Betting.Betfair blog network
Betfair first approached us in 2007 to help set-up their new betting blog network Betting.Betfair, a website that provides the latest news about an extensive range of worldwide sports and politics from a betting perspective. Since then we have worked through 4 complete redesigns, a responsive rollout, and numerous functionality improvements for the site. The network gets a large amount of traffic, and we support Betfair on an ongoing basis with improvements and maintenance.
Betfair asked us to implement their new brand guidelines, to bring the Betting.Betfair site in-line with their other websites.
After a detailed review of the site analytics, the editorial team decided it was time to adjust the way the homepage content was organised and managed. The positioning and management of adverts across the site was no longer suitable and taking too long.
The project started with a collaborative meeting, combining the entire team (editorial, advertising, UX, analytics and Lift) to put forward their requirements, creating a ‘wish list’ for the site.
The meeting allowed the requirements of the whole team to be reviewed, prioritised and agreed by all. It was important to consider the brand and usability issues, as well as internal content management requirements which may have changed over time.
To ensure all requirements were met, Lift led the UX by developing a complete set of wireframes to start the discussion and amendment process. The Betfair in-house teams used these to negotiate and agree hierarchy of information ensuring the site would meet the business requirements.
Once wireframes were approved, the process of interpreting and rolling out the new brand guidelines to work with blog content began. There was many years worth of content that was not covered in the guidelines, designs were kept on track by working closely with the branding team. We produced visuals for key pages, to speed up the discussion, iterations and approval process with the branding team.
Designing the navigation was complex and took a lot of time to develop. It needed to work with the wide range of topics on the site, plus Betfair need to manipulate the ordering and hierarchy to promote particular sports at different times of the year. Added to that, the navigation had to be responsive and bendable on desktop, tablet and small screens. We loved this challenge! We built a variety of simple prototypes demonstrating how the navigation could work, before looking at the styling. Once we found a system that worked across devices, we applied rigorous styling in-line with the Betfair brand.
Delivering a responsive website is not only about the design and coding – testing across a range of devices for consistency, usability and robustness is vital. We have an internal ‘testing lab’ of devices, covering different operating systems and screen sizes. Checking against Betting.Betfair analytics we know which devices are the most popular, but also include as many other devices as possible to make sure all users have a seamless experience.
Finally we integrated the new templates into the CMS, using a custom template layer we have developed previously for Betting.Betfair. This allows quicker integration, and a seamless rollout across the 10,000s of existing blog pages.
The project took approximately 6 months including many iterations of designs and templates. At Lift, we learnt more about our clients current business goals by working closely with several teams within Befair, this allows us to keep thinking and developing new and innovative ideas for our client. As with all our projects, communication is key, by meeting with all stakeholders upfront to agree the purpose and content of the site, it allows the process to run much smoother for the client and to meet timescales.