A set of mobile apps designed for both native and web platforms that give horse racing enthusiasts rapid access to the day’s racing action and betting functionality.
Digital Innovation of the Year – The 2013 Newspaper Awards
Digital Product of the Year – British Media Awards 2013
Disrupt the horse racing betting market by pioneering a superior betting product using existing content and the marketing power of app stores.
I began by studying the apps (or m-dot sites as they were then) that bookmakers and other affiliate betting sites had built. All exhibited the same bloated information architecture and felt slow under the thumb.
I identified areas to innovate in order to produce a superior product:
I needed to find out what the most popular sections of our existing website were and use those as a foundation.
Google Analytics showed large traffic volumes to three key pages while navigation path analysis showed a clear journey from the homepage straight to racecards and a ping-pong journey between those cards and the results list page.
Diving deeper into the numbers we discovered what kinds of bets customers were most popular and crucially what times of day they were being placed.
Navigation & IA
To create fast navigation I flattened the page hierarchy and made use of momentum scrolling to access content.
Using a tab bar component for top-level sections allowed users to ping-pong between racecards and results with ease.
For this reason I have never once let a burger menu near this app.
To ensure users felt familiar with the UI and to allow economic development I made heavy use of standard interaction patterns, including occasional custom UI components to add delight.
This approach has become a part of my mobile design strategy.
I designed an Android version resting on the same research and similar UI patterns. I updated the app when Material Design launched.
I also designed web app version in response to Google banning betting apps and a feature phone offering for a small group of dedicated customers.
These days, new features are implemented as part of A/B tests using Optimizely.
What makes it successful
- I designed the app primarily for use on the go, for fast performance, and for rapid access to key content.
- The UI pioneered superior interactions to access content. Our customers often cited this as the reason for choosing Racing Post over competitors.
- The iPhone app regularly reaches number one sports app in the App Store and, riding the marketing wave that comes with app store prominence, has become incredibly profitable.