October 1, 2010
Most betting sites have a horrific registration process and we’re pretty proud of our progressive disclosure that gets customers registered within a minute, deposited within four and matching their first bet in under nine minutes. That said, in the quest to minimise form filling, we had been a bit slack with email opt-in/out.
No one likes receiving email they didn’t approve, and I’ve been wincing every time we send out an email to our customers because many didn’t explicitly approve the contact. Well, that’s all changed.
Don’t worry, we won’t be increasing the number of emails we send, it’s just good to know that now our members can easily set their preference.
February 19, 2010
We’re pretty sure this is a industry first: Smarkets now allows you to set your own odds in the format of your choice.
There are very few betting exchanges, and the ones that we know of only allow you to bet with their house format. Betfair, for example, only allows you to use decimals. We’ve now released an update which allows you to trade using either percentages, decimals, American style or fractions.
This has been a big piece of work which involved changes across our entire system. We’ve not only updated the event and list pages, we’ve also updated the betting interface to make betting with each system as simple as possible.
Percentages still has the slider (but a better looking one!), fractions has drop down menus for each value, we’ve created a custom input box for decimal (for users familiar with the Betfair interface) and American has an input box. You can switch between formats with the ‘odds’ link at the top of every page.
November 27, 2009
It’s been a bit quiet on the blog recently, but that’s because we’ve been hard at work improving Smarkets. The latest releases saw some pretty big improvements all round, but in this post I’ll talk a little about the bet slip in particular.
The bet slip (or widget) is the area on the right of the screen which displays the current status of the users matched and unmatched bets. The piece above the bet slip is called the user card and this is where we display the profile links, avatar and account balance. As you can see, the original user card was pretty hard to read.
The bets used to be grouped by ‘matched’ and ‘unmatched’ with the name of the bet and the amount remaining. A matched bet was where 100% of your stake had been matched by other Smarkets users, an unmatched bet was one where only part of your bet had been matched.
We knew the look and feel needed updating but, after some user testing (conducted on a laptop with rough mock-up prototypes in Omnigraffle), we came across a lot of confusion about what ‘matched’ and ‘unmatched’ bet actually meant. So we went back to the drawing board.
First we reorganised the user card so the avatar was bigger and the account balance easier to read. Then we tidied up the betting slip with a new layout, removed some of the visual clutter and created cleaner headings. Rather than list the full team names in the match, we’re now showing a short code version of the team names to make it easier to scan.
We’ve also introduced new groupings. All your active bets are shown together at the top of the slip. If your bet isn’t fully matched by other Smarkets users then you’ll see the percentage matched in red. You can cancel unmatched bets with a little cross icon and if you’ve made bets at different odds then you’ll see a pop up window asking you which bet you want cancelled.
Rather than digging around account history pages to find out what happened to your settled bets, underneath your active bets we show your two most recently settled bets along with how much you won or lost.
These changes will make it a lot easier to see the state of your bets, but we’re always interested in your feedback so get in touch.