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Lead ui/ux

Digital Transformation
iGaming can be a big challenge in itself, but having a range of digital products with a large user base and a long presence in the market can bring extra heat.
Planetwin365 is traditionally among the top three betting operators in Italy. Developing a digital presence without ui/ux direction and a dedicated team slows down product maintenance, limits development, and creates inconsistencies in the user experience across platforms, sometimes even creating differences on the same product.
As a big goal for the company to consolidate its product portfolio and enable greater changes, it comes the creation of an ui/ux team as one of the first steps in “digital transformation”.

Establishing the team

The most important thing was to create a stable design team responsible for the full range of digital products by establishing a team and creating design processes that align with other teams’ and stakeholders’ directions.
The team has to work closely with different in-house and third-party developers’ teams, supporting their work cycles, having their own roadmap on the other side, and separate project management.

Team responsibilities

With a comprehensive product range, dealing with design tasks overlaps with new requirements, market demands, and modern functions that meet the wishes of users.
Work of the design team was split into three main types of work: Following roadmap as the most important, on-demand work (sometimes urgent due to legal requirements, market trends, etc.), and finally ideation which was the most fun part ✨.

Team lead

For Planetwin365, the year 2019 was a big turnaround that was challenging, led by the new management, starting with updating the technology and moving to other parts, including digital product design.
I had the pleasure of using my betting experience, working with the product and developer teams, and being a part of creating a new chapter for Planetwin365 Sportsbook.
My responsibilities were to provide design direction and strategy, manage the work of the team, align the design roadmap with others and keep it updated, and plan and communicate work with other teams, stakeholders, as well as external teams.

Direction

Long-term work must have a goal, or at least an idea of what we want to achieve.
In order to have a clear direction and help the design team approach the redesign of the products, their alignment and to provide a clear overview to the stakeholders, a wanna-be version of our main product(s) was created: mobile and desktop sports betting websites as they should look and work in future.
This design was taken as a basis, and during numerous workshops and tests, it was applied to sports betting and other products, and then divided into separate projects so that it could come in stages.

Approach

Together with technical updates, design improvements were part of the digital transformation process at Planetwin365 happening during 19-’22.
To deal with requirements and align work with other teams, mainly developers, the process was split into two main phases.

The first phase 🚀

By interviewing team leaders the need for collaboration tools where identified, as well as establishing design work procedures.

Tools and training

Tools selection comes in phases as all design and collaboration tools require research and training for the team and other colleagues involved.

Defining processes

Communication and close work with QAs, developers and PMs are a guarantee for a good outcome, but they must be supported by precisely defined processes.

Documentation

Working with different teams on live products requires precise communication where a well-documented design helps both parties work faster and deliver the best results quality.

Styleguides

Working on the outdated design was the focus at the start, but as a team, we needed new direction and styleguides defined.

Workflow

As all tasks are not the same, and working with different teams and different managers affects our routine, the design workflow is non-linear and has never been the same.
Taking into account all the influences, the regular process of the task is shaped and the cases of adaptation to different situations are defined.
Investing time in preparation and understanding proves to be a recipe for quality and efficiency.

Task vs project

To split small design tasks from larger work, a strong definition is used to specify tasks and projects.
With a lot of activity, it happens that some projects tend to come as tasks, but it was important to recognise the amount of work needed and get them the status of projects early on.

Microinteractions

For a better understanding of the design system, prototypes and animated previews have been added. In this way, we have taken a step forward with more options for designing and providing informative documentation.

The second phase 🎨

Once consolidated, new team goals were identified, so the focus was on:

Expanding the team

Integrating research

Updating features

Keep up vs being a leader

With great support from management, we recognised where we could be better and which parts of the process were not fully covered, in order to prioritise those areas. We focus on truly updating the product in a way that justifies being the top player.

Constant learning and improvements

Research and analysis, when they become part of every project, begin to be of greatest help. Competitive analysis was a tool for understanding the market and trends and sharing our achievements by showing data-backed progress made it possible to keep all parties involved and informed. Over time, we’ve refined our process to include a/b tests, user feedback, and user surveys as part of every project.

Evolution

After defining and testing the visual improvements and design direction, we finally got the chance to focus more on the user experience. With many users, getting feedback through surveys, tests or just checking the data becomes within our reach.

Ideation

An environment where we were strongly connected to work as one and save enough time to think resulted in dozens of proposals, prototypes and tests.
Instead of only following a roadmap we aim to get prepared by working on ideas constantly, documenting them, sharing, and collecting feedback.
This playground strongly motivates the team because we as designers were deeply involved in shaping our products by being very proactive and feeling our products.

Design portfolio

The greatest achievements of the design team are collected as design presentations to showcase the work done and provide knowledge for future projects.
Visual mockups are supported by post-release data, research, and surveys, as well as by descoped options.
Over 20 case studies have been added to the design team’s portfolio over a 3-year period and it continues to grow.

Deliverables

Team management
Ui/Ux lead
Creative direction