands; having consistent branding can help you to stand out from the crowd. For example, 888 Poker have been sure to maintain similar branding to their sister sites, ensuring people identify and differentiate their business from others.
Having proper branding includes everything from a logo (and different variations for the responsive website) as well as any banners and marketing materials. The designer will need to think of the brand’s colours, font and style.
Branding is something that takes quite a while to decide; it’s the heart of a gaming website’s business and will dictate the voice and look of the rest of the website. A designer will have to think up several different concepts for their client to choose from; it’s important to get it right.
Responsive Web Design
There’s a growing number of people who are playing their games on their mobiles and tablets — whether that’s on the go to work, waiting for appointments, at a friend’s or even in the comfort of their own homes. Reports show that this trend is on the rise. In 2017, spending on mobile gaming was 2.3 percent higher than spending on PC and Mac gambling combined, and more than three-and-a-half times higher than the total spending on games for consoles, like PlayStation and Xbox.
Casino gaming is one of the biggest genre trendsetters in mobile; up to 85 percent of remote casino players use their smartphones to access their favourite games. With so many new, and high-quality online games available, it’s not a surprise that people want to be able to play from wherever they may be.
For designers of gaming websites, the rise in mobile usage has meant a greater need for website responsiveness. This means that users can have the same positive experience from whatever device they happen to be using. Designers need to consider a variety of screen sizes, platforms and orientations, so that the website can always respond to the user’s preferences.
Security is an important element of any experience on the internet — but especially for gaming websites. This is because monetary transactions are done over gaming websites; whether that’s deposits and withdrawal for casino games or paying for new games and upgraded features. Gaming website designers need to ensure they’ve integrated security elements into their design, and that it has seamless functionality with the UX. With a lot of conversations – and concerns – around cybersecurity at the moment, it’s one of the top things that designers need to take into account when creating a product for consumers.
[Written by James Laufer]