Yuriy Muratov, head of account management and business development at Booongo, discusses the importance the provider places on developing mobile-first experiences and why gamification tools should not interfere with the joy of a slot game.
CasinoBeats: Booongo has announced a number of changes to its UI/UX. How has this been achieved?
Yuriy Muratov: In-game tools, such as gamification solutions, have never been more prevalent in igaming, but one of the downsides to this influx of features is that some of can detract from the gameplay experience itself. That’s what’s driven our UI/UX improvements, an understanding that gamification tools shouldn’t interfere with what players are ultimately there for, which is the slot game itself.
Similarly, with the increase in mobile playtime, screen sizes can differ greatly and it’s important to ensure game features are optimised for all formats. Trying to pack features and gamification tools onto a small screen can lead to a cluttered effect, so we’ve packed all our engagement features into easily-accessible drop-down menus and ‘burgers’. This allows for all the tools to remain within touching distance for players, whether they are on desktop, tablet or mobile devices.
Taking inspiration from social games and native mobile apps, which have plenty of smart solutions, we are introducing a system of widgets to allow for a smooth UX.
CB: Does focusing on UI/UX ensure players can engage themselves in a slot experience more than ever before?
YM: Absolutely. The purpose of enhancing our UI/UX is to ensure playing a Booongo game is as immersive as possible. This means not having cluttered games screens or long loading times, but instead providing a sleek experience from launching a game right through to enjoying payouts.
“There is a real drive in the industry currently to create cutting-edge gamification tools, and quite rightly”
We’ve taken great care to ensure what makes our games stand out isn’t compromised with too many tools either. Increasing game size, and thus loading time, will only turn off players, especially in such a mobile-first world where players demand quick sessions and time is of the essence.
CB: Is creating a good user experience a priority during game development, and how is that achieved?
YM: When developing a game, user experience is crucially important. Therefore, we’ve taken such steps to ensure our UI/UX is as smooth as possible while maintaining quality, not sacrificing key elements. The point of upgrading our UI pathway isn’t to hide the gameplay, it’s to enhance the entire slot experience.
Through a rigorous testing process, we identified what improvements we can implement, and stuck to a strict code in which we decided that no game element should be visible or presented in the interface without any clear reasoning or data collection role.
CB: How can suppliers ensure gamification tools don’t swamp the experience of enjoying the slot?
YM: There is a real drive in the industry currently to create cutting-edge gamification tools, and quite rightly. They are proven to drive engagement and retention and can add a new dynamic to any slot experience. However, it’s important to remember that players aren’t there to enjoy your gamification options, but to appreciate the game that has been created. With screen sizes shrinking due to the prevalence of mobile play, it can be hard to pack all these tools onto a screen without detracting from the main attraction, the slot.
As long as suppliers remember the key focal point of a gaming session, then they can build around it. Through drop-down or burger menus, such as what we have implemented, tools can be packed into the slot without visually impacting it. Each provider will approach the issue differently, but there are innovative solutions that can minimise tools while keeping them in the mind’s eye to ensure a complete slot experience.