RacingPost.com

Responsive Racing Post

An industry leading responsive website that helps experienced punters make informed betting decisions.

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The Brief

To streamline and safeguard Racing Post’s digital portfolio with a single product that offers content access and betting from any device.

Finding Efficiencies

RP web app at different breakpoints

To kick off this enormous project I attempted to extend our existing web app as it was our most recently-built web-based product.

A few steps along that journey exposed that the tech architecture was unfit.

It also tested badly with customers so I abandoned this approach and gained buy-in to design the product from scratch.

Design System

Components in the Design System

I explored using frameworks like Bootstrap but they needed too many modifications. I revisited usability learnings to guide the design of new, bespoke components and patterns.

Once drawn, I organised a week-long workshop with offshore developers to align design / code skills and build a Sass-based design system.

Internal Training

Ethan Marcotte's original article on responsive web design

It was clear to me that the business lacked understanding of responsive & pattern-driven design.

I ran four workshops with groups of ten, including Senior management, to explain the fundamentals.

This transformed the design culture within the company, improving collaboration across departments.

Personas

Collaborative persona creation session

As a group, we examined all user research for behaviour patterns (age, profession, device use etc.).

We filled in knowledge gaps with a survey and betting frequency emerged as the best way to define customers.

Intercept Testing

Intercept testing at Lingfield racecourse

I took a few of my designers to racecourses to gain feedback from racegoers on paper prototypes.

This was a useful exercise in customer empathy. Valuable insights came not only from interviewing them but from spending time in their environment.

Usability Testing

Rob Winter at a usability study

I introduced the company to usability studies in 2007 engaging research agency, Bunnyfoot, to conduct usability and eye-tracking studies.

As Head of Design, I introduced iterative design sprints to validate new concepts faster than we had been thus far.

I made sure that, with each round of testing, my team evolved the design system adding key insights to relevant pages.

Usability tests helped us optimise conversion funnels: betting journey, bookie account sign-ups, & subscriptions.

What makes it successful?

  • Enlisting the advice of industry experts gave a solid foundation on which to base initial design hypotheses.
  • The tenacity of those involved in its production – comprising over two-hundred page templates and literally millions of URLs this is one of the internet’s larger websites.
  • Involving customers over a long period also had significant impact.
  • Staying humble during the design process and trusting in research helped keep the project on the right vector.

Your thoughts etc?