Let’s start this article off by diving deeper into the design of land-based casinos. Historically, Casinos have been built with one focus – Keep the player in the Casino and make him forget about Time and Space.
Thus, when you enter an old-school casino, you will be greeted immediately by slot machines and flashing lights. Afterwards, the maze layout begins – the goal is to suck the player in and make it difficult to leave. While you are searching your way out, you may find an interesting slot machine and decide to stay a little longer, who knows? Common features are low ceilings, no sunlight and absolutely no clocks.
Casinos are basically Playgrounds for adults
In the 90s, the modern “Playground”-design started gaining ground. The Bellagio and the Wynn were the first casinos which used this new design in the early 2000’s, and afterwards, many others followed. The modern design is called the “playground”, because it consists of high ceilings, sun light, open views, and a smaller cluster of games. The lobby of a casino no longer contains tons of slot machines, instead of those, there are sculptures, sunlight and an open view which you can see the entire floor.
The idea is turning the entire casino into a playground – after all, casinos are really playgrounds for adults. This idea affects the placement of games too. Slot games no longer cover the entire walls, instead, they are placed everywhere in the casino in small clusters. Table games are not all bunched up in one area, but rather spread out on the entire floor.
Action begets action
Seeing other players win is one of the strongest queues to start playing yourself. If that doesn’t get your gambling urge going, nothing will.
“Get out of my Space”
Casino designers noticed that people don’t like it when strangers look at their screen. In particular, women found it obnoxious. Since women make up 70% of slots players in land-based Casinos, designers went away from the classic rows of slot machines, to placing them in clusters of four, each facing a different direction.
What about looser slots? Where do the Casinos hide them? Contrary to popular belief, the looser slots are not placed in strategic places, but rather spread randomly across the floor. However, there are probably exceptions to this rule.
How do we take what we’ve learnt and translate it online?
In the past, online casinos often had a dark colour scheme with imagery focused around gold, luxury and happy winning people. Nowadays, more and more Online Casinos are going for a light design.
In older online casinos, deposit buttons are front and centre, whilst finding your way to the withdrawal part of the Cashier requires a few more clicks. Newer casinos do not believe that hiding the withdrawal button will make players choose not to withdraw.
Action does beget action, offline as well as online. Whilst it is very hard to convey other players’ game play in an online casino setting, UX/UI Designers make use of lists of winners and other activity presentations to showcase that the Casino is buzzing with action.
When it comes to finding the loose slots, it is normally just as hard online as it is offline. Maybe in the future, more online casinos will allow to sort games lists based on RTP, but for now, you’ll need to go into each and every game to find the Return to Player setting.
Images courtesy of: http://www.empedoclesdesign.com/casino-design/wqav0gb44ap3yvlzio7b6lp7lfwnrj