PlaySmart UX Research & Strategy
Role: UX Architect
PlaySmart is an education and support program for Canadians, designed to take away the mysteries of gambling. They were looking for a way to redesign their website that would inline with their new vision – to help all players, new or seasoned, to keep gambling fun, and to assist getting help if players need it.
As UX Designer, my role was to lead research, analyze the existing content and audit the usability of the current site. It was my goal to provide recommendations that would enhance the user experience, communicate with stakeholders to learn and allow them to have a powerful online tool that can empower them to help Canadians.
Competitive audit was done to establish an understanding of the overall gambling education landscape to help determine any gaps that exist within the Playsmart content and further inspire additional content ideas and executions.
Being mindful of the audiences’ level of domain knowledge, speaking in terms and concepts that are relatable, makes content less intimidating and helps improve the understanding of concepts.
Credibility can be boosted by increasing transparency and using neutral information sources (ex. industry experts or peer-to-peer content contributors).
User engagement can be increased by encouraging active participation (ex. by posing a question, asking for an opinion, offering a poll or quiz) and rewarding them for doing so.
Offering a variety of content mediums attract a broader range of users and accommodate different learning styles.
With decreasing attention spans, shorter and more digestible content that can be consumed easily and built upon is preferred.
Hands on play stimulates a users learning, helping improve information retention and build confidence when users can practice their skills in a more true environment. Providing real time feedback acts as one-on-one coaching to help pinpoint mistakes or opportunities in play.
Content thought starters include: Preparing to play, questions to ask yourself before playing to evaluate your state of mind, how to avoid common mistakes that cause you to lose, insider ‘talk’ and sayings, navigating the casino maze and its calculated layout, know your opponents and who to go up against based on your skill level, gambling etiquette and myths versus facts.
Interviews were conducted to probe and gather player insights directly from OLG employees including front line staff, game experts and dealers, PlaySmart ambassadors, as well as business leads. The goal was to use the insights as inspiration for content themes.
Empowering Employees to Educate
Call Centre Reps: Videos are good but they are often wording of how to say something to a players. How to educate and answer questions and old tool that visually demonstrated odds was very effective.
PS Centres Ambassadors: They are more visuals and have more engagement units. You can communicate more info/education for players on taking breaks
Kits for new players: Updated docs on how AGCO works – explain in more detail about changes, or what’s changes. Daily Grand insert on the play stands .Used to educate, but is completely overwhelming with the amount of information on it.
Odds: PlaySmart content did not talk about odds in a consumer-friendly way.
On Site: PlySmart content bombard people with info when they walk into the casino (promos, rewards) but they don’t get the info they actually need (product info).
Content Audit was condcuted to detailed existing content to evaluate opportunities to carry existing content forward and situations where new content is required. The output of this exercise is a completed content matrix spreadsheet and insights/recommendations that will help inform the content strategy and information architecture moving forward.
Without the brand personality infused throughout the experience, maintaining a consistent voice but changing tones based on the context (i.e. how to play vs. finding help), users do not get a good sense of who PlaySmart is and what we stand for.
Because the look and feel of the site and its content is not unified throughout the experience, users have to relearn assigned meanings to page elements when they change.
Some critical user groups (ex. ew-social players) have limited content, potentially forcing these users to look elsewhere for information.
PlaySmart content is less findable, visible and accessible to users in their search because important information presented in a format not readable by Google.
Errors, missing and broken links undermines user trust and the integrity of the site while users grow frustrated with broken experiences.
Finding useful content can be difficult when the information architecture does not match a users mental model of where and when certain information should surface.
Organizing content based on content types (i.e. tools, videos, brochures, etc.) versus user needs or profiles decrease the discoverability of meaningful content.
Disparity of content across languages may cause a jarring experience for some users (when English PDFs are available on a Chinese site) or make them feel less important than other user groups.