Degree 53 ‘UX Review’ reviews operators against latest Apple app guidelines

Jade Daniels -Degree 53

Industry design and innovation studio Degree 53 has published a new ‘UX Review detailing guidance on how operators can meet Apple native design standards with their current product catalogue.

In June 2019, Apple updated its App Store review guidelines to impose restrictions on real-money apps, enforcing stricter guidelines on clamping down of non-native applications – a decision that caused much industry deliberation on Apple’s motives with regards to the gambling sector.

Degree 53 research team has reviewed 10 of the UK’s leading sports betting apps against the latest Apple Human Interface Guidelines to find out how likely they are to be approved with the deadline looming in March.

Publishing its report, Degree 53 aims to showcase how operators can improve their products for a successful App Store submission.

Degree 53 reveals that while bet365, Coral, Ladbrokes and Unibet scored the highest industry scores (54-55/100), yet on the whole the reviewed apps received rather overall low ratings.

“None of the operators stood out,” it said. “Some of the common low-scoring areas were web-like functionality and a lack of a clear user journey. This is mainly due to all of these products being container apps (website wraparounds) that don’t fully support the native standards required by Apple.”

With Apple’s March 2020 deadline approaching, Degree 53 details that betting product and development teams need to provide a deeper user experience that is true to their platforms, being as ‘app-like as possible’.

UX  concerns such as HTML5 content not being embedded in the app and redirecting customers to external sites see Degree 53 highlight concerns that betting apps will fail to meet inbound Apple March 2020 requirements.

Jade Daniels, Design Director at Degree 53, commented: “Apple has disrupted the online gambling industry by enforcing its design standards to real money gambling apps, giving very little time to operators to make any significant changes. It can take a large operator around a year to develop a native sportsbook app from scratch and requires a big investment.

“Many of our clients were in this situation, so we started looking into different solutions and studying Apple’s design guidelines to best meet their requirements. This report reflects our findings and recommendations on how to achieve this.

“While not many can afford to build a native sportsbook, making it as app-like as possible will increase the chances of approval. The common problem that operators have is that their apps are derived from their sportsbook websites, still using web features in navigation and UI or even opening content in a browser.

“Today, product owners need to adopt the mobile-first approach, which Apple is trying to enforce, as that’s how the majority of people engage with digital products. Online gambling is a huge industry and it’s time it caught up with retail, entertainment and travel to support mobile engagement and provide a great customer experience.”

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