The meteoric rise of online bingo in the last ten years has taken many by surprise—but the foundations were being laid decades ago. A total bingo rebrand, aimed at attracting younger players was required, to try and rescue the brick and mortar bingo halls from their steady demise. With great success in the US and the UK markets, the online equivalents quickly followed suit.
Polls suggest up to 100 million people worldwide are regularly playing bingo online which has driven waves of investment and also competition into the industry. Every major online casino currently hosts their own bingo service along with hundreds of independent sites.
In order to keep one step ahead, providers have an obligation to offer regular bonuses and promotions to consumers. These often come in the form of deposit matches, free cards and rounds, and welcome offers. Sites will also provide the latest game styles from 30 ball to 90 ball bingo and everything in between.
Offering a themed bingo service is a formula used by companies to further differentiate them from their competitors. Online bingo is unique in the casino game market in that up to 78% of players are women—it is common to see the design of online bingo sites aimed at the female demographic.
After enticing customers in with promotions and bonuses and with the choice to customer being so great, it’s important for websites to be immediately eye-catching and intuitive. Players place ease of navigation and a positive user experience as top priorities when visiting these sites.
A cornerstone of good design is avoiding the need to explain every detail to the consumer. Apple’s iPhone pride themselves on providing a sophisticated gadget with no manual necessary to operate it. While more advanced features might need some tutorage, the goal is that anyone with some level of technological proficiency can pick up their products and understand how to use them.
The same is true for successful website design. Every additional step a visitor must go through to successfully get what they want from the service increases the chance they will take their custom elsewhere.
Bingo providers have a checklist of brand and website considerations when working with their web designers. Most want to communicate the idea of fun, so bright colours and bold cartoon graphics are common.
The basic functionality of the website should be uncomplicated. Key features like access to games and depositing money should be clearly communicated to the user. While the brand and overall feel of the site might be light-hearted and fun, the depositing money pages should inspire confidence so the consumer trusts their money is safe.
Colour says a lot about your business. Each colour has its own inherent symbolism but bear in mind that these can differ between cultures.
- Ever noticed how many fast food chains use red as their primary colour? This is because of a facet of colour psychology that red—especially when paired with yellow—is an attention grabber (think notifications on your phone) but is also highly emotive. The phenomenon has become known as the ketchup and mustard theory.
- There has been a marked shift recently towards the use of green in the same sector. Because of a growing demand for healthy and organic meal choices, green communicates this well and according to colour theory also invokes trust. McDonalds have begun using a dark green background to their iconic golden arches in an effort to convey this.
Colour determines many aspects of how the audience views your brand.
Bingo sites are aimed at the masses—there’s no need for their design to be cutting edge or to reinvent the wheel. Therefore, relying on somewhat hackneyed tropes of “pink is for women” is still commonplace in the female dominated market. A bold use of pink quickly communicates that a website is welcoming of women.
Brands that want to attract the male element of the market might opt for a more functional, traditionally masculine design of dark greens and sharper edges. These bingo sites have more in common visually with sports betting or casino game sites.
Colour theory is another tool utilised in effective web design:
- The theory is based on a colour wheel which follows the colours of the rainbow in a circle.
- The primary colours: red, blue and yellow make a triangle and between those, the secondary colours: orange, violet and green. Tertiary colours—midway points between primaries and secondaries occupy the remaining spaces.
- Colour harmonies are based on four principles. Analogous colours; neighbouring tones.
- Complementary colours; colours opposite one another on the colour wheel
- Triad colours which form an equilateral triangle on the colour wheel.
- Monochromatic colour schemes pick one colour and make use of lighter and darker shades of it.
Successful designs keep colour theory in mind which is probably more pleasing for the user. Within the chosen palette, balance should be maintained. Websites often use a muted shade for the majority of their content, a bright hue for buttons and aspects that demand attention and a neutral tone for backgrounds and blank space.
Web design needs to created with the user in mind, the website needs to be easy to navigate.
From an efficiency standpoint, load times are also an important factor. Eye-catching animations might be appealing but they’re counterproductive if they slow down the user experience. Online bingo web design should be scalable for different internet connections; some opt for high and low resolution versions that can be selected by the user.
The advent and success of online bingo has enabled web designers to bring a fresh look to the hundred-year-old pastime. Successful online providers have attracted a new generation of players to the game who might help it thrive for a hundred years more.